Paul Robert Laird

School of Music - Music
Musicology Area Coordinator
Primary office:
Murphy Hall, 460
The University of Kansas
1530 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045-3103


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 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 a few to several independent studies in musicology each year. I also advise graduate students in musicology until they decide with whom they will be writing their thesis or dissertation. During most summers, I 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


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.

Research Interests

  • American musical theater, Stephen Schwartz, Leonard Bernstein, the Spanish and Latin American villancico, and the Baroque cello


My current service portfolio includes serving as Musicology Area Coordinator, co-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.

Selected Publications

Everett, W. A., & Laird, P. R. (2017). The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (Issue 3rd) [Books]. Cambridge University Press.
Laird, P. R., & Lin, H. (2015). Leonard Bernstein: A Research and Information Guide (Issue 2nd) [Books]. Routledge.
Laird, P. R. (2014). The Musical Theater of Stephen Schwartz: From Godspell</i> to Wicked and Beyond [Books]. Rowman & Littlefield.
Laird, P. R. (2011). Wicked: A Musical Biography [Books]. Scarecrow Press.
Laird, P. R. (2011). “It Couldn’t Happen here in Oz”: “Wicked” and the Creation of a “Critic-Proof” Musical [Journal Articles]. Studies in Musical Theatre, 5(1), 35–47.
Laird, P. R. (2010). Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” [Books]. Pendragon Press and College Music Society.
Laird, P. R. (2009). Catholic Music in Italy, and Spanish and Portuguese Empires [Book Chapters]. In S. P. Keefe (Ed.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music (pp. 29–58). Cambridge University Press.
(2008). The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (P. R. Laird & W. A. Everett, Eds.; Issue 2nd) [Books]. Cambridge University Press.
Laird, P. R. (2004). The Baroque Cello Revival: An Oral History [Books]. Scarecrow Press.
Laird, P. R. (2002). Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research [Books]. Routledge.
(2002). The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (P. R. Laird & W. A. Everett, Eds.) [Books]. Cambridge University Press.
Laird, P. R., & Garoz, J. L. P. (1999). Villancicos, villas y villanos: Títulos más significativos en los siglos XVII, XVIII y XIX [Journal Articles]. Nassarre, 15(1–2), 69–89.
Laird, P. R., & Garoz, J. L. P. (1997). La diseminación del villancico valenciano [Journal Articles]. Revista de Musicología , 20(1), 361–372.
Laird, P. R. (1997). Towards a History of the Villancico [Books]. Harmonie Park Press.
Laird, P. R. (1993). The Dissemination of the Spanish Baroque Villancico [Journal Articles]. Actas Del XV Congreso de La Sociedad Internacional de Musicología, 16(5), 2857–2864.
Laird, P. R. (1992). Los villancicos del siglo XVII en el Monasterio del Escorial [Book Chapters]. In La Música en el Monasterio del Escorial: Actas del Simposium: Colección del Instituto Escurialense de Investigaciones Históricas y Artísticas, No 2 (pp. 169–234). Ediciones Escurialenses, Estudios Superiores del Escorial.
Laird, P. R. (1992). The Coming of the Sacred Villancico: A Musical Consideration [Journal Articles]. Revista de Musicología , 15(1), 139–160.
Laird, P. R. (1989). Diego de Torrijos and the Villancico at San Lorenzo del Escorial, 1669-1691 [Journal Articles]. Revista de Musicología, 12(2), 451–468.
Laird, P. R. (1989). The Villancicos of Matías Juan de Veana as a Model for the Study of the Dissemination of the Baroque Villancico [Journal Articles]. Anuario Musical , 44, 115–136.

Selected Work

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