BFE Student Prize (joint winners 2015)

For the second year running, the BFE is delighted to announce joint winners of the prize for the best BFE student paper, which this year were delivered at the BFE/SFE Conference in Paris (2–5 July 2015). From the submissions received, the panel felt that two were particularly deserving winners. We would like to offer our congratulations to both Cassandre Balosso-Bardin and Deirdre Morgan, whose papers, though very different from one another, were nevertheless difficult to separate in terms of excellence. We would also like to extend thanks to everyone who submitted a paper this year, and encourage students to submit papers for consideration next year in 2016.

Joint prize winner:

Cassandre Balosso-Bardin (SOAS)



From Paris to London – Learning Ethnomusicology on Both Sides of the Channel

This paper is a thoughtful and well-written investigation of bi-cultural music education in both the UK and France. Acknowledging that the perspective is not one of music education, the author vividly compares many key differences in Ethnomusicology and music learning methods, practices and syllabi at four different institutions, basing much of the argument on detailed self-reflexive experience and observation.

The conference delivery of this bespoke paper itself was excellent, and it seems difficult to imagine a paper more nicely calibrated to the 2015 joint conference and its theme of border crossing. It is well–researched and stands in real dialogue with other writing on ethnomusicology programmes (such as Krüger and Solis). The paper provoked much discussion about academic practices in the UK and in France. It is a very good resource for researchers interested in academic institutional practices.

Revival/Continuation: Paradigms of Transmission and Boundaries of Knowledge in the Norwegian Munnharpe Smithing Tradition

This very well and clearly-written paper compares the transmission paradigms of both the munnharpe playing tradition and the munnharpe smithing tradition, while attempting to understand the ‘enigmatic Norwegian playing style’ with particular reference to traditions of the region of Setesdal in Southwestern Norway.

The paper makes a solid argument about the importance of not only recordings but instrument makers – and archival film recordings of instrument makers – in the contemporary transmission of styles. It identifies very interesting links between instruments, instrument builders, musicians, recordings, transmission and future generation. The paper is a good resource for researchers interested in Norwegian music.

Joint prize winner:

Deirdre Morgan (SOAS)