Joseph Salem

B.Mus. (Texas), M.A. (Wisconsin), Ph.D. (Yale)
Assistant Professor
Music History, Musicology, Theory

MacLaurin Building (Music Wing)
By Appointment

I was born and raised in the US, where I lived in the Southwest (Texas), the Midwest (Wisconsin and Ohio), and the Northeast (New York and Connecticut). My interest in music began with my piano studies and continued with lessons at the CCM preparatory department and my participation in high school bands (classical, marching, and “garage”), where I played piano, mallet percussion, and conducted. After finishing my performance degree, I switched to musicology as a way to incorporate more writing and research into my musical pursuits.

My research bridges music theory and music history, combining manuscript study, sound studies, history of theory, and biographical studies with broader, sometimes interdisciplinary trends in the arts. While my dissertation is a manuscript study of Pierre Boulez’s formative works, previous research extends as far back as Francesco Cavalli and Jean-Philippe Rameau and as far forward as Yuko Nexus6’s Journal de Tokyo and Alan Bishop’s Radio Palestine. Current research continues to ponder new approaches to discussing Boulez’s music and, separately, establishes a reengagement with the effects of changing technologies of musical mediation on the production, distribution, and reception of music in recent decades. I also have a casual interest in the history of philosophy, film criticism, and critical theory, especially as the later relates to structuralist and post-structuralist hermeneutics. As part of my research, I spent over fourteen months (and counting) at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland and many weekends in Paris, France, thanks in part to the generosity of the PSS and the US Fulbright organization.

I joined the UVic faculty in 2015 at the rank of Assistant Professor after teaching for a year as a lecturer at Yale University. I am currently a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and can offer guidance for students whose work overlaps with musicology and/or music theory. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, staying fit, outdoor activities, and, of course, playing the piano!

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