Welcome from Simon McKerrell, Chair of the BFE

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) aims to advance the study of musical life in its full richness and diversity.

We provide a forum for engaging in debate and sharing the findings of research through our many conferences and study days and through the publication of our journal Ethnomusicology Forum, in association with Routledge.

We offer awards to recognize outstanding scholarship, including the BFE Book Prize and grants and prizes for student members.

If you would like to keep in touch with BFE news, activities and events please join our email list and follow our social media site

Membership is open to anyone interested in the study of music and dance from all parts of the world. If you are interested in becoming a BFE member please click here for information about the benefits of membership.

Thanks for visiting our website and please contact us if you would like to know more. 


Thursday evening reception at the 2017 BFE Annual Conference in Sheffield (photo by Kate Walker)


British Forum for Ethnomusicology News

The organising committee for the upcoming BFE One-day Conference at Keele University (Saturday 3 November 2018) is delighted to share the abstracts for the conference keynote panel, which will feature presentations from Prof. Rachel Beckles Willson, Dr. Felicity Laurence and Prof. John O’Connell. Details of the keynote speakers and their abstracts are now available to view on the 'Keynote Speakers' page of the conference website (click on link below):


We look forward to seeing many of you at Keele University in November!



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 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:

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