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 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





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



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



Deadline for Nominations: Friday 16 March 2018


Dear BFE members,

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks nominations for election for 5 positions on the BFE Committee. The terms of some current members of the BFE Committee members are coming an end; some Committee members will be standing down while others intend to stand for re-election.

It is vital for the future of the BFE that we have a strong Committee so please do consider nominating yourself. We are looking for committed committee members who will make an important contribution to the day-to-day running and future development of the BFE. In line with our equality ambitions as a subject association, we welcome nominations that will help the Committee reflect the diversity of our membership and discipline.

General responsibilities of Committee members include:

  • attending 2-3 BFE Committee meetings each year;
  • engaging proactively in BFE business;
  • contributing creatively to BFE strategies and initiatives;
  • engaging in regular email communication with the Committee;
  • writing short reports on BFE activities for the annual Chair’s Report;
  • participating, when necessary, in working groups on specific BFE tasks.

The specific roles for committee members in this election round are:

  1. Conference Liaison Co-Officer

The Conference Liaison Co-Officers (Dr Stephen Wilford will remain in post as one of these) are jointly responsible for:

  • organizing the BFE’s Annual and One-Day conferences, study days and other events in conjunction with local conference arrangement committees.
  • representing the BFE at the January BFE–RMA Research Students’ Conference (each January), at meetings of the RMA Flagship Conferences Subcommittee (2 or 3 per year), and through regular correspondence with the RMA and other subject associations (e.g., Analytical Approaches to World Music, Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie).
  • providing oral reports on conference activities at BFE committee meetings

2) Membership Liaison Officer

This role includes:

  • Developing strong relations between the membership and the Committee.
  • Working on membership and marketing initiatives in conjunction with Taylor & Francis, the BFE Administrator (Dr Morgan Davies) and the Membership Administrator (Dr Ruard Absaroka).

3) Treasurer

This role includes:

  • Being responsible for all aspects of managing the finances of the BFE, working closely with the BFE Administrator.
  • Preparing a financial report at the end of each year. Previous experience of accounting is desirable.

4) Website Administrator

This role includes:

  • Being responsible for all aspects of the running of the BFE website and email accounts. Previous web experience and IT knowledge (Drupal, CiviCRM etc.) is desirable.

5) Prizes Officer

This role includes:

  • Being responsible for coordinating the announcements and panels for the various BFE awards and prizes (e.g. Book Prize, Fieldwork Grants, Student Prize, Conference Bursaries).

If you wish to stand for election you must be nominated and seconded by two BFE members. Please send a proposal of no more than a single side of A4, which will be forwarded to the BFE membership by email and our list serve prior to voting. Include:

  • your name and a contact address;
  • your current employment;
  • the names of the BFE members who have nominated and seconded your candidacy (it is not necessary for the nominators to email the Chair separately about the nomination).
  • length of time you have been a BFE member;
  • the specific role - from the 5 roles listed above - you would like to be nominated for;
  • a statement outlining why you think you are suitable for being a member of the BFE Committee, highlighting relevant skills, experience, or previous time served on the Committee.

Nominations must be sent by email to Barley Norton (BFE Chair) chairatbfe.org.uk (chairatbfe.org.uk) by the end of Friday 16 March 2018.

In order to vote you need to be a current member so please renew your membership for 2018 if you have not done so already. Online voting will take place soon after the deadline for nominations and results will be announced at the AGM at the annual conference at Newcastle University on Saturday 14 April. I look forward to seeing many of you in Newcastle.


Barley Norton, BFE Chair