Gurminder Bhogal

Gurminder Kaur Bhogal
gbhogal@wellesley.edu
(781) 283-2063
Music
B.Mus(Hons), Royal College of Music; M.Mus., King’s College, University of London; Ph.D., University of Chicago

Gurminder Kaur Bhogal

Catherine Mills Davis Professor of Music

Scholarly interests focus on the music of French composers including Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Delage; the practice of ornament in French music and the visual arts during the early twentieth century; music and aesthetics; music and orientalism/exoticism/colonialism-decolonialism; and Sikh devotional music (Sikh Kirtan)


My research falls into two areas. The first deals with early twentieth-century French music and culture with a focus on relationships between music and the visual arts. These connections have been explored most recently in Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018). Other publications that examine the practice and aesthetics of ornament in music composition and visual art of early twentieth-century Paris include Details of Consequence: Ornament, Music, and Art in Paris (AMS Studies in Music) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013); “Orchestral Tissue, Subordinate Arabesques, and Turning Inward in Maurice Ravel's Boléro,” Music Theory Online 26/2, 2020; and “Ephemeral Arabesque Timbres and the Exotic Feminine,” in Arabesque Without End: Across Music and the Arts, ed. Anne Leonard (New York: Routledge, 2021). Other publications are forthcoming on Debussy’s piano music; Debussy’s music in video games; and grotesquerie and the oriental subject in The Rite of Spring.

My second research area is on Sikh devotional music. I won the Pauline Alderman Award for Outstanding Scholarship on Women in Music (2017) for my article, “Listening to Female Voices in Sikh Kirtan,” Sikh Formations Religion, Culture, Theory 13/1-2 (2017): 48-77. I am currently writing two books: the first explores the role of digital technology in Sikh worship; and the second examines the cultural contributions of Sikh immigrants in Kenya.

In March 2019, I began my three-year term as Review Editor for the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

I teach a variety of courses in music history, theory, and analysis. These include core courses for the music major and minor: The Symphony in the WorldLooking Backwards, Reaching Forwards: Modernism and Music (MUS 201-202); Opera: Its History, Music, and Drama (MUS230). My electives focus on a range of topics: The Femme and Her SongBeing Modern in ParisVirtuosity, Suspicion, TranscendenceFinding France in French Piano MusicNothingness in Music, Poetry, and ArtMusic and Sound in Video Games; Paris Chic: French Music and the Arts.