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Job title:

Senior Lecturer in Popular Music and Jazz Studies


Alison House, Room 3.11


Marian obtained her BA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and her MA (Musicology) and PhD (Ethnomusicology) both from York University in Toronto, Canada with Prof. Rob Bowman. Her work involved archival research and ethnographic enquiry into the pedagogical practices of Lee Konitz with whom she studied for several years; as well as the development of the Canadian jazz scene, in particular the rather unique place of co-operative jazz clubs in less central regions of that country. 

Marian maintains an interest in jazz improvisation and pedagogy in general, and on the practices of Lee Konitz and Lennie Tristano in particular, and has published on these areas in The Journal of Jazz StudiesJazz Research Journal, and elsewhere. Her work on Canadian jazz co-operatives has been published by the University of British Columbia Press (Live at the Cellar, 2018). 

In addition to her continuing work in jazz studies, Marian lectures in Popular Music, placing particular emphasis on the ways in which race and gender are operative within popular music performance practice and reception. She has a particular interest in mid-20thcentury American Blues and Soul; with the ways in which hip-hop has been adopted as a form of musical resistance by indigenous communities; with the concept of genre in popular music; and with the career of Bruce Springsteen. In both Marian’s teaching and research there is an emphasis on music as culture, music as/and technology, and the various intersections between music and other facets of popular culture (esp. film, television, design). 

Marian is editor of the journal Jazz Perspectives, sits on the board of directors for the Scottish Jazz Archive, in on the steering committee for the Documenting Jazz, and convenes the Jazz and Popular Music Study Group which meets regularly during teaching weeks in the Reid School of Music.  


Marian is the course organizer and primary lecturer for the undergraduate courses Topics in Popular Music, Jazz Studies: Critical Reflections on Music and Culture, and Three Minute Records as well as for the PGT course Studies in Popular Music

She also contributes at times to various performance courses in addition to supervising individual projects at UG, PGT, and PGR. 


  • Music - BMus (Hons)
  • Musicology - MMus
  • Music - PhD/MSc by Research
  • Creative Music Practice - PhD

Current PhD students

Pauline Black

Exploring jazz and improvisation in UK secondary schools

Jade Jiang

PhD student, School of Social and Political Science Jiang

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications
  • Jazz Studies
  • Popular Music
  • African American popular musics of the 20th century
  • Scene studies
  • Aesthetics
  • Intersections between popular music and popular culture (film, television, visual media)
  • Popular music and place/space
  • Genre in popular music
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Ethnography
  • Ethnomusicology

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