Dr. Emily Gale

Assistant Professor


Musicology & Ethnomusicology


Dr. Emily Gale is a feminist music scholar and Assistant Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology in the Music Department. Her book in progress, Sentimental Songs for Sentimental People: An Unheard History of US Popular Music, analyses the politics of affect and sentimentality within US popular musics from the late eighteenth century to the present. Chapters on love, youth, death, tears, home, and feels tune in to the counterpublic reverberations of a repertory long-considered trite, and even embarrassing, revealing unexpected political histories and unlikely entanglements. She has been broadcasting radio shows about this research since 2019 (on SUB_ʇXƎʇ and on UCC98.3FM). 

A pianist, singer, and melodica player, Gale has performed with new music ensembles, rock bands, and as a soloist. She serves on the executive committees for IASPM UK & Ireland and IASPM US and her voice appears as a pop commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered and in the Los Angeles Times. She has also served as vice president of a regional symphony, director of a campus and community arts series, and project coordinator for a youth arts engagement program. She lectured in Popular Music Studies at Ireland’s University College Cork (2020-23) and in Global Arts Studies at the University of California, Merced (2014-18) where the LGBTQ+ Initiatives office awarded her the Faculty Building Community Award.  

Gale earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa in 2005 and an M.A. in Music Theory from the University of Western Ontario in 2007. After spending a year in the inaugural class of Western’s M.A. in Popular Music and Culture (2007-08), she entered the Critical and Comparative Studies program at the University of Virginia where she completed her Ph.D. in 2014.