BFE members, if you have news to share, please see post news link under menu members section.
Older news are in news archive.

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology invites nominations for the BFE Early Career Prize, which will be awarded biennially for a distinguished article written by a BFE member who is in the early stages of their career. For more information on this new prize and how to submit nominations, click here.

We are thrilled to announce that Dr Raquel Campos has taken up the new position of BFE Membership Administrator! We offer double congratulations to Raquel, who also passed her PhD viva earlier in the year, and we are very much looking forward to working with her in the future. All BFE membership queries can be directed to Raquel via the membership[at] email address.

We have just announced our call for the 2020 BFE Book Prize! Further details about the prize and how to submit can be found on our website here:

We are delighted to announce that BFE member Philip Alexander has been awarded a three-year British Academy Early Career Researcher Fellowship! The new project is called 'Foreign Sounds: Musical Life in Jewish Scotland, 1880-1950', and Phil will be based at the University of Glasgow for his fellowship. This project builds on postdoctoral work tht Phil did as part of an Edinburgh-Glasgow AHRC project called 'Jewish Lives,Scottish Spaces', looking at historical Jewish migration to Scotland. This Fellowship will focus specifically on music and will involve working closely with the Scottish Jewish Archive Centre, based at Garnethill Synagogue. Huge congratulations to our Phil!

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


BFE member and 2019 BFE Fieldwork Award winner Chrysi Kyratsou has been awarded a 30-month PhD studentship (October 2019 - March 2022) by the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (NBDTP). Huge congratulations to Chrysi!

The studentship has been awarded for her research project entitled “Refugees’ musicking: meanings and encounters in Greek reception centres”. This project will be conducted in refugee reception centres in Athens, Greece. It explores the meanings embedded in certain musical practices, as well as the various encounters that may take place within this context. Focusing on musicking, Chrysi explores the ways that refugees’ aesthetic agencies are informed by their shifting backgrounds in which they live and how they shape their sociality. The project aims to provide insights in the refugees’ interactions and shaping relationships around various forms of musicking with refugees of different cultural background, as well as between them and people from the host society (present and active in reception centres, as volunteers, teachers, etc.), and figure out the potential for multiple inclusions that participation in musicking may entail. We look forward very much to hearing more about Chrysi's research in the future!

The Call For Papers for the 2020 BFE Annual Conference at Bath Spa University is now available! Click here to read more:

It is with great pleasure that I share with you the exciting news that we have appointed Dr Lea Hagmann (Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology of Music and Director of Studies in World Arts and Music at the University of Bern) as the BFE's first Outreach Officer!
This new committee role is intended to consolidate and develop the BFE’s current outreach activities: Lea is excellently positioned to do this, bringing with her a wealth of relevant experience as well as an impressive array of multi-lingual communications skills and bags of enthusiasm. We are thrilled to welcome her to the BFE Committee, and we look forward very much to working with her in the coming months and years.
All the best,


Dr Simon McKerrell

(Chair, British Forum for Ethnomusicology)

The BFE Student Prize for 2019 recognises an outstanding paper presented by a student at this year’s BFE Annual Conference, hosted by The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen (11-14 April 2019). The decision this year was extremely difficult given the high quality of the papers submitted and the diversity of approaches. We are delighted to award the prize to Vicky Tadros (SOAS, University of London) whose paper is described below. Given the difficult decision-making process, this year the selection committee would like to give commendations to the following authors (papers listed below): Lorenzo Chiarofonte; Hamidreza Salehyar; and Mark Aranha, Cara Stacey, Bronwen Clacherty and Kristy Stone. We would like to thank everyone who submitted a paper this year and encourage students to submit papers for next year’s conference at Bath Spa University in 2020.


Vicky Tadros: ‘Negotiating the Private: Car Listening Culture and Emirati Values’

This ethnographically-rich and well researched paper examines musical listening practices in the autonomous space of the car, focusing on extensive fieldwork conducted in the United Arab Emirates. Noting its high symbolic value in Emirati culture, Tadros argues that the car also functions as a central space for listening behaviours in the UAE. She contends that unlike in alternative private spheres, the car is a flexible space in which Emiratis can express contemporary values while at the same time adhering to the traditional expectations experienced in public and home settings. The car, in effect, becomes a third space in which individuals can negotiate conflicting ethical ideals around religion, modernity and sexuality. For example, Tadros draws on interviews with LGBTQ Emiratis who view the car as a ‘safe’ space in which they can express, through music, their own sexuality, which would otherwise be hidden from view in other contexts. But rather than viewing the car solely as an individualistic space, Tadros also explores the impact of state-sanctioned religious ethics that filter into the car and influence listening behaviours. In particular, she focuses on how Emiratis experience the sonic infiltration of the adhan into the private space of the car. Given the adhan’s position outside the domain of music, its sonic presence in the car creates an ‘ethical crossroads’ for listeners. They are forced to make personal ethical choices on how they respond to the public sounding of the adhan in the private space – to adhere to religious ethics of listening by turning down the radio or to choose musical content above religious norms. As Tadros notes, this poses the question: Madonna or Mohammed?

Tadros’ paper is well written and meticulously researched. She beautifully interweaves theory and ethnographic material into her analysis. The paper makes important contributions to sound studies, ethnomusicological research on the Middle East and the study of sound and listening in the Islamic world. In exploring the neglected space of the car, Tadros shows how listening behaviours can complicate assumed theoretical binaries between the public and the private. The paper is lively and engaging, and was a pleasure to read. It is a valuable contribution to the field.



Lorenzo Chiarofonte: ‘To Ko Gyi Kyaw: Music Structures, Interaction Processes, and Performance Context of a Burmese nat-chin

Hamidreza Salehyar: ‘Nationalist Islamism, Transnational Shi’ism, and Rituals of Martyrdom in Iran’

Mark Aranha, Cara Stacey, Bronwen Clacherty, & Kristy Stone: ‘Ife and Bilal: An Intercultural, Practice-Based Intervention’


Selection Committee

Dr Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (chair), Dr Rachel Harris, Dr Steve Wilford