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 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



BFE Fieldwork Grants

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) is pleased to announce the opening of the 2017 Fieldwork Grant scheme.

Purpose of the Grants

The BFE Fieldwork Grants are intended to support doctoral candidates conducting ethnomusicological field research in the UK and abroad through making a contribution towards the costs of travel and subsistence. Up to 3 grants collectively totalling up to £1500 will be awarded for the 2017 scheme.


The BFE Fieldwork Grants scheme is open to all students enrolled on a PhD programme at a university in the UK who are conducting ethnomusicological research. Please note that applicants must have renewed their student membership for 2017 in order to be eligible to apply. If you have not renewed your membership yet then please do so on the bfe website. Only one application per person is permitted and fieldwork must start during 2017.


The criteria of evaluation are: the quality, originality and significance of the research and its potential contribution to ethnomusicological knowledge, theory and debate; the feasibility and importance of the fieldwork for achieving the stated research aims and outcomes; the need of the applicant, i.e. the likelihood of the applicant being unable to obtain fieldwork funding from other sources. There is no preference for particular geographical areas or topics.

Application Procedure

Applications must be made online through the BFE website. To make an application, go to BFE Fieldwork Grants Scheme page on the BFE website. There you will find a link to the BFE Fieldwork Grant Application Form where you will need to upload the following materials:

  1. A letter addressing the grant criteria. The letter should also provide a clear indication of: the fieldwork schedule; the expected costs; the amount of funding requested from the BFE scheme; and other sources of research funding received and/or applied for. The letter must not exceed 2 pages in length.
  2. A short CV, not exceeding 1 page in length.
  3. A short reference letter, not exceeding 1 page in length, in support of the application from the applicant’s PhD supervisor. Supervisors may wish to send their reference letter by email directly to the Chair at chairatbfe.org.uk before the deadline (i.e.  end of Friday 18 November).

Please note that in order to access the online BFE Fieldwork Grant Application Form you must have renewed your membership for 2017 and be logged-in to your account on the BFE website. If you have any difficulties with the online submission please email Morgan Davies at adminatbfe.org.uk

Application Deadline and Decision Notification

Applications must be submitted by email by the end of Friday 18 November 2016. Applications will be evaluated by a BFE panel and applicants will be informed of the outcome of the awards by Monday 12 December 2016. The decision of the panel is final, and the BFE regrets that it is unable to provide feedback on applications and decisions made by the panel.

Payment of Grants for Successful Applications

Successful applicants must liaise with the BFE Treasurer (bfetreasureratgmail.com) before grants are disbursed. Payment will be made via bank transfer.

Post-Award Reports

Successful applicants are requested to submit a short fieldwork report – up to 500 words in length, accompanied by other media materials if appropriate – within 3 months after the completion of the fieldwork. Fieldwork reports are likely to be made public on the BFE website, social media etc. Grant awardees may also be requested to do a short presentation about their fieldwork at BFE meetings such as the AGM. Any publications resulting from the fieldwork should acknowledge receipt of a BFE Fieldwork Grant.  


Barley Norton

Chair, BFE




Following the recent call for nominations to the BFE Committee, Fiorella Montero-Diaz (Keele University) and Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University) were nominated for election. Two vacancies on the Committee became available due to Amanda Villepastour and Noel Lobley stepping down, so the Committee is delighted to announce that both Fiorella and Simon are deemed to have been elected to the committee for 3-year terms.

Both Fiorella and Simon have agreed to take on new roles on the Committee. Fiorella will be the Development and Strategy Officer, helping the BFE to grow by designing strategies to boost membership and by promoting dialogue and events, which bring together the diverse BFE membership. Simon will be the External Relations Officer, with responsibility for collaborating with other institutions, and for promoting ethnomusicology and the BFE across the British Isles and Ireland.

In addition, Jonathan Stock, the Ethnomusicology Forum Representative has also stepped down from the Committee. The new EF Representative on the Committee is the incoming co-editor of Ethnomusicology Forum, Shzr Ee Tan (Royal Holloway).

A warm welcome to the new members of the Committee, Fiorella, Simon and Shzr Ee, and sincere thanks to the outgoing committee members, Amanda, Jonathan and Noel. Amanda worked tirelessly for the BFE before, during and after her tenure as Chair; Jonathan has made an important contribution to the Committee while also being co-editor of Ethnomusicology Forum; and Noel has done a great deal for the Committee over many years, especially in relation to BFE conferences and study days. Thanks again to you all for your service to the BFE.

Finally, I’m extremely pleased to announce that Morgan Davies has been appointed as the new BFE Administrator. As well as working for the BFE, Morgan is a sāraṅgī performer and recently submitted his PhD thesis on Western Rajasthani folk music. Morgan replaces Fiorella, who did an incredible job. During her tenure as the Administrator for nearly 3 years, Fiorella was the driving force behind many significant developments for the BFE. So, many thanks to Fiorella and welcome to the BFE team Morgan.

Barley Norton

Chair, BFE

October 2016



Dear BFE members,

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks nominations for election to BFE Committee.

We are looking for a committed committee member who will make an important contribution to the running of the BFE. A specific role for the new committee member will be agreed by the Committee after the election is completed.

In order to stand for election you must be nominated by a BFE member (other than yourself) and your nomination must also be seconded by a second BFE member.

Responsibilities includes:

  • attending 2-3 BFE Committee meetings each year;
  • engaging actively in Committee business
  • contributing to BFE strategies and initiatives
  • staying in email contact with the Committee;
  • take on a specific role (as required) on the Committee

If you wish to stand you must send a proposal of no more than a single side of A4, which will be forwarded to the BFE membership prior to voting, and includes:

  • Your name
  • Your current position
  • The names of two BFE members, one who has agreed to nominate you and one who has agreed to second the nomination.
  • A statement outlining why you think you are suitable for being a member of the BFE Committee, highlighting relevant skills and experience that you have.

Nominations must be sent by email to the BFE Chair, Barley Norton chairatbfe.org.uk by the end of Monday 3 October 2016.

Online voting will take place from Monday 10 October to Monday 17 October and results will be announced after the online voting is completed.

Barley Norton

Chair, British Forum for Ethnomusicology