Musicology professor published in The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical

Paul Laird, KU professor of musicology, recently published a chapter titled “Musical Style and Song Conventions” in The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical, edited by Raymond Knapp, Mitchell Morris and Stacy Wolf (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Laird was invited to write the chapter by the book’s editors. Other authors in the collection included 26 professors of music, theater, drama and other related fields, and practitioners in areas related to the musical theater, each of whom wrote on terms or concepts important in the field. Laird’s essay considers the styles of music and types of songs that have appeared in the American musical theater over the past century.

Director of the KU musicology division from 2000 to 2009, Laird has taught at the University of Kansas since 1994 after previous experience at Binghamton University and University of Denver. He holds a doctorate in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laird's research interests include the Spanish and Latin American villancico, Leonard Bernstein, the Broadway musical and early string instruments. He is the author of Towards a History of the Spanish Villancico (Harmonie Park Press, 1997), Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research (Routledge, 2002), The Baroque Cello Revival: An Oral History (Scarecrow Press, 2004), is co-editor of Res musicae: Essays in Honor of James W. Pruett (Harmonie Park Press, 2001) and The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (Cambridge University Press, 2002; second edition, 2008). With William A. Everett, Laird wrote The Historical Dictionary of the Broadway Musical (Scarecrow, 2007), and most recently he published “Wicked:  A Musical Biography” (2011, Scarecrow Press, Inc.).

Laird's articles and reviews have appeared in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition), Anuario musical, Nassarre, Revista de Musicología, Early Music, Australian Journal of Musicology, CMS Symposium, MLA Notes, Historical Performance, American Music, American Record Guide, Continuo Magazine and other journals, conference proceedings and s. Laird has presented papers and lectures at many conferences and universities in the United States and Spain. Laird directs the Instrumental Collegium Musicum and is active as a Baroque cellist, performing with the Spencer Consort. In August 2002, he won a University of Kansas W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit