Indigenous Music and Comparative History of Education

I recently learned that two panels which include my work have been accepted for presentation at the 34th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education, in Helsinki, Finland (August, 2020).

I eagerly look forward to collaborating with some excellent colleagues on these presentations ...

  • Indigeneity in the 21st Century Classroom: Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Scandinavia and North America (Presenters: David Johnson, Ylva Hofvander Trulsson, Patrick Schmidt, and David Hebert) 

  • Seeing Through a Wider Lens: Considering Revisionist History in Music Education (Presenters: Craig Resta, Marie McCarthy, Lia Laor, Benon Kigozi, and David Hebert). 

Link for further information: https://www.isme2020.fi/


Music Sustainability Education

Through the Nordic Network for Music Education, we have agreed on a new project for documentary videos and educational website production. This will lead toward development of an international joint Master program in Music Sustainability Education. Click above or HERE to see a sample video with further information. 

We are hopeful that support and funding can be obtained from various sources to ensure high quality outcomes for this innovative project. 

Here is a link to the Nordic Network for Music Education:

Here is a link to the new book from the Nordic Network for Music Education:

Click HERE and HERE for other examples of supporting research.


Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation

I look forward to a unique conference presentation in June 2020, in partnership with some innovative musicians who are also prolific artistic researchers: guitarist Stefan Östersjö, Vietnamese dan tranh master Than Thuy Nguyen, and composer Henrik Frisk

Our presentation will be part of Music in the Age of Streaming: Nordic Perspectives, International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-Norden) conference, Pitea, Sweden (June 15-17, 2020).

Below are a few key points concerning our upcoming presentation, entitled Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation:
  • Streaming technology is increasingly popular as a way of consuming music recordings, but it can also be used to facilitate live collaboration among performers who are geographically distant. 
  • This panel demonstrates how networked performance may contribute to the sustaining of cultural heritage among migrant/minority communities as well as to the development of innovative intercultural artistic practices. 
  • The panel discussion of networked performance builds on preliminary findings from Musical Transformations, an ongoing research project at the intersection between ethnomusicology and artistic research in music. 
  • The panel discusses findings from Musical Transformations which may contribute to new insights into creative processes in intercultural contexts, and promises to have important implications for educational and cultural institutions. 


Harvard Music Preference Project

It has been a great pleasure to spend some time in Boston, where I am collaborating with a brilliant professor in Harvard's school of public health for development of a new project on public music appreciation and wellbeing. We have a novel plan for a series of research projects that promise unique insights into how musical understanding and participation can be more widely developed through new technologies.

Ideally, our project may help to broaden appreciation of music connected to cultural heritage, and possibly encourage a wider swath of the public to regularly listen to, and participate in, traditional genres that are less impacted by the tendencies of commercialization. This seems quite important in both North America and Scandinavia, where audiences for traditional music are dwindling. I will post more details here in the future as the project develops further. 

It is hard to believe it has been more than a decade since I left my job as an Assistant Professor at Boston University to begin working in Northern Europe. It was very enjoyable to visit Boston again.  


Music: A Powerful Tool for International Harmony and Peace

Here is a link to an article in The Norwegian American, a publication with a 130-year history connected to the community of Norwegians and their descendants in the US:

I was pleasantly surprised to see this article published on Christmas Day, 2019. How did it happen? While at a music conference in Samarkand, Uzbekistan earlier this year I was approached by a Geneva-based author named Marit Fosse who works closely with diplomats. She interviewed me for an article that I understand will appear in a few different publications, including both this one and a magazine for embassy-affiliated personnel. Hopefully the articles will generate broader interest in the social impact of music.  


Deep Soundings in the Future

Across the past year we have received some excellent proposals for our new book series Deep Soundings: The Lexington Series in Historical Ethnomusicology (Rowman & Littlefield). We anticipate the series will soon include some unique books on musical developments in South Africa, India, Syria, and other places. More details will be posted here as the individual book projects near completion and are prepared for publication.

Here is a link for further information on the book series:


Ambigay Raidoo Yudkoff, PhD:
Activism through Music during the Apartheid Era and Beyond: When Voices Meet

Prof. Soubhik Chakraborty, PhD:
Hindustani Classical Music: A Historical and Computational Study


Music, Law, and Society

It was a great pleasure this week to give an invited lecture entitled “Language and Cultural Policy: Rethinking Music’s Significance,” for the International Law Summit in Bergen on The Language and Law. The law professors there, many of whom were from China, showed great interest in the topic and had excellent suggestions.

Law has been of increasing interest to me across recent years, and during the past few summers I have taught Cultural Policy courses for international PhD students at Bergen Summer Research School as well as law students at the China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing.

I am now developing a book with contributors from several countries that addresses how government policies can effectively support the sustainability of music traditions through various public institutions. This will most likely become part of the Deep Soundings book series with Rowman & Littlefield (Lexington), but I also mentioned it in my discussion with Routledge editors who had arranged a recent meeting with me in Bergen. Although the book is still under development, we have likely contributions from China, Vietnam, Sweden, Poland, Guyana, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, and other countries.

Public institutions, such as schools, universities, concert halls, museums, and galleries - as well as memorials and protected heritage sites - play an important role in ensuring that the arts and cultural heritage can remain viable for future generations. This is not only a local or national concern, but a global one, as recognized by UNESCO and other organizations. However, some kinds of laws and programs certainly function better than others, and there is a need for more robust, critical and comparative studies in this field.   

Below is a photo from my speech at the International Law Summit: 

Click HERE for a law-related article that I developed with Finnish scholar Marja Heimonen in an earlier phase of my career, and HERE for a later article we developed.

Some of the earliest laws in Northern Europe were written in runes on stone surfaces such as this one, which I photographed last week as part of some research on Viking Age and early Medieval times: