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Department of Philosophy

The music section of the Department of Philosophy offers a wide range of courses that include the study of classical European music,  popular music,  the architecture of music, and traditional world music. These courses reach beyond basic music vocabulary to include the analysis of important repertoire as well as the historical, cultural, social and political contexts for music.
All general Music Department inquiries should be directed to Gillian Turnbull at

  • Prof. Pete Johnston was recently featured on a panel discussion entitled "Musicians During COVID 19: Collaboration, Connection and Cacophony".
  • "From Homocore to Dyketopia: Snapshots from San Francisco"
    Speaker: Cooper Lee-Bombardier
    NEW DATE: Friday, March 13, 2020
    2 – 4 p.m.
    Kerr Hall South Room 239
    In this multi-media talk, author and visual artist Cooper Lee Bombardier will share images, writing, and a soundtrack of early-90s queer SF. This scene was a nexus for many artists who continue to impact present-day thought on sexuality and culture, and was a spawning ground for many artists, writers, and musicians who've gone on to sharply influence contemporary creative work. This will be a personal tour through some of the sights and sounds that influenced Cooper as a young artist and inculcated him into the ethos of queer-DIY world-making.
    Cooper Lee Bombardier is a queer, trans American writer and visual artist living in Canada. His writing appears in The Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, Longreads, BOMB, and The Rumpus; and in 13 anthologies, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology, The RemedyEssays on Queer Health Issues, and the Lambda-nominated anthology, Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, which won a 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. His memoir-in-essays Pass with Care, is forthcoming from Dottir Press in May, 2020.
  • Congratulations to Prof. Gillian Turnbull on the release of her new book, entitled Sonic Booms: Making Music in an Oil Town (Eternal Cavalier Press). [CBC News Story]  

  • Congratulations to Prof. Sean Bellaviti for winning a SSHRC Insight Grant for his project entitled "Salsa North of the 40° Parallel: A Social History of Latin American and Caribbean Popular Music in Toronto." Here is a brief description:

The Toronto salsa scene reflects the singular history of Latin American immigration to Canada, a hemisphere-wide process that brought distinct waves of economic migrants and political refugees to our country in clearly identifiable historical periods and from distinct points of origin. This confluence of musicians from the southern cone to the Andes, to the Caribbean basin and further north to and beyond the U.S.-Mexican borderlands gave rise to the development of an identifiable Torontonian version of salsa as each national group brought its own set of musical experiences, talent, techniques, performance traditions, and, in many cases, a lifetime of musical training. This project will systematically explore the social history of Toronto’s salsa scene and undertake an ethnography of the musicians who are at the centre of its development. In particular, it will examine the ways in which “waves” of immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean not only shaped the evolution of the city’s music, but also contributed to the formation of a culturally diverse and distinctly pan-Latin American salsa scene.

  • Congratulations to Prof. Pete Johnston for winning two grants from the the Ontario Arts Council in 2019: a composing grant and a concept-to-realization grant.

Music Instructors: