Chris McDonald

Associate Professor, Ethnomusicology

Chris McDonald teaches courses in ethnomusicology, popular music, and music theory. His research interests are Atlantic Canadian folk and traditional music, with recent emphasis on Cape Breton’s unique piano accompaniment style. He researches rock music in relation to social class, and is the author of Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown, published by Indiana University Press in 2009. He also published on the topics of popular culture and the middlebrow, singer-songwriters, and music analysis topics, such as rock harmony, and the relationship of timbre to rhythmic feel or groove. He authored many entries in reference works such as The New Grove Encyclopedia of American Music, Sage Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, and the Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues. At CBU, he is the Teaching Chair in Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (2018-2020). He is also Chair of the Executive of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and secretary of the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative.


Popular Music, Atlantic Canadian Folk and Traditional Music, Social Class, Ethnomusicology, Music Theory