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

Dear All,

This is a reminder that if you haven't yet registered for the BFE 2017 annual conference, you'll need to do so by 10th March to take advantage of the "early bird" registration rates. All conference fees will increase by 10% after that date. 
Please see the conference website at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/music/research/conferences/bfe-2017, where you'll find links to the Online Store for registration, the preliminary programme, and "further information" including advice on travel and accommodation in Sheffield. You are advised to book your accommodation in good time as as the 2017 Betfred World Championship snooker tournament is being held in Sheffield at the same time as our conference, and accommodation may be in high demand.
British Forum for Ethnomusicology 2017 Annual Conference
University of Sheffield, 20-23 April 2017



The preliminary programme for the 2017 Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology is now online, and can be accessed at the following link to the conference website:


Our annual conference will be hosted this year by the University of Sheffield, and takes place from 20-23 April 2017. Registration is now open, and Early Bird registration rates are available until 10 March, after which all the prices will increase by 10%, so be sure to register in good time. Please also make sure your BFE Membership is current to take advantage of the lower conference rates for members.



British Forum for Ethnomusicology

Annual Conference

University of Sheffield, 20-23 April 2017

Registration is now open for the 2017 Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology: please visit the University of Sheffield’s Online Store. Early Bird registration rates are only available until 10 March, after which all the prices will increase by 10%, so be sure to register in good time. Please also make sure your BFE Membership (https://bfe.org.uk/join-bfe) is current to take advantage of the lower conference rates for members.

We would like to invite you especially to take part in the Conference Dinner (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/music/research/conferences/bfe-2017/dinner-p...) on the Saturday evening. The venue is Inox Dine on the top floor of the University of Sheffield’s prize-winning Students’ Union, with fine views over the city and a menu that has won rave reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere. The traditional BFE party and jam session will follow immediately in the same venue. The event offers delegates an opportunity to meet together in a dedicated venue with lots of room for circulating and socialising, in preference to Sheffield’s city centre restaurants which can be very full on a Saturday night. The dinner is available for the extremely reasonable cost of £30 for waged attendees and £20 for student and unwaged attendees, bookable at registration through the Online Store, and you are welcome to reserve additional places for spouses or other companions.

Another highlight of the conference is the Friday evening concert by tabla master Yogesh Samshi, whose playing the Washington Post has called “as intricate as a Bach fugue and as ecstatic as a rave-club crescendo.” Tickets are being offered to conference delegates at the reduced price of £10, or £6 for students, again through the Online Store.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Keynote Speaker will be Professor Michael Bakan of Florida State University. As the author of a much-acclaimed monograph on a very modern form of traditional music (Music of Death and New Creation: Experiences in the World of Balinese Gamelan Beleganjur, Chicago, 2000), a composer of new music using traditional instruments and resources, and author of the widely-used textbook World Music: Traditions and Transformations, Professor Bakan is ideally qualified to offer insights on our conference’s special “talking point”, Tradition Today. The title of his Keynote Speech is “The Moral of the Story: Making Ethnomusicology Matter in the 21st Century”.

The conference will be held in the University of Sheffield’s new Diamond building, a state-of-the-art teaching and conference facility immediately adjacent to the Music Department. While there is no mandatory conference theme, the BFE conference is immediately preceded by a one-day conference at Sheffield (19 April 2017) that culminates a large-scale research project on Digital Folk (https://www.digitalfolk.org/digital-folk-conference/). We envisage that some delegates will wish to attend both events and that one strand of discussion at the BFE conference will expand the focus of the one-day conference by connecting it with broader explorations of “Tradition Today”. At the same time, we welcome presentations of new research in any area of ethnomusicology.

Registration for the Digital Folk Conference is now open—and free!

For further details see the BFE 2017 Annual Conference Website:


If you have any queries please contact BFE2017atsheffield.ac.uk



The BFE is proud to announce its Call For Papers for the 2017 BFE One-Day Conference, 'Listening To Difference: Music and Multiculturalism', which will be held on Saturday 21st October 2017 at the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge. We invite proposals of individual papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes questions) or panels of three related papers (90 minutes in total including questions). Abstracts should be sent to bfeoneday2017atgmail.com by 5pm on Monday 8th May. Full details of the CFP are now available in the 'Conferences' section of the BFE website, and can be found here.



Following the recent call for applications to the BFE Fieldwork Grant scheme to support doctoral researchers in ethnomusicology, we are delighted to announce that three fieldwork grants have been awarded for 2017. It was a hotly contested scheme this year, with a very high standard of applications, but huge congratulations to Sophia Frankford, Pablo Infante-Amate and Katie Young, who are the 2017 grant recipients. Read about Sophia, Pablo and Katie’s research projects here and we look forward to hearing more from them when they return from the field.

Barley Norton

Chair, British Forum for Ethnomusicology