News archive

Frances Wilkins, Visiting Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Scottish Music at the University of Aberdeen, is currently undertaking a fieldwork trip to the James Bay area in (cold) Canada. Her research focuses on fiddle music of James Bay, Ontario, and its links to the musical traditions of the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland. See her blog with more information, photographs and videos related to the field research. This research has been possible thanks to a small Research Grant in the Arts and Humanities from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a small research grant from the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK. 

Sue Miller received her PhD in Cuban flute improvisation in charanga performance at the University of Leeds in early 2011. Her book proposal Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation has been accepted by Scarecrow Press (USA) and will be published in late 2012. For an additional chapter on the five-key wooden charanga flute, she has now been awarded a Wingate Scholarship. This grant will be used for an intensive three week course of lessons on the five-key wooden charanga flute in Havana from 12 December 2011 to 4 January 2012. She will be studying with renowned five-key flute players such as Polo Tamayo (Buena Vista Social Club and Charanga Rubalcaba) and Joaquín Oliveros (Orquesta Enrique Jorrín). For more information on her research and the charanga orquestra she created in 1998, see this report and her website. Congratulations, Sue, on this award and all these good news! 

Subroto Roy, scholar on Indian Art Music, received an international fellowship from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Colombo, Sri Lanka. It has started on November 1, 2011 under its mandated project 'Diminishing Cultures of South Asia'. Roy will especially focus on the 'Musicoreligious Expression through Saama Veda Singing'. He is currently undertaking field trips to different parts of India to audio/video record living masters and students of the Saama Kouthuma branch of this most ancient form of formalised singing. Congratulations, Roy! 

r Anna Marie Stirr, currently a postdoctoral fellow for Asian Modernities and Traditions at the University of Leiden (Netherlands), and formerly a Mellon Career Development Fellow in Ethnomusicology at Oxford University, will start her new post as Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa on January 1st, 2012. Congratulations, Anna! Please read more about her research and her book “Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimacy in Migrant Nepal” (in preparation) on her website.

An inspiring conference, titled Beyond Borders: World-Music-Pedagogy, brought together leading scholars in the fields of ethnomusicology and music pedagogy at Rostock University of Music and Drama (Germany) from 11th to 13th November 2011. The keynote lecture was given by Professor Patricia Campbell (University of Washington, Seattle).

Congratulations to Martin Stokes who has recently been appointed as the new King Edward Professor of Music at King's College London. He will join the Department of Music in September 2012. For further details, see here

This BFE Student Prize is offered for the best student paper presented at the BFE annual conference, 2011. This year’s prize is awarded to Emma Brinkhurst, currently writing up her PhD thesis in ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths, University of London, for her paper "‘Natural frequencies’: poetic mediation in the Somali community of London’s King’s Cross." The judges were impressed by many aspects of Emma’s paper. They found Emma’s writing to be evocative and engaging and her paper clearly researched and structured. She presented some innovative ideas about the nature of musical and poetic mediation in a vivid and sophisticated manner. All judges were impressed with her creative interweaving of insightful interpretations of fieldwork data with relevant theoretical concepts, which were convincingly interrogated. Congratulations, Emma, on this award!

Dr Thomas Hilder has recently been appointed Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Center for World Music, University of Hildesheim, Germany. In this post he will continue with his research on contemporary Sámi popular music and begin a new project on music, gender and sexuality in a transnational context. Congratulations, Thomas! 

Liselotte Sels is currently working on her PhD in Arts at the University College Ghent, in collaboration with Ghent University. Her research focuses on the manifestations of Turkish folk music in the diasporic context of the city of Ghent (Belgium). The project is not only about the analysis of the musical expressions and their meanings and functions but will also facilitate diverse kinds of new music in collaboration with other relevant composers (to “deconstruct Turkish Folk music”). Read more here. Recently, Sels has gone to Turkey for further fieldwork which aimed at mapping the manifestations (repertoire and performance modes), meanings and functions of Turkish folk music in different regions and contexts relevant to the manifestations in Ghent.  

The Memory of the World Programme was launched by UNESCO in 1992 to ‘guard against collective amnesia by through the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination.‘ The Memory of the World Register covers all types of material and support, including stone, celluloid, parchment, audio recordings and more. More details about the Register are here. Richard Ranft, Head of Sound and Vision with a team of colleagues, submitted a detailed proposal nominating the Library’s Historic Ethnographic Recordings to the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Committee last year. The Historic Ethnographic Recordings collection contains many rare early recordings made by linguists and musicologists from around the world capturing the music and speech of different cultures. 

You can hear one of the recordings here. Another example of a recording on wax cylinder featuring an English Folk Dance is here