Leah Morrison

Adjunct assistant professor

Leah Morrison, adjunct assistant professor of musicology, holds a PhD in musicology from USC and maintains two areas of specialization: plainchant and  liturgical practice prior to 1500 and 19th-century music. Her dissertation, an edition of a fifteenth-century Carthusian plainchant manual, was supported by a Huntington Library Mellon Fellowship. She received a Heckman Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, work on Carthusian liturgy and comparative chant dialects. Her publications include articles in Studia Musicologia, Notes, and the Opera Journal.

Professional experience

Research Interests:

Selected Papers:

  • “Wives, Bars, and Little American Girls: Modernism and the Search for Relevance in European Music after World War I;”
  • Cum Bona fit Concordia Maxime in Choro: Carthusian Liturgical Practice at Valle di Pesio in the Mid-Fifteenth Century.”
  • “‘Stick to the Opinions Held in Your Church’: A Carthusian’s Advice on the Applications of Plainchant Theory.”
  • “More Greenery! More Foliage!: German Set Design 1813-1883 and Wagner’s Quest for Illusion.”
  • “The Conductor as Interpreter: Wagner’s Programmatic Approach to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”

General Research Interests:

  • Rituals and liturgical practice
  • 19th-century opera
  • Richard Wagner


  • “Constructing Cantus securus: Reaping Advice from Cantor cartusiensis.” Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 45/1-2, 2004, 189-200.
  • “Scenography, Reality and Gesamtkunstwerk: Nineteenth-Century Operatic Set Design in Germany.” The Opera Journal (27) 1994, 14-22.