Members' news

Dear BFE members, please do share your news with us. Whether it be news about your latest fieldwork trip, your media work or your performances, the release of your new book, your new academic appointment or PhD completion, your success in contests, prizes and grants or any other achievement, we would like to hear about it.

To share your news, please write a short announcement, attach a picture or two and send them to our BFE Administrator: (Fiorella Montero Diaz)

Older news are in news archive.

We offer hearty congratulations to BFE member Liselotte Sels, whose new mongraph on Turkish folk music has just been published! The book, entitled 'Turkish Folk Music between Ghent and Turkey: Context, Performance, Function', explores musical, contextual and functional aspects of Turkish folk music in contemporary Turkey and the Turkish diaspora in the Belgian city of Ghent. Liselotte's work makes new contributions to scholarship in this area by including the transcription and analysis of performance styles, the evaluation of Turkish Radio and Television discourses and practices, and the exploration of understudied research contexts of Ghent and Emirdağ.

The book is now available to order online from the Equinox Publishing website, and there is a discount of 25% when using the code 'MUSIC' at checkout.

We offer huge congratulations to BFE Member Ross Cole, whose new monograph has just been published! Entitled 'The Folk: Music, Modernity, and the Political Imagination', this compelling work traces the musical culture of folk musicians in Britain and the US during the period of industrialisation from 1870 to 1930, and beyond. The work is published by University of California Press, Oakland and is available to purchase now from the UCP website and Amazon (paperback and Kindle editions).

Dear BFE Members,

We are inviting all members of the BFE to vote on the list of proposed sub-topics below, which will form the basis of the conference’s Call for Papers. We invite you to indicate up to four preferred options from this list:

  • Decolonising Ethnomusicology
  • Ethnomusicology Beyond the Academy
  • Ethnomusicological Discourse Beyond the Anglo-American
  • Ethnomusicology and Education
  • Ethnomusicology, Health and Wellbeing
  • Ethnomusicology and the Human Life Cycle: Children, Family, and the Elderly
  • Ethnomusicology and Privilege
  • Ethnomusicology and Racial (In)Justice

You can cast your vote until 11pm on Wednesday 9 June via this link:

We look forward to hearing your opinions and welcoming you to the conference in November.

The family of ethnomusicologist Peter Cooke, who passed away on 28th December 2020, have very kindly shared an online link for BFE members to virtually attend Peter's funeral:

Login: 68810

Password: rytrtweu

The funeral will take place on Monday 25th January at 11.30am UK time, and will last for 30 mins - although it may be possible to play back a recording of the event for a few days after as well. The order of service, which features a beautiful selection of images from across Peter's life and career, can be viewed by clicking here. Our thoughts are with Peter's family at this time, and we will be publishing a tribute to this much beloved member of the UK ethnomusicological community on the BFE website shortly.

It gives us great pleasure to announce that two fieldwork grants have been awarded for the 2020 BFE Fieldwork Grants scheme. Hearty congratulations are due to Yara Salahiddeen and Dunya Habash, who are the 2020 grant recipients. The winners introduce their innovative research projects below, and we look forward to hearing more about their work when they return from the field.

Yara Salahiddeen (Magdalen College Oxford) - Cultural Politics of Tarab: Music and Social Change during Egypt’s Nahda

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a vibrant cultural and intellectual movement developed across the Arab world known as the Nahda, often translated as the renaissance. My project examines the musical Nahda that transformed the soundscape of Egypt from the 1860s to the 1920s, and its connections with the period’s intense socio-political transformations. I investigate the affective and political impact of various musical forms on modern subjectivities of the time, as well as on wider discourses around the role of culture. Crucial to this soundscape was the social and musical phenomenon of tarab, which is often described as musical ecstasy but notoriously evades clear definition. I hope to clarify the aesthetic system and societal role of tarab during this period in particular. I am especially interested in the cultural semiotics that formed its practice, and how these were encoded and decoded through the sung taqtuqa and compound form of wasla.


Dunya Habash (St. Edmund's College Cambridge) - Syrian musicians and their 'emplacement' into Turkish society

My ethnographic research with Syrian musicians in Turkey examines the effects of ‘integration’ on music-making and more generally on Syrian cultural practices and imaginaries post-displacement. I am exploring how Syrian musicians, those who fled Syria after 2011 and settled in Turkey, place themselves and how they use music to belong to an ideational community in exile. When individuals are forced to leave their homes instead of consciously choosing to enter the diaspora, an accompanying inquiry is whether there are new constraints—be they political, economic, or social—that affect the way agents embed themselves in a new society and reconstruct their lives and identities? Rather than focusing on the ways in which Syrian music is transforming in displacement, I plan an innovative cross-disciplinary investigation of how Syrian musicians as agents embed themselves in their new homelands where changes in performance practice, physical space, and cultural norms must be accounted for. I hypothesize that the Syrian cultural imaginary is shifting as a result of ‘emplacement’ into Turkish society, and that this shift can be illustrated through musical practices. Investigating and analysing how Syrian musicians in Turkey—and displacement more generally—emplace themselves and how they use music to belong to an ideational community can give fresh insights into the relationship between structural forces and inner subjectivities.