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 into 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). This exciting series will soon include some unique books on musical developments in South Africa and Malaysia, as well as music-related cultural diplomacy in many locations worldwide. 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:


Vol. I (2021), by Ambigay Raidoo Yudkoff, PhD:
Activism through Music during the Apartheid Era and Beyond: When Voices Meet

Vol. II (2022), by David G. Hebert, PhD and Jonathan McCollum, PhD (editors):
Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy

Vol. III (2022), by Raja Iskandar Bin Raja Halid, PhD:
The Malay Nobat: A History of Power, Acculturation and Sovereignty

Vol. IV (forthcoming, 2023), by Mikolaj Rykowski, PhD:
Music Glocalization and the Composer: The Case of Franz Xaver Scharwenka 

Vol. V (forthcoming, 2024), by Amy Frishkey, PhD:
Navigating Neo-Traditionalism in Garifuna Popular Music 

Vol. VI (forthcoming, 2025), by Matthew Machin-Autenrieth, PhD:
The Spanish-Moroccan Musical Brotherhood: Colonial Legacies, Interculturalism and Cultural Memory across the Strait of Gibraltor  


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: 


Book on Ancient Musicians

The scholarly journal World of Music will soon be publishing my review of a unique book entitled The Mystery of Music: An Exploration Centered on the Lives of Thirty Ancient Musicians (by Lewis Holmes, CEK Publishing, 2018).

Author Lewis Holmes, an interdisciplinary scientist, participated in the Historical Ethnomusicology section of the Society for Ethnomusicology, during the period in which I led this group with Jonathan McCollum, and in his book develops some important extensions on theories in this specialized field. Holmes spent many years drawing on knowledge from an array of academic fields (archaeology, history, musicology, etc.) to produce the material in this book, which I think is written with unusual clarity and is likely to be of interest to musicians and music teachers working in all kinds of settings, from primary school through university.

Below are links for more information, and I will soon include a link here to the review when it is published in The World of Music toward the end of 2019:


Nordic/Baltic Music Education Master Course

The Nordic Network for Music Education (NNME) will soon offer its 2019 joint intensive Master course, held in Sweden this year at the Malmo Academy of Music (Lund University). Professors and students will participate from the postgraduate music education programs in all eight Nordic and Baltic countries: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with financial support from Nordplus. The theme for this year is Digital Competence and Music Beyond Europe.

This year the keynote speakers include Anna Houmann, Markus Tullberg, Alex Ruthmann, Eva Saether, David Johnson, Adam Switala, and others. There will be a special presentation by Chinese musicians from the Music Confucius Institute, Royal Academy of Music, Copenhagen. There will also be several performances of traditional music from Scandinavia and an array of Middle Eastern cultures.

Students will also present their ongoing thesis research projects, which cover a vast array of topics, and receive European university credits (ECTS). We are confident that by the end of the course, the participating postgraduate students will have a better understanding of the state of music education across Northern Europe, a more fully developed plan for their own research, and a stronger sense of how digital competence and diverse world music cultures may be meaningfully introduced to their own students.

Click HERE to access the program for the NNME 2019 course in Malmo, Sweden.

Displayed here is a poster designed by Eva Saether and the other conference hosts in Malmo.

Link to Malmo Academy of Music, Lund University: https://en-mhm.prodwebb.lu.se/


Review of Routledge International Handbook of the Arts and Education

My review of the Routledge International Handbook of the Arts and Education is now published in International Journal of Education & the Arts.


Fieldwork Research on Music in Vietnam

East Asia has long been one of my geographic areas of specialization, but recently personal interests have extended to the southern parts of China (Quanzhou: Nanyin music and the maritime Silk Road) and even into the southernmost part of this region: Vietnam

It has been a great experience to visit Saigon for the second time this year for an additional period of fieldwork research on both local Mekong Delta traditional music and intercultural experimental music (combining Vietnamese and avant garde western electronic music techniques).

Vietnam is experiencing rapid social and economic changes across recent years and is a nation with rich and unique cultural heritage, including a fascinating array of musical instruments. I have also been learning much from serving as a reviewer for the new PhD dissertation “The Choreography of Gender in Traditional Vietnamese Music” by Nguyễn, Thanh Thủy, a master performer of the dan tranh who later studied artistic research in music at Lund University, Sweden.

The outstanding Swedish research team that I am working with in Vietnam is making high-quality sound recordings and will be releasing a full professional album and producing various publications from this project.

Relevant links: http://www.thesixtones.net/

P.S. Pictured above is an idyllic image of the Vietnamese countryside, but most of this project is spent in a recording studio in the densely populated, noisy, and rapidly-growing Ho Chi Minh City.


Reviews of Music Glocalization Book

There have already been some positive reviews of our book from 2018, Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age, and it is cited in recent publications by scholars in Cyprus, Poland, Norway, and the Czech Republic. Additionally, my co-editor Mikolaj Rykowski has been favorably reviewed for a promotion, with this book as a significant part of his portfolio. 

Below are some excerpts from the recent reviews of our book:

According to leading glocalization theorist Victor Roudometof, “The volume displays remarkable thematic coherence, which allows the editors to use the material presented within individual chapters in order to build broader theoretical arguments. In its conception and execution, this volume is a noteworthy effort to insert the problematic of glocalization into the disciplines of musicology and ethnomusicology … The author advances the notion of being ‘glocalimbodied’ (2018:6), a neologism that combines ‘glocal’ with ‘limbo’ in order to make sense of an unbalanced condition attributed to glocal forces as well as the necessity of situating the body within the newfound condition of personalized branding strategies … The editors’ synthesis of the volume’s research is highly original and represents a good point of departure for thinking further about the uses of glocalization in musicology” (Victor Roudometof, Ethnomusicology Review, 2019).

According to Professor Wai-Chung Ho (Hong Kong), “This book offers a critical study of the undertheorized concept of glocalization, intertwining the global and the ‘local’ forces between music and society, both past and present … the book provides a fresh amalgam of perspectives that address music-related subjects. It also covers diverse topics from theoretical perspectives on local and global identities of music, art music composition in the digital age, glocalized music beyond Europe, and glocalized music professions… This book is the first comprehensive account of how the notion of ‘glocalization’ may be useful in rethinking nationality in music and the use of local musical traditions that serve as a means for global strategies. It reconstructs the emergence of music in the global context and provides an innovative framework for studying how glocalization transforms aesthetic hierarchies and cultural transmissions, thus breaking new ground for musicology and the sociology of music” (Wai-Chung Ho, Cambridge Scholars blog, 2018). 

Here is a link for reviews of my other books:


Honorary Professorship in Hong Kong

It was a great pleasure to officially learn today that I have been appointed Honorary Professor with the Department of Culture and Creative Arts at The Education University of Hong Kong.

This university has become one of the world's leading institutions in the field of education, and it is especially making important contributions in East Asia, where education has long been highly valued.

Here is a link to the university’s website: https://www.eduhk.hk/main/

I eagerly look forward to further collaborations with the outstanding colleagues in Hong Kong.


Tabula Rasa Choir Peace Program Tour

Professional choir Tabula Rasa will perform a series of concerts at three locations in western Norway in mid-October, 2019. The program is entitled Peace (“Fred” in Norwegian), and features the theme of sacred music facing war memorials. The program is designed to stimulate reflection on the consequences of war and whether it is enough to dream of peace.

The program features music by Orlando de Lassus, Arnold Schönberg, Arvo Pärt, Frank Havrøy, Jake Runestad, and the premiere performance of a new piece by Tord Kalvenes. 

This project is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council, the Norwegian Composers Association, and the Norwegian Composers Fund. 

Here is the schedule and other details (in Norwegian): 

14. september
Krigminnene på Fedje, minikonsert kl 15
Fedjekyrkja, konsert kl 17

15. september 
Nordsjøfartmuseet i Tælavåg, minikonsert kl 15
Sund kyrkje, konsert kl 18

22. september 
Herdla museum, minikonsert kl 15, 15.30 og 16. 
Herdla kyrkje, konsert kl 18

Musikalsk leder: Arild Rohde 

Sopran: Rikke Lina Sorell Matthiesen, Sigrun Jørdre
Alt: Elise Thorgersen Varne, Zsuzsa Zseni
Tenor: Tord Kalvenes, Arild Rohde
Bass: Charles Lindberg, David Hebert

Regi: Ingrid Askvik

Lys: Matias Askvik


Non-Western Educational Philosophy

UPDATE: This PhD course was offered entirely online in late May and June 2020. It was a great success, with very positive evaluations and strong student projects that will likely lead to publications. The course will be offered again two years later, in 2022. Please plan to join us! 

In late May 2020, we will offer a new PhD course in Bergen entitled Non-Western Educational Philosophy and Policy. This intensive interdisciplinary course is situated within our PhD program in Bildung and Pedagogical Practices (European educational philosophy), but it is also open to doctoral students from other universities for ECTS (European) credits.

Below is the course description and a link for additional information.

This course enables educational theories and practices in contemporary Europe to be more deeply understood in relation to non-Western educational philosophies and policies. The focus of the course is on exploring intellectual traditions and sociocultural practices that shape school education outside of Europe, in the continents of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. It offers a survey of non-European philosophical writings on education, including such major historical theorists as Confucius, Ibn Khaldun, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Ghandi, Zera Yacob, Tagore, Fanon, Nishida, Said, and Freire, as well as intercultural observations of notable contemporary educational and social theorists: Michael Peters, Martha Nussbaum, Nuraan Davids, Yusef Waghid, Carl Mika, Amartya Sen, Seyla Benhabib, Timothy Reagan, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Joel Spring, Nicholas Burbules, Carlos Alberto Torres, Fred Dervin, Mark Halstead, and David Killick. The course will especially emphasize discussion of East Asian schools, due to both the distinctive philosophies and recent economic and educational achievements in China and Japan. Students will also explore the implications of non-western philosophical traditions for their particular school subject areas of specialization (e.g. arts education, social studies, citizenship education, physical education, etc.).

As discussions linked below demonstrate, at many institutions there has been some debate surrounding the movement to “decolonize the curriculum”, but in my view the most valid argument for offering a course on these thinkers is that it enables us to better understand intellectual heritage from many parts of the world, and to better learn from each other. The course does not "replace" anything, but it certainly contributes to a more complete higher education, and stimulates us to rethink basic assumptions concerning the nature, value, and implementation of educational systems.  


Sharq Taronalari XII in Samarkand

In late August I will be visiting spectacular Samarkand, Uzbekistan to give a speech for the musicology symposium affiliated with the 12th International Music Festival Sharq Taronalari.

This year’s symposium is called Prospects for the Development of Traditional Musical Art of the Eastern People, and my speech, entitled “World Music Pedagogy: Presenting Central Asian Traditions to the World”, is related to some ongoing writings for the World Music Pedagogy book series on Routledge.

The purpose of my presentation is to introduce Campbell’s WMP model and demonstrate how this innovative approach may be applied so Central Asian music traditions are effectively shared with foreign audiences, thereby broadening global appreciation and understanding of Asian musical heritage.

The Sharq Taronalari festival attracts extraordinarily skilled traditional musicians from across the world, as well as prominent music festival managers and ethnomusicologists. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be invited to this great event and look forward to meeting creative musicians from Uzbekistan and other countries. 

Link to the festival website:

Video from a previous Sharq Taronalari festival (starting from 5:35):

Here is a link for video from the 2019 opening ceremony, with brilliant music and dance:


International Cultural Policy Courses

Across the past two weeks, PhD students from several countries joined the course I taught for Bergen Summer Research School entitled Cultural Policy: Arts Heritage and Sustainability. We included some excellent guest lecturers, such as Mary Miller (Director of Bergen National Opera) and Norwegian scholars Tore Sætersdal (anthropologist) and Ole Marius Hylland (policy analyst).

The PhD students came from Germany, Brazil/Sweden, Canada, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Africa. We are now developing a book based on these two international cultural policy PhD courses held in 2018 and 2019.

Links for more information:

Next week I teach a course entitled Arts Policy in the Twenty-First Century for law students in China’s leading law faculty, China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), Beijing.

In the Autumn, a new PhD course that I developed will finally be offered in Bergen at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. It is entitled Non-Western Educational Philosophy and Policy.

Link for more information:

PLEASE NOTE: PhD students from other universities are welcome to take these exciting intensive courses in Bergen -- in English -- for ECTS European transfer credits. 

Although music, education, and global studies continue to be the major themes in my research and teaching, I am increasingly interested in devising improvements to the ways that governments support arts and cultural heritage through various kinds of institutions.


Funding Received by Nordic Network for Music Education

We are pleased to report that the Nordic Network for Music Education (NNME) has just been awarded full funding for this year from the Nordic government Nordplus program to support its intensive international Master course and exchange of Master students and lecturers across the 8 Nordic and Baltic countries. 

We are very thankful to Nordplus for a 44% increase on our budget from the previous year, which we will use wisely to ensure a strong future for music education in Northern Europe. Click HERE for more information on the NNME.

Our project for 2019 is entitled Digital Competence and Digitized Musical Heritage. This new project extends on the 20+ years of NNME history documented in our new book on Routledge, Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe.

Click HERE for more information on the book.


Intercultural Music Research

It is a pleasure to be part of two intercultural music research panels with excellent scholars at international conferences in Bergen and Malmo in early summer, 2019.

Panel Chair/Organizer, “Chinese Music” (with Directors of Confucius Institutes in Norway and Denmark). Paper presentation, “Musicians’ Reflections on the Teaching of Traditional Chinese Instruments for Prominent Conservatories in Europe and China,Nordic Association for China Studies (NACS) international conference, University of Bergen, Norway (June 13-14, 2019, PLANNED).

Panelist, “Indigeneity in the 21st century classroom: Reconstruction and reconciliation in Scandinavia and North America” (with Eva Saether, David Johnson, Ylva Hofvander Trulsson, and Patrick Schmidt), European Association for Music in Schools (EAS) annual international conference, Malmo Academy of Music, Lund University, Sweden (May 16-18, 2019, PLANNED).

Displayed is a photo I took of a lesson on the Chinese guqin late last year.


Book Launch: Music Education in Northern Europe

I am pleased to announce that we will soon have a book launch for our latest book on Routledge, Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe.

The book launch will be a public event at the libary of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, on Tuesday April 9, 4pm-6pm.

Contributing authors representing all Nordic and Baltic countries will give presentations at the book launch. These include several of the leading scholars from the field of music education in Northern Europe. There will also be a presentation by Liora Bresler.

Click HERE to access a poster for the event.
Click HERE for more information on the book.