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The RMA and BFE welcome expressions of interest from PhD students to host a study day in music studies. The societies are able to provide financial and organisational support for a themed event that aims to connect ethnomusicological and musicological approaches. The study day is intended to be largely by and for students, but with the participation of more senior academics welcome. By way of guidance, previous years' themes have included: Music and Mobilities; Music, Circulation and the Public Sphere; and Music, Wellbeing and Mental Health.

If you are interested, please send a short proposal including institutional details, theme, the name of an academic mentor who is willing to support the study day, and the format of the event to:

Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (mm2085atcam.ac.uk)
Steve Wilford (stephen.wilford.1atcity.ac.uk)
Susan Bagust (sjbagustatonetel.com)

Deadline for expressions of interest: 18th June
 

The BFE is keen to provide financial help for student members to assist with their attendance at the 2018 BFE One-day Conference in Keele. To this end, the BFE has created a small bursary fund that will provide a £40 contribution towards travel to the conference and conference fee for up to ten successful applicants. Applicants must be BFE members in good standing, and will need to send a short statement of interest that includes the reason for their application.

Prospective presenters can apply for bursaries when submitting an abstract, and applications should be sent to the BFE conference email address: bfeoneday2018atgmail.com). In the event of a greater number of applications being received than there are bursaries available, student presenters will be prioritized. Please refer to the conference website for registration details.

Deadline for non-presenter submissions is Friday 1st September 2018, and bursary award winners will be notified in early October.

The BFE Student Prize for 2018 recognises an outstanding paper presented by a student at this year’s BFE Annual Conference, hosted by the University of Newcastle, 12-15 April 2018. We are delighted to award the prize to Katie Young (Royal Holloway, University of London) whose paper is described below. We would also like to thank everyone who submitted a paper this year, and all BFE student members are encouraged to submit papers for next year’s conference at the University of Aberdeen in 2019.

Katie Young – ‘“If You Know Arabic, Indian Songs Are Easy For You”: Hindi Film Songs and the mawlid in Tamale, Northern Ghana.’

This very well researched ethnographic paper provides fascinating insights into memory and pedagogy in Hindi film reception in cinema halls post-1957 by African Muslim audiences in Tamale, Northern Ghana. Young examines how modes of listening learned in Qur’anic schools have affected active response to Hindi film in terms of audition and recitation.  The memorisation of both Arabic religious texts and Hindi songs are revealed to have meanings not associated directly with context but rather with the act of sounding and re-sounding these texts. Young’s original primary research undertaken in 2016 and 2017 on the adaptation of Hindi song melodies in Tamale’s Islamic schools demonstrates how mawlid praises in Arabic have been set to well known Hindi film songs, a practice her interviewees describe as natural due to the similarities of the two non-native languages and the timbral and decorative vocal styles of both the call to prayer and Hindi film song performance.

Young makes a powerful contribution to a range of fields including the study of Islam, linguistics, music learning, (post)colonialism, and South-South cultural flows. Most importantly, through this paper Katie Young suggests an innovative approach to ‘listening’ that combines pedagogy with pleasure and religious doctrine with popular culture, in ways that challenge longstanding boundaries within our research fields. The original and imaginative paper brings together a thorough historical account with lively first-hand descriptions, also supported by very illustrative audio-visual extracts.

This paper makes a valuable contribution to the discipline, and is a pleasure to read.

 

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz (Chair BFE Student Prize Panel)

Dr Sue Miller

Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis

 



3 May 2018

The BFE is delighted to announce the introduction of a new Ethnomusicology Film Award at the RAI Film Festival, to be held from 27-30 March 2019 at the Watershed Cinema in Bristol (UK). Submissions to the Festival are now open. Films can be submitted via a (short) form on the RAI website or via FilmFreeway. The description of the Ethnomusicology Film Award can be found in the 'Awards' section of the BFE website here. We welcome submissions from independent filmmakers as well as researchers in all areas of music and sound studies. We look forward to receiving your submissions and watching your films!

The BFE Committee is delighted to announce that Dr Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University) has now taken up the position of Chair of the BFE. The previous Chair, Dr Barley Norton, will remain on the Committee for a short transition period, but all matters relating to the Chair’s role should now be directed to the new Chair. Many congratulations to Simon!

With the new Committee members previously announced, the BFE Committee is comprised as follows:

Chair: 
Simon McKerrell
 
Committee Members: 
Ruard Absaroka
Stephen Wilford
Shzr Ee Tan
Fiorella Montero Diaz
Deirdre Morgan
Matthew Machin-Autenrieth
Frances Wilkins
David Wong
 

Dear BFE members, 

Following the recent call for nominations for election to the BFE Committee, I would like to update you on the membership of the Committee.

Following the call, we received nominations from Deirdre Morgan (Membership Liaison), Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (Conference Co-Liaison), Ruard Absaroka (Treasurer) and David Wong (Website Administrator). 

As the four nominations did not exceed the number of Committee places available, voting is not required and all nominated candidates are deemed to have been elected (see Rule 7ii of the BFE constitution, see https://www.bfe.org.uk/constitution).

I’m delighted, therefore, to welcome Deirdre and Matthew to the Committee and I am pleased that Ruard Absaroka and David Wong are re-elected to their current roles. These appointments will commence following the next AGM at our annual conference in Newcastle. At the next AGM, Frances Wilkins (Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen) will also be co-opted for a one-year term as Annual Conference Liaison. 

Three committee members, Byron Dueck, Ilana Webster-Kogen and Keith Howard have come to the end of their terms and will stand down after the next AGM. On behalf of the committee, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Byron, Ilana and Keith for the invaluable contribution they have made to the BFE. Although no longer on the Committee, Keith has agreed to continue to act as the ICTM Liaison until the next ICTM World Conference in Bangkok in July 2019, for which he is programme co-chair. 

Calls for further nominations to posts on the BFE Committee will be sent out later in the year.

Barley Norton

Chair, British Forum for Ethnomusicology

https://www.bfe.org.uk

chairatbfe.org.uk

Congratulations to BFE member Frances Wilkins, who has released a new book publication in the SOAS Musicology Series called Singing The Gospel Along Scotland's North-East Coast, 1859-2009 (Routledge 2018). This volume will be of interest to anyone with an interest in various aspects of ethnomusicology, including sacred singing traditions, congregational singing, Scottish ethnology, hymnody, group singing. music and revival, history of Scottish music in worship. 

Frances will be officially launching the book during the BFE annual conference in Newcastle in April 2018, and further details about the book (including a link to purchase the volume in both Hardback and eBook formats) follow below. Well done Frances!

Frances Wilkins, Singing The Gospel Along Scotland's North-East Coast, 1859-2009, Routledge, SOAS Musicology Series, 2018

Following three years of ethnomusicological fieldwork on the sacred singing traditions of evangelical Christians in North-East Scotland and Northern Isles coastal communities, Frances Wilkins documents and analyses current singing practices in this book by placing them historically and contemporaneously within their respective faith communities. In ascertaining who the singers were and why, when, where, how and what they chose to sing, the study explores a number of related questions. How has sacred singing contributed to the establishment and reinforcement of individual and group identities both in the church and wider community? What is the process by which specific regional repertoires and styles develop? Which organisations and venues have been particularly conducive to the development of sacred singing in the community? How does the subject matter of songs relate to the immediate environment of coastal inhabitants? How and why has gospel singing in coastal communities changed? 

These questions are answered with comprehensive reference to interview material, fieldnotes, videography and audio field recordings. As one of the first pieces of ethnomusicological research into sacred music performance in Scotland, this ethnography draws important parallels between practices in the North East and elsewhere in the British Isles and across the globe.

https://www.routledge.com/Singing-the-Gospel-along-Scotlands-North-East-Coast-18592009/Wilkins/p/book/9780415788021

 

Following the call for applications for the 2018 BFE Fieldwork Grant Awards scheme, the BFE is delighted to announce that a total of four fieldwork grants have been awarded for 2018. Once again, the standard of applications was extremely high. We offer our congratulations to Sara Selleri, Georgette Nummelin, Gabrielle Messeder and Soosan Lolavar, who are the 2018 grant recipients. For further information about their fieldwork research projects see: https://bfe.org.uk/news/bfe-fieldwork-award-winners-2018

Barley Norton
Chair, British Forum for Ethnomusicology
chairatbfe.org.uk

Following last year's call for applications to the BFE Fieldwork Grant Awards scheme, we are delighted to announce that a total of four fieldwork grants have been awarded for 2018. Once again, the standard of applications was extremely high. We offer huge congratulations to Sara Selleri, Georgette Nummelin, Gabrielle Messeder and Soosan Lolavar, who are the 2018 grant recipients. The winners introduce their exciting research projects below, and we look forward to hearing more about their work when they return from the field.

Sara Selleri (SOAS, University of London)

My research explores dynamics of inclusion, representation and discrimination in society at large and within higher education music institutions and curricula in Puerto Rico. I look at how music transmission practices and academic institutions can be a product of the socio-cultural background they operate in, and how historically constructed and culturally inherited factors such as internalized colonization, gender discrimination etc. play an important part in determining “which music” or “whose music” is taught and recognized a higher status in academia and society. I’m interested in uncovering where there are correspondences or differentiations in such interrelationships, questioning the repercussions one has on the other in (re)constructing and perpetrating present discriminations of historically excluded groups, both in society and in music.

 

Gabrielle Messeder (City, University of London)

I'm researching contemporary practices of Brazilian music and dance in Lebanon. Focussing primarily on the genres of samba, bossa nova and música popular brasileira (MPB), I aim to trace their development from the bossa-influenced sound of recordings by Fairouz and Ziad Rahbani in the 1970s to the bands and blocos that perform in Lebanon today. I'll explore the unique, ambivalent and sometimes contested space that the performance of Brazilian music by both Brazilian and non-Brazilian performers occupies in the cosmopolitan Lebanese musical milieu, and discuss how issues of cultural conservatism, exoticism and stereotyping shape the production, performance and reception of Brazilian music and dance in Lebanon today.

 

 

Georgette Nummelin (SOAS, University of London)

My project explores how contemporary music can be used to support the maintenance and revitalisation of Ainu language and identity. My fieldwork will take me to Japan to engage with professional and amateur performers and composers, and with the diverse audiences that engage with the music. Additionally, I will be engaging with Ainu language learners of both Ainu and non-Ainu heritage. The aim of my research is to draw on these participants’ experience of learning, creating and performing contemporary Ainu identity through music and language, and to document how these practices can affect the revitalisation of cultural traditions and the Ainu language.

 

 

 

 

Soosan Lolavar (City, University of London)

My research brings together the methodologies of composition and ethnomusicology to explore a new movement in music in Iran in which musicians and composers combine aspects of Iranian classical music with ideas more commonly associated with Western music. My work will present both a written ethnography and portfolio of compositions considering the creative, social and political effects of drawing from these two forms, particularly against the backdrop of a post-revolutionary Iran in which objects of Western culture are often associated with the imperialism and colonialism. 

As an official nominating body, the BFE proposed candidates to the panels for the REF 2021 at the end of 2017, and the panel appointments have now been announced. Many congratulations to BFE Chair, Barley Norton, who has been appointed to the REF sub-panel UOA33 for both the criteria and assessment phase. Additional panel members for the assessment phase will be appointed in 2020. Full details of the panels are here: https://www.ref.ac.uk/about/membership

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