Heather Sparling

Canada Research Chair in Music Traditions; Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology

Heather Sparling is an award-winning teacher. She won CBU�s Instructional Leadership Award and was the first CBU faculty member to win a teaching award from the Association of Atlantic Universities. She is CBU’s program liaison for the music, folklore, Celtic and Gaelic programs in the departments of Literature, Folklore and the Arts, and Communication and Languages. She teaches a range of music courses including Celtic, world and western art music. Dr. Sparling researches Gaelic song in Nova Scotia, vernacular dance in Cape Breton, and Atlantic Canadian disaster songs. She created disastersongs.ca, a collection of Atlantic Canadian disaster songs; and was the curator of Canary in the Mine: Nova Scotia Mining Disasters and Song. She is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal MUSICultures, and author of Reeling Roosters and Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music. She has published articles in several different journals and will co-chair the International Association of the Study of Popular Music � Canada in 2020.


Nova Scotia Gaelic song; Cape Breton vernacular dance; Atlantic Canadian disaster songs; memorials; memorialization; language and music; language revitalization with music; genre