John F. Paul

Chair of the Department of Music

John F. Paul - Chair of the Department of Music
Mary Baker Russell Music Center - Room 206
Mon - Fri:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Professional
  • Personal

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Associate Professor of Music
  • Analyzing Music, 20th-Century Music


  • D.M., Composition, Indiana University, 1995
  • M.M., Composition, Indiana University, 1983
  • B.M., University of Texas at Austin, 1978

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Applied Composition Lessons
  • 20th-Century Music
  • Music Analysis
  • Composition


John F. Paul is Chair of the Department of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University, where he teaches Applied Composition Lessons, Analyzing Music, and 20th-Century Music.  Before joining the music faculty at PLU, Dr. Paul served for 13 years as Chair of the Department of Music at Marylhurst University, where he strengthened the quality and enrollment of the school’s music programs, re-established its composition degree, and held the Joseph Naumes Chair in Music   He is active in the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), serving on its Commission on Accreditation through November 2018. He has also served a three-year term on its Board of Directors as chair of the Northwest Region and participated on a taskforce to update accreditation standards for Sacred Music programs.  He continues to serve the association as a visiting evaluator.

Dr. Paul is an active composer in both traditional and contemporary formats, and is a recipient of a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission.  Former composer and audio group manager of Atari Games/Time-Warner Interactive, Paul’s videogame credits include the music scores and sound-designs for Gauntlet Legends, Maximum Force, and Pit-fighter, and sound-design for Wayne Gretzky’s 3-D Hockey.  As a guest composer at the Institute of Psycho-acoustics and Electronic Music (I.P.E.M) in Ghent, Belgium, Paul spent a year creating works to be broadcast over Belgian National Radio.  His original score to FW Murnau’s silent film City Girl has been presented at the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival, Astoria Music Festival, and by the Vancouver (WA) Symphony.

A native of Iowa, Paul completed his Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in Composition at Indiana University-Bloomington.  His primary teachers include Donald Grantham, John Eaton and Donald Erb (composition); Stephen Clapp (violin); and Stefan Kostka, David Neumeyer and Allen Winold (theory).