News archive

We are pleased to announce the publication of the new book Contemporary Carioca: Technologies of Mixing in a Brazilian Music Scene (Duke University Press) by Frederick Moehn. The book introduces a generation of Rio-based musicians who collaboratively have reinvigorated Brazilian genres, such as samba and maracatu, through juxtaposition with international influences, including rock, techno, and funk. Christopher Dunn, the coeditor of Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship says: "Contemporary Carioca is an engaging study of musical production in Brazil that focuses on a group of Rio-based, middle-class musicians who emerged in the 1980s and 1990s and continue to produce innovative work. Among the book's many strengths is its organization around individual artists and the ways that they have approached questions of globalization, national identity, social class, race, and gender. Frederick Moehn succeeds admirably in describing and analyzing the specificity of Brazilian strategies for negotiating global and local musical practices." For more information, and to order the book directly from Duke University Press, please visit this website

Book: Music, Emotion and Identity in Ulster Marching BandsGordon Ramsey of Queen's University, Belfast has recently published his book Music, Emotion and Identity in Ulster Marching Bands: Flutes, Drums and Loyal Sons with Peter Lang Publishers. The author explores the emotional rewards of communal music-making within this vibrant but controversial working-class tradition, and examines the way that identities are formed through the acquisition of tastes, competences and skills within the contexts of practices, parades and 'battle of the band' contests. Gordon is currently seeking to develop a new project on the embodied politics of Ulster loyalism, and the central role played by musicking in its reproduction and transformation. Read more here

Jonathan Stock has moved from the University of Sheffield (via a one-year posting in Sydney) to a permanent position as Professor of Music and Head of Department at University College Cork, Ireland. Congratulations, Jonathan! For his current email, click ( this link)

Congratulations to David Kaminsky whose article, “Gender and Sexuality in the Polska: Swedish Couple Dancing and the Challenge of Egalitarian Flirtation” in Ethnomusicology Forum 20(2), August 2011, pp. 123–52 has been given the Marcia Herndon award for 2012 by the Society for Ethnomusicology. The citation reads: “The Herndon Award Committee identified David Kaminsky’s article as one that demonstrates innovative application of theory and is written convincingly using compelling ethnographic data. It is a critical analysis of the interactions between two forces currently at work in the Swedish polska dance scene: a gender--- neutral pedagogical system and a heteronormative social dance environment.” In recognition of the award, David’s article has been made a free download for a limited period of time. Access it here

Emma Brinkhurst has recently completed her PhD thesis, entitled “Music, Memory and Belonging: Oral Tradition and Archival Engagement Among the Somali Community of London’s King’s Cross”. Emma’s PhD was carried out at Goldsmiths, University of London, in collaboration with the British Library’s World and Traditional Music section. Her thesis focuses on the continuation of oral traditions in the Somali community of King’s Cross. Through her research she facilitated community engagement with archival sound recordings at the British Library. Congratulations, Emma! 

The Digital Children’s Folksongs for Language and Cultural Learning (Folk DC) project is a European Union project designed to motivate young language learners to engage with language learning through using Folk songs, and activities around the songs. The songs are in 10 European languages (Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish). The project has producing a complete package for schools (Autonomous Teacher Training Tool kit – ATTT) so that schools all over Europe can take part in the project. Browse the Folk DC website! The end of the project will be marked by simultaneous live concerts in five European countries (UK, Turkey, Finland, Romania and Spain), live streamed on 23 April 2013.

Canadian ethnomusicologist, Michael Marcuzzi, died in September after a long battle with cancer. Michael had close friends and collaborators in the British ethnomusicology, drumming and Santería communities, and visited London in 2007 to run a summer school at SOAS titled "Orisha Music Around the Atlantic." Michael will be sorely missed by us all! 

The Austronesian-speaking Sama peoplese make up one of the most widespread cultural groups within the Southeast Asian island world. The so-called sea-nomadic Sama Dilaut, part of the linguistic sub-group of the Sama-Bajau, form a very distinct community both socially and culturally. The performing arts are a crucial part of their life and cultural identity. Yet, previous studies of Sama Dilaut societies have hardly touched upon their music or dance forms. The volume “Oceans of Sound: Sama Dilaut Performing Art (2012), edited by Birgit Abels with Hanafi Hussin and Matthew Santamaria attempts to close this gap in our knowledge. 

This special issue includes contributions by prominent music researchers based in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. One of the first attempts to present scholarly work on music in colonial era East Asia in a thematically coordinated manner, the issue delineates experiences of colonialism and modernity among musicians in Korea, Taiwan, Japanese occupied Shanghai, and naichi or ‘home islands’ Japan. A study of musical interface between French colonists and Vietnamese in prewar Hanoi offers a comparative perspective on music and colonial modernity in what had formerly been part of the cultural Sinosphere. More information.

The Essex University based project The Angolan Roots of Capoeira: Transatlantic links of a Globalised Performing Art has started a crowd funding campaign to raise money for the completion of the feature-length documentary film. It runs until 17th January 2013. Together with the ethnomusicologist Christine Dettmann, the interdisciplinary team visited Angola twice, focusing on combat games and musical instruments which are said to have ancestral links to the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira. Watch and read more on the campaign website as well as the film website.