BFE Podcast Guidelines

General Requirements

  • Duration: approx. 10 minutes
  • Distribution: approx. 6 minutes words / 4 minutes music 
  • Maximal duration of a musical piece or extract: 30 seconds
  • Sound format: WAV or MP3 (WAV preferred)

Oral Presentation

Audio podcasts should be either read from the script as naturally as possible or spoken off the page ad-lib. Both techniques require a number of rules applied by audio presenters.

Our recommendations are:

  • Speak slowly (max. 150 words/min)
  • Breathe naturally (don’t cut your breaths off when editing your text)
  • Imagine your audience when recording your text (who are you telling your story to?)

Possible Formats

A) Sequenced Programme:

Here you are the only speaker. You tell a story about an exciting topic and illustrate it with musical examples.

B) Interview:

You conduct an interview with one or more expert/s on your topic. This interview needs to be edited. Shorten your interviewees' answers to their essence without changing the meaning of them. Turn taking is important. The maximal duration of your interviewees' answer should be 20-30 seconds.

Audio example for Interview:

'The School of Arts Podcasts on... Podcasting' - SOAS School of Arts Podcast Series. Presenter: Caspar Melville; Producers: Lucy Durán and Morgan Davies.

(Featured with kind permission)

C) 'On Location' Feature:

This is the most complex genre. You take your listener on a journey to a specific sonic event and lead her or him through it by 1) describing what you see and do, 2) speaking to people you encounter on the spot, 3) including the sonic environments and soundscapes to your on location experience: waterfalls, noises of an outdoor market, children laughing, dogs barking, steps on the frozen ground etc. and 4) by giving more background information to your listener when you're back home in the 'studio'.

Audio example for 'On Location' Feature:

'World Routes in Madagascar' – Programme 2 of 6 (first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 16th January 2010). Presenter: Lucy Durán; Producer: James Parkin.

Podcast script for 'World Routes in Madagascar' – Programme 2 (Lucy Durán, SOAS - reproduced with kind permission)

Podcast Scripts

A podcast script is the written scheme of your podcast. It should include a text version of your narrative as well as any incidental sounds you use, any interview extracts that are featured, and references to any music examples you include. The language of your spoken text will differ from an academic written article in that it resembles much more spoken language.  This can by achieved by the following recommendations:

  • Write short, simple and concise sentences (avoid relative clauses)
  • Use active language (active rather than passive verbs make your language vivid)
  • Use the present tense whenever possible
  • When reading your text slowly, you should need no more than max. 1 min before providing a music example, the voice of an interviewee or a sonic interruption
  • Try to calculate max. 6 min of speaking time per podcast
  • Remember not to read more than max. 150 words/min
  • Cite the sources for your background information at the end of your script
  • Include the references to your audio sources in the script


  1. Your references system should follow the Harvard Referencing citation system, as used in BFE's Ethnomusicology Forum journal. References should be included at the end of the podcast script.
  2. The audio sources must contain the following information and are cited directly in the podcast script, where the music will occur:
  • Music format (e.g. WAV, MP3)
  • Artist(s)
  • Track title
  • Label
  • Producer
  • Year
  • Duration of excerpt

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