Emma Barnaby

First Year Graduate Student in Musicology
103, Music Building

Emma Barnaby’s main research focus is the immediate effect of the English Reformation on English liturgical music, especially the music of ‘closeted’ Catholics like Tudor giants William Byrd and Thomas Tallis. This is the intersection of two bodies of music that she has had extensive experience performing: Renaissance polyphony and English choral music. She is most interested in the religious experience of composers, shown through the sacred texts they choose to set to music and the musical styles they use to portray them, and how those religious experiences can be microcosms of the greater trends. 

Raised in the Episcopal tradition, Ms. Barnaby has had the privilege of singing this sacred repertoire since the age of eight. She currently sings at St. Mark’s in Philadelphia and works at the St. Thomas Choir School Girl Chorister Course in New York each summer, teaching music history and choral skills to the next generation of girl choristers. Her other primary area of scholarship is music history pedagogy; during her undergraduate tenure at the University of Toronto, she completed extensive research on the history of music history textbooks and authored a paper on the findings, and she looks forward to exploring the changing nature of music history in the classroom.