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The British Forum for Ethnomusicology has written to the Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London to express concern regarding proposed cuts to music teaching and staff.

The Music Department at Goldsmiths has played a significant role in broadening the study of music in UK higher education, in part through its ethnomusicology programmes. Among other contributions, Music at Goldsmiths has established an influential and interdisciplinary ethnographic approach to aural and visual cultures, an accomplishment celebrated earlier this year with the publication of Ethnomusicology and Its Intimacies: Essays in Honour of John Baily, which brings together chapters on performance, biography, and film by several distinguished ethnomusicologists.

Goldsmiths has also shaped Music HE through the people it has trained. Several prominent senior UK music scholars studied ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths as MA or PhD students, and the tradition of educating future leaders continues, with a number of recent MA or PhD graduates currently making important contributions to musical practice and research at universities in the UK and abroad.

As a subject area whose members make up only a small proportion of the staff in most UK music and anthropology departments, we are aware that we are only able to make a positive impact on studies when we work in academic units that are open and inclusive. Goldsmiths has long epitomised such inclusiveness as an institution with a commitment to both academic and practical music studies, and to popular, folk, and classical musics from within and outside the West.

We urge Goldsmiths to continue to invest in a department that promotes this broad understanding of music studies, and in this way to contribute to the development and transformation of that subject area in the years to come.

The Executive Committee of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology

Ruard Absaroka

Cassandre Balosso-Bardin

Morgan Davies

Byron Dueck

Andrew Green

Lea Hagmann

Stina Homer

Matthew Machin-Autenrieth

Luigi Monteanni

Min Yen Ong

Helena Simonett

Jason Stanyek

Peter Underwood

Amanda Villepastour

Stephen Wilford

David Wong

Deadline for Nominations: Wednesday 8th May 2024

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks nominations for four positions on the BFE Executive Committee. The terms of several current members of the BFE Committee are coming an end and three members intend to stand for re-election.

The BFE is in need of dedicated Committee members who will make important contributions to the day-to-day running and future development of the BFE. In line with our ambitions as a subject association, we welcome nominations that will help the Committee reflect the diversity of our membership and discipline.

Please consider applying, especially if you have had experience of organising conferences.

General responsibilities of Committee members include:

  • attending 2–3 BFE Committee meetings each year
  • engaging proactively in BFE business
  • contributing creatively to BFE strategies and initiatives
  • engaging in regular email communication with the Committee
  • writing reports on BFE activities for the annual Chair’s Report and presenting these at the Annual General Meeting
  • participating, when necessary, in working groups on specific BFE tasks

The roles for Committee members in this election round are:

1) BFE Conference Liaison (3 positions)

Together, the BFE’s three conference liaisons oversee the society’s conference schedule, which involves:

  • Liaising with or serving on the local arrangements committees for the BFE’s Annual Conference and Autumn Conference and the BFE/RMA Research Student Conference
  • Facilitating additional study days on special subjects from time to time
  • Mentoring students and early-career researchers hosting a first conference for the BFE
  • Acting as the first point of contact for matters relating to BFE conferences and events
  • Representing the BFE at conferences and at meetings of the RMA Flagship Conferences Subcommittee (2 or 3 per year)
  • Corresponding with other subject associations (e.g., Society for Ethnomusicology, Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie, ICTMD-Ireland) to organise joint events
  • Providing reports on conference activities at BFE committee meetings.

2) Membership Liaison Officer (1 position)

The Membership Liaison Officer maintains and develops relationships between the membership of the BFE and the Executive Committee, including by bringing forward issues from members for consideration by the Committee. The Officer also works on initiatives related to membership and marketing in conjunction with the BFE General Administrator and the Membership Administrator.

To be nominated, please send a statement (300 words maximum) to the BFE Administrator, Morgan Davies ( ()) by the end of Wednesday 8th May. Statements will be forwarded to the BFE membership and the BFE email list prior to voting.

If you wish to stand for election you must be nominated by one BFE member and seconded by another. Please copy the nominators into the email containing your statement.

The statement should include:

  • Your name and a contact address
  • Current institutional affiliation (if affiliated)
  • The names of the BFE members who have nominated and seconded your candidacy
  • The role for which you are being nominated
  • A statement outlining your suitability for service on the BFE Committee, highlighting relevant skills and experience

You are very welcome to contact the BFE Administrator with questions about the post.

In order to vote you need to be a current member of BFE, so please renew your membership for 2024 if you have not done so already. Online voting will take place soon after the deadline for nominations and the results will be announced to the BFE membership and the BFE email list.


The British Forum for Ethnomusicology Early Career Prize is awarded biennially for a distinguished article or book chapter solely written by a BFE member in the early stages of their career. Articles/book chapters should be in English and be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal or edited collection between 16 December 2021 and 31 December 2023. Authors must be BFE members at the time of submission. (BFE membership corresponds with the calendar year.) Only one individually authored article OR book chapter can be submitted per nominee.

In terms of eligibility, the BFE has adapted the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s definition of an early career researcher as an individual who is EITHER: within eight years of their PhD viva/defence or completing an equivalent professional training; OR within six years of their first full- or part-time research and/or teaching appointment. The above time restrictions can exclude any period of career break for family care or health reasons.

Self-nominations are encouraged, but others can also nominate an author for the prize. Please ensure however that nominees are fully eligible, both with respect to BFE membership and early career status, and that they have not already nominated themselves.

Nominations should be accompanied by the article/book chapter and an abstract, as well as a CV or other piece of evidence that proves eligibility. These documents must be submitted electronically in pdf format to the Prizes Officer, Amanda Villepastour ( Any queries about the prize can also be sent to this email address.

All submissions must be received by Monday 26 February 2024 and the outcome will be announced in summer 2024. The prize winner will be invited to deliver a keynote lecture at the annual BFE-RMA Research Students’ Conference in January 2025.




Please respond by 1st March 2024

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) invites expressions of interest from institutions interested in hosting either the BFE’s Autumn Conference in 2024 or the Annual Conference in April 2025.

Autumn Conference 2024

The BFE Autumn Conference is usually held on a Saturday in November (although late October and early December are also possibilities). This conference is more narrowly themed than the Annual Conference and focuses on specific, sometimes emerging, areas of ethnomusicologicial enquiry. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

A summary of past Autumn Conferences can be found at

Annual Conference 2025

The BFE Annual Conference runs for four days (usually from Thursday to Sunday) and is normally held in April during the Easter vacation period. The Annual Conference typically has a theme, although delegates may present research on any subject of interest to ethnomusicologists.

A summary of past Annual Conferences can be found at

BFE conferences will be the financial responsibility of the host institution, but the local arrangements committee will be supported by the BFE’s conference liaison officer(s).

To express interest in hosting either conference, please send no more than one side of paper outlining:

• a proposed theme and description;

• who will be responsible for planning the event;
• the advantages of hosting it at your institution.

Expressions of interest should be sent to the conference liaison officer, Matthew Machin-Autenrieth at If you would like to have an informal conversation about hosting the conference before sending an expression of interest, do please get in touch.



Deadline for Expressions of Interest: 1st March 2024

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks expressions of interest for the election of a conference liaison on the BFE Executive Committee. This is to replace the outgoing conference liaison from April 2024.

It is vital for the future of the BFE that we have a strong Committee so please do consider nominating yourself. We are looking for committed committee members who will make an important contribution to the day-to-day running and future development of the BFE. In line with our equality ambitions as a subject association, we welcome nominations that will help the Committee reflect the diversity of our membership and discipline.

General responsibilities of committee members include:

  • attending 2-3 BFE Committee meetings each year
  • engaging proactively in BFE business
  • contributing creatively to BFE strategies and initiatives
  • engaging in regular email communication with the Committee
  • writing short reports on BFE activities for the annual Chair’s Report
  • participating, when necessary, in working groups on specific BFE tasks

Specific Roles for the Conference Liaison

  • Serving on the local arrangements committees for the BFE’s annual and autumn conferences, as well as other events/study days run by the BFE or in collaboration with other organisations.
  • Being the first point of contact for any matters relating to BFE conferences and events.
  • Representing the BFE at the January BFE–RMA Research Students’ Conference, at meetings of the RMA Flagship Conferences Subcommittee (2 or 3 per year), and through regular correspondence with the RMA and other subject associations (e.g., SEM, Analytical Approaches to World Music, Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie).
  • Providing oral reports on conference activities at BFE committee meetings.

Expressions of interest should include the following:

  • A CV
  • A 300 word statement detailing your relevant experience and skills for the role

Expressions of interest should be sent to Matthew Machin-Autenrieth ( ()) and copied to Morgan Davis ( ()) by 1st March 2024. 

We are thrilled to announce the publication of the book “Drones, Tones, and Timbres: Sounding Place among Nomads of the Inner Asian Mountain-Steppes” (University of Illinois Press) by Carole Pegg, former BFE chairperson and co-founder of the British Journal for Ethnomusicology (now Ethnomusicology Forum).

Carole says: "I’m grateful to the Indigenous Altai-Sayan peoples - including musicians, spiritual specialists (shamans, epic performers, White Way practitioners, Tengrists), instrument makers, herders, hunters and colleagues - in the republics of Altai, Khakassia, and Tyva who participated in my ethnomusicological/ anthropological project. It is available as cloth or ebook from the Press’s website, which also houses supplemental video, audio and illustrative materials, as well as from Amazon and hopefully all good bookshops.."

360 pages, 30 black & white photographs, 1 chart, 4 table.

BFE member Razia Sultanova is delighted to announce the publication of a new book "Afghanistan Dispossessed: Women, Culture and the Taliban" (Pen & Sword History, 2023). This the most recent ethnographic research, coupled with deep fieldwork, extensive eye-witness accounts, and personal conversations with a diverse range of Afghan men and women, tackles fundamental questions of gender, identity, nation, tradition, history, popular culture, and notably, the pivotal role of music—ranging from classical to popular, modern, and contemporary—as a vital element for survival. However, this narrative is overshadowed by the return of the Taliban, with an ongoing threat of terror and repression, especially for women and girls. It unfolds as a classical story of a people's struggle for everyday normality and the preservation of cherished traditions in a war-torn society.

BFE member Stuart Young is working alongside Kate Lock to support the Brass Bands England (BBE) climate working group. Learning from the BBE working group will help inform resources, training and advice that will be available to the BBE membership to support their own work to become increasingly environmentally sustainable organisations.

Kate Lock works professionally as a climate policy communicator based at Leeds University and Stuart’s architectural practice focused on green developments and building resilience for the future as well as developing climate tools and advice as part of the Sheffield Brass Network where he is Secretary.

Jonathan Stock is delighted to announce publication of a new book, The Oxford Handbook of Music in China and the Chinese Diaspora (New York: Oxford, 2023). It’s a set of 24 innovative essays by an international team of contributors, each of which advances new knowledge and understandings on Chinese music studies through new research and by developing fresh theoretical models and perspectives into key musical genres and contexts. The largest single-volume book on Chinese musical cultures in English to date, it was co-edited with Professor Yu Hui (Yunnan University) and represents a unique cooperative approach that strongly features authors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and diasporic Chinese communities worldwide.

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology invites submissions for the 2024 BFE Book Prize, to recognise outstanding scholarship in ethnomusicology written in English. Monographs and edited volumes published between 16 November 2021 and 15 November 2023 will be eligible for the 2024 prize. The book submission deadline is Thursday 1 February 2024. To find out more, visit the Book Prize page of the BFE website.