Paul Laird
  • Professor

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Murphy Hall, room #460


Paul R. Laird is Professor of Musicology at the University of Kansas, where he has taught since 1994. He teaches courses in Baroque music, twentieth-century music, the history of musical theater, and American music, and directs the Instrumental Collegium Musicum. His research specialties include the American musical theater, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Schwartz, the Spanish villancico, and early string instruments. Laird is a Baroque cellist who plays with the Sunflower Consort.


My primary research interests include the American musical theater, Stephen Schwartz, Leonard Bernstein, the Spanish and Latin American villancico, and the Baroque cello. I have published books and articles and presented papers in each of these areas, but much of my current work focuses on Bernstein and research on aspects of musical theater, especially Broadway orchestration. I also perform as a Baroque cellist and viola da gambist.


My position includes teaching two academic courses each semester plus directing MUSC 256/656, Instrumental Collegium Musicum, the instrumental early music ensemble. In addition, I advise senior undergraduate theses, master's theses, PhD dissertations, and DMA documents and lecture/recital documents, and teach independent studies in musicology each year. During summers, I often teach a class and advise graduate documents.

Teaching interests:

  • Musicology
  • Instrumental Collegium Musicum
  • Baroque music
  • twentieth-century music
  • American music
  • musical theater
  • opera
  • KU Continuing Education

Selected Publications

Laird, P. (2022). Mediated Taste: The Role of Critics. The Routledge Companion to Musical Theatre. Routledge. [9780429260247].
Laird, P. (2010). Leonard Bernstein's 'Chichester Psalms'. Pendragon Press and College Music Society. [978-1-57647-152-4].
Laird, P. (2009). Catholic Music in Italy, and Spanish and Portuguese Empires. The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music. Cambridge University Press. [978-0-521-66319-9].
Laird, P. (2002). Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research. Routledge. [0-8153-3517-2].
Laird, P. (2002). The Cambridge Companion to the Musical. Cambridge University Press. [0-521-79189-8].
Laird, P. (1999). Villancicos, villas y villanos: Títulos más significativos en los siglos XVII, XVIII y XIX. Nassarre - Issue 1-2 | Volume 15.
Laird, P. (1997). La diseminación del villancico valenciano. Revista de musicología - Issue 1 | Volume 20.
Laird, P. (1997). Towards a History of the Villancico. Harmonie Park Press. [0-89990-075-5].
Laird, P. (1993). The Dissemination of the Spanish Baroque Villancico. Revista de Musicología - Issue 5 | Volume 16.
Laird, P. (1992). The Coming of the Sacred Villancico: A Musical Consideration. Revista de Musicología - Issue 1 | Volume 15.
Laird, P. (1992). Los villancicos del siglo XVII en el Monasterio del Escorial. La Música en el Monasterio del Escorial: Actas del Simposium: Colección del Instituto Escurialense de Investigaciones Históricas y Artísticas, No 2. Ediciones Escurialenses, Estudios Superiores del Escorial. [84-600-8361-6].
Laird, P. (1989). Diego de Torrijos and the Villancico at San Lorenzo del Escorial, 1669-1691. Revista de Musicología - Issue 2 | Volume 12.
Laird, P. (1989). The Villancicos of Matías Juan de Veana as a Model for the Study of the Dissemination of the Baroque Villancico. Anuario musical - Volume 44.


My current service portfolio for the School of Music includes administering the Musicology Doctoral Comprehensive exams, serving on the School of Music Promotion and Tenure Committee, and mentoring junior faculty members on official and informal bases. On the national level, I regularly review materials for several journals and publishers, in addition to other professional duties.