Senior Lecturer, Pedagogy Stream Coordinator
Room 209, Hui Yeung Shing Building
BFA (Concordia), MA (Victoria), MLIS (McGill), PhD (HKU)
Western music history, film music, music pedagogy

Brian Christopher Thompson teaches in the areas of music pedagogy, research methods, and Western music history, including the history of film music and sound recording. He came to CUHK from the Naxos CD company, where he had been engaged in setting up the digital streaming service. He was previously employed at HKU, McGill University, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He as an undergraduate degree in music theory and composition, graduate degrees in historical musicology (MA and Ph.D), and a professional degree in Library and information studies. He frequently gives pre-concert talks and writes for the Hong Kong Arts Festival. He is currently completing a book on the 19th-century performer James Unsworth.

Selected Publications

"What's in a Song? For the People of Hong Kong, the idea of Nationhood." Globe & Mail, Saturday, 21 September 2019. (

"Empire, Nation, and Music: Canada's 'Dominion Songbook.'" In Over Here, Over There: Music and The First World War. pp. 174-98. Edited by Gayle Sherwood Magee, Christina Bashford, and William Brooks. Chicago and Bloomington: University of Illinois Press (October 2019).

"Adapting the Survey for a Changing Environment." In Norton Guide to Teaching Music History. pp. 235-46. Edited by Matthew Balensuela, New York: W.W. Norton, 2019.

"Music, Culture, and Education in Post-Colonial Hong Kong." Musica Docta Vol. 19 (2019): 85-95.

Review: Le vin et la musique: accords et désaccords, edited by Florence Gétreau (Paris: Gallimard; Bordeaux: La Cité du Vin, 2018). Music in Art Vol. XLIV, nos. 1-2 (2019): 123-4.

Review: Of Chronicles and Kings: National Saints and the Emergence of Nation States in the High Middle Ages, edited by John Bergsagel, Thomas Riis, and David Hiley (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanums Forlag, 2016). Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism Vol. 16, No. 3 (December 2016): 522-4.

Review: Nation and Classical Music: From Handel to Copland, by Matthew Riley and Anthony D. Smith (Woodbridge and Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2016). Music & Letters Vol. 98, No. 2 (2017): 294-6.

Review: Listening to Stanley Kubrick: The Music in His Films, by Christine Lee Gengaro (Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, 2013), and We'll Meet Again: Musical Design in the Films of Stanley Kubrick by Kate McQuiston (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). Journal of the Society for American Music Vol. 10, No. 1 (February 2016): 85-89.

Calixa Lavallée: 'oeuvre pour piano seul/The Complete Works for Solo Piano.Vancouver: The Avondale Press, 2016. 144 pp.

"Zhao Jiping and the Sound of Resistance in Red Sorghum." Studia Musicologica Vol. 56, No. 4 (2015): 185-196.

Anthems and Minstrel Shows: The Life and Times of Calixa Lavallée (1842-1891). Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015. 523 pp.

"Theory, Nationalism, and Music." In Politsci'13: Political Science in the 21st Century: New Opportunities and Impasses / Theorizing and Experiencing Politics. pp. 206-213. Edited by E. Zeynep Güler. Istanbul, Turkey: Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center, 2014.

"Journeys of an Immigrant Violinist: Jacques Oliveira in Civil War–Era New York and New Orleans." Journal of the Society for American Music Vol. 6, No. 1 (2012): 51-82.

"Henri Drayton: English Opera and Anglo-American Culture, 1850-1872." Journal of the Royal Musical Association Vol. 136, No. 2 (2011): 247-303.

List of Recent Courses Taught
  • MUSC3213 History of Western Music: Special Topic I
  • MUSC3502 Vocal/ Instrumental Pedagogy
  • MUSC3832 Romanticism in Music
  • MUSC4243 Research Methods in Music
  • MUSC4513/ 4523 Senior Pedagogy Project I/ II
  • UGED2133 Music in Film
  • MUSC6000 Research Methods and Bibliography
  • MUSC5104 Music in Film (MA)