Musicology involves the scholarly study of music in its historical and cultural contexts. At the UBC School of Music, faculty and students in the musicology division explore a wide range of repertory and performance practices ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Our MA and PhD programmes offer students advanced training leading to professional teaching and scholarly research careers. Graduate students enjoy a programme that balances sound historical methods with critical interpretation and forges interdisciplinary connections to music theory, ethnomusicology, and the humanities.

The musicology faculty’s areas of expertise range from Medieval repertories through the music of the 21st century and represent a variety of scholarly approaches and critical methods. We take pride in fostering a collegial, supportive environment and promoting collaboration across disciplinary boundaries.

Programs offered


  • “‘The Mighty Spring Tide of Finnish Music’: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Music of Leevi Madetoja”
  • “Music in Nature, Nature in Music: Sounding the Environment in Contemporary Composition”
  • “Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s David et Jonathas: French Jesuit Theater and the Tragédie en Musique”
  • “'Music as a Delight of God and Men': Absolutism, Genre, and Instrumental Music in Seventeenth-Century Salzburg”
  • “The First Movements of Bruckner's Third, Sixth and Seventh Symphonies: A Moment-by-Moment Approach to Form”
  • “Riddled Constructs: A Study of Musical Humour in Chabrier's Comic Operas”
  • “Music and Poetry in Mallarmé and Debussy”
  • “Polystylism in the Works of Alfred Schnittke”
  • “Opera, or the Doing of Women: The Dramatic Works of Ingeborg von Bronsart (1840-1913)”

  • “She’s Ahead of the Times: A Study of How Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Music Addresses Indigenous Rights”
  • “Gesture and Sympathy in the 1969 BBC Production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes”
  • “Musical Borrowing in Renaissance Florence: Carnival Songs and Contrafacture”
  • “Joan La Barbara's Early Explorations of the Voice”
  • “Politics and Foreign Influences in the Development of Spanish Court Theatrical Music with a Study of the Music of Sebastian Duron (1660-1716)”
  • “Genre and Parody in the Music of the Beatles”
  • “Rimsky-Korsakov's Antar Symphony: A Biographical and Analytical Study”
  • “Revising Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Jewish Composers: A Case Study Comparison of Ignaz Brüll and Salomon Jadassohn”
  • “Cape Breton Fiddling: Preservation, Transformation, and Narrative”

Seminars and colloquia

  • Western Art Music and 19th-Century Globalization
  • Beyond Hungry Listening: The Score and Decolonization
  • Music in the Reformation Era, 1520-1650
  • Music, Senses, and the Body in the Enlightenment
  • Cantonese Music
  • Music in the Age of Monteverdi
  • Music and Nationalism
  • Genre and Popular Music
  • Soundscapes
  • Music and Gender
  • Oral and Written Traditions in Medieval Music
  • Music in 19th-Century Vienna
  • Topics in 18th-Century Music: Between the Score and Performance
  • Music and Religious Cultures in Baroque Germany
  • Evocations of the Past in Early Modernism
  • Opera and Politics
  • Music in Darmstadt, 1950-1970

  • Jessica Peritz (Yale University): “Weeping Juba: Embodying Empire and Sentimentalizing Race on the Eighteenth-Century Stage”
  • Kira Thurman (University of Michigan): "Interwar Liederabende and the Matter of Blackness" (in partnership with the CENES Ziegler Lecture Series)
  • Kate van Orden (Harvard University): "Songs in Unexpected Places: Language and Mobility in Sixteenth-Century Europe" (in partnership with UBC Migration - Mobilities Group Speaker Series)
  • Gundula Kreuzer (Yale University): “Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler and Musical-Historical Amnesia”
  • Dylan Robinson (at Queen’s University at the time): “Listening Positionality”
  • Stefan Sunandan Honisch (University of British Columbia): “Helen Keller: Music, Deafblindness, and the Political”
  • Iain Fenlon (University of Cambridge): “Music and Household Devotion in Early Modern Venice”
  • Thomas Forrest Kelly (Harvard University): “Capturing Music: The Invention of the First Music Recording Technology”


David Metzer

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