BFE member organises 5th International Bagpipe Conference at Harvard

We are enormously proud and thrilled to announce that the upcoming 5th International Bagpipe Conference will take place at Harvard University from 13th to 15th March 2020! The International Bagpipe Organisation (IBO) was founded in 2012 by IBO Director and BFE member Cassandre Balosso-Bardin, who is also Lecturer in Music at the University of LIncoln and an expert pipe player. Huge congratulations Cassandre!

The IBO has created a platform where bagpipe studies and music can be shared on an international level. Academic and non-academic studies of bagpipes have been carried out in many different parts of the world but the knowledge is often constrained to a geographical area. The IBO, with the organisation of a biennal International Bagpipe Conference, wishes to remedy this and bring the study of bagpipes to the world.

The International Bagpipe Organisation presents the
13-15 March 2020

Harvard University, Boston, USA


Bagpipes and Diaspora

Abstract submission deadline: 15 September 2019
Abstract acceptance notification: 15 October 2019
Abstract length: 250 words

The International Bagpipe Organisation warmly invites you to participate in the Fifth International Bagpipe Conference (IBC) to mark International Bagpipe Day 2020 (10 March), a celebration of the world’s diverse bagpipes and bagpiping traditions. The conference will spread over three days, starting on Friday evening with an opening concert and ending on Sunday afternoon. The conference will be held over a range of venues in Boston, USA. The Friday evening concert and the Saturday conference will be held at Harvard University. Social events on Saturday evening and Sunday all day will be held in Boston.

The conference is a productive and welcoming platform for all people interested in the study of bagpipes: musicologists, ethnomusicologists, music experts, instrument makers, folk musicians, dancers and music lovers. This event is an exciting interdisciplinary opportunity to debate various questions relating to the study of bagpipes both today and historically. All are welcome, whether you choose to present or simply listen and enjoy the atmosphere. The IBCs are friendly events, open to all, promoting bagpipes from all around the world.

In 2020, we will take the conference to the United States where we will explore bagpipes in diasporic communities. Indeed, in line with the anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower and the founding of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, we will be looking at how pipers from around the world have spread their customs and music all around the world, helping sustain communities or forging new identities far away from home. Presenters from the U.S. and from the rest of the world are welcome to present on themes directly linked to bagpipes.

Papers touching on topics linked to migration, identity, community and diaspora, both within the U.S. and in the rest of the world are specifically welcome. Papers touching on other themes such as organology, playing techniques, ornamentation, history, iconography, instrument making, recordings, archiving, collecting, composing will also be considered.

Interested participants are to submit a paper title, an abstract of no more than 250 words complete with an institutional affiliation or profession and contact details by 15 September 2019 to

Due to a large amount of applications the previous years, abstracts from people who are applying for the first time or who did not present in 2018 will be prioritised. This is to encourage a wider scope of presenters. We do, however, encourage everyone to attend the conference, regardless of whether you are presenting or not.

Successful applicants will be notified by 15 October 2019.

Programme Committee
Dr Panayotis League (Florida State University)
Roger Landes (Texas Tech University)
Dr Cassandre Balosso-Bardin (University of Lincoln, UK)

For more information or details about past conferences, including abstracts of past papers, please browse our website.

Conference schedule:

Friday 13 March 2020 – evening concert
Paine Hall, Harvard University
Bagpipes of the World

Saturday 14 March 2020 – conference day
Paine Hall, Harvard University

International Bagpipe Conference


Saturday 14 March 2020 – evening session

The Bebop
Bring your own bagpipe – curated session

Sunday 15 March 2020 – day

Keep an eye out on our website for activities on Sunday 15 March!

IBC Local organising committee
Roger Landes
Panayotis League


IBO Committee
Cassandre Balosso-Bardin
Roger Landes
David Faulkner


For more information or details about past conferences, including abstracts of past papers, please visit