Major Music Education Project in Uganda

East Africa is among the most dynamic regions of the world today, with many enduring opportunities for economic and educational development. I have long been interested in this region, and have lectured for University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), and mentored a doctoral student from Bagamoyo when I worked in Finland. More recently, Uganda has really captured my attention, especially through participation in several planning meetings with professors and lecturers from University of Bergen, Makerere University and Kyambogo University to develop a proposal for long-term collaboration between Norway and Uganda.

It is now a great pleasure to announce that we have been awarded a large grant from the Norhed program of Norad (Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). It is to support the 6-year CABUTE project, which will develop the first PhD programs in music, education, and related fields to strengthen teacher training and higher education in Uganda. 

Steinar Sætre, a member of GAME research group, is the project manager, and I will have the main responsibility for PhD program development in music. Through the TeLEd research group and the CABUTE project, we will collaborate with Robert Gray (educational technology/higher education specialist, also at University of Bergen) and a team of professors and local experts based in Uganda. With Norad’s generous financial support we will be able to focus much of our attention on this project for a 6-year period (2021-2027). It is an amazing opportunity, and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this promising collaboration.

Please note that the main project leaders in Norway will also be collaboratively teaching the online PhD course Internationalizing Higher Education for the 2021 Bergen Summer Research School, which is now open to applications from PhD students who can earn credits by taking this course from anywhere in the world. 

We also eagerly await the results of proposals for collaborative research and development projects with institutions and organizations in Europe (Erasmus Plus) and East Asia (Utforsk). Hopefully there will be more good news in early 2021 and opportunities to gain additional institutional support for these initiatives, including PhD stipendiats and Postdoctoral students. 


More information: https://www.uib.no/en/sdgbergen/141540/uib-sweeps-norhed-ii-funding#cabute

[Displayed here are the official Coat of Arms of Uganda, and the file Languages of Uganda, public domain, available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda#/media/File:Coat_of_arms_of_Uganda.svg; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Languages_of_Uganda.png].


Book Reviewed in Swedish Journal

Click HERE to see a review of our book Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe (Routledge, 2019), which was written by David Johnson, and published in the Swedish Journal of Music Research

Also, click HERE to see an earlier review of the book, by Adam Switala, published on the website of the International Society for Music Education. 

The book was developed through the Nordic Network for Music Education, an organization I manage which is now expanding with additional partner institutions and projects.

Shown above is a photo of my backyard in Bergen on a day with rather unusual weather. 


Ceremonial Music in 2021

Since ancient times music has been used to set the tone for important events, an essential part of rituals in all cultures worldwide.

Near the conclusion of such a challenging year (2020), I am optimistic to now be developing original music for two events in 2021:

  • Fanfare for the inauguration of the new rektor (president) at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, historian Gunnar Yttri.
  • Music for the opening ceremony of the Bergen Summer Research School, an international PhD-level collaboration between multiple research institutions in Bergen, Norway.

Both of these events will mostly occur online, but we are hopeful that the ongoing pandemic will become much less of a concern in the coming months, making the planning of “live” events ever more realistic.


How ceremonial music should sound in 2021 is an interesting question. Composers and songwriters often struggle to find an ideal balance, in the hope that audiences will not regard their work as either too conservative, too commercialized, or too abstract and complex. Music for events of this kind—with a truly diverse audience—should sound different from music designed to advance the artform with techniques that may only be fully appreciated by composers and professional musicians. It also should not sound like something that belongs in a different century, or that is pop-influenced to the point of seeming condescending to the audience. It is meant to create a serious yet festive mood and focus attention on a significant point in time and space.    

[Public domain image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Russian_Fanfare_Trumpets.jpg]


Asian Educational Philosophies

It is a pleasure to announce a special issue of the Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education on the theme “Rethinking Asian Educational Philosophies” (edited by David Hebert). This issue is currently under development for publication in early 2021, and promises to be a unique resource, with updated studies of educational thought in China, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Japan, India, and elsewhere. More details will be posted here in January.


UPDATE (30 January 2021): We have submitted this special issue to NJCIE today with the following article titles:

·       Editorial Introduction: Global competence, decolonization, and Asian educational philosophies”

·       “Comparison of self-reflection in Humboldtian Bildung and the Kyoto School: Educational implications in light of OECD frameworks”

·       “Intergenerational learning and programming: Perspectives from the Philippines”

·       “The Self-Orientalization of Polish music education”

·       “A balanced perspective embodied in Tagore and Hu Shih’s educational philosophies”

·       “Cai Yuanpei’s vision of aesthetic education and its heritage in contemporary China”

·       “On Ki Hadjar Dewantara’s philosophy of education”

·       “Overcoming performativity in Myanmar’s education: Lessons from Theravāda Buddhism”


Also, below is the poster for Bergen Summer Research School, 2021. This is a unique opportunity for PhD students to take an interdisciplinary course for ECTS credits along with doctoral students from around the world. Due to the pandemic, it will be entirely online, and free of charge. The application deadline has been extended to 19 February 2021. 

I will be teaching the BSRS course Internationalizing Higher Education, which is designed to offer new ideas for how to enhance international cooperation among universities. Like previous years, I am also developing original music for the opening event, but this time it will probably need to be a sound recording rather than live performance. 

Here are links for more information:





Review of Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe

Click HERE to see the very first published review of our book Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe (Routledge, 2019), which was just published on the website of the International Society for Music Education. 

Thank you, Adam Switala, for such a careful reading and thoughtful review.

The book was developed through the Nordic Network for Music Education, which has its 2020 intensive seminar next week.


Doctoral Supervision Course

UPDATE: Click HERE for my video on doctoral supervision in music. Since the time of this video, I have been asked to teach for a fourth year of the Doctoral Supervision course (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023) and now serve on new PhD supervisory/examining committees in Denmark (students at two institutions), Lithuania (two students), and starting soon in Uganda and Faroe Islands (from 2023). 
It was a great pleasure to serve as one of the four invited panelists for a course yesterday (October 23, 2020) on Doctoral Supervision at University of Bergen, UPED 691: Becoming a Supervisor: Community, Expertise, Dialogue. Mentoring doctoral students is both an unusually challenging and fulfilling responsibility, as one guides a mature learner toward developing new knowledge as a scholar. It is helpful to provide courses of this kind to young professors, since sometimes those who are appointed as doctoral mentors have expertise in their specialized field but have taken few opportunities to systematically consider various approaches to mentoring. There is now a growing corpus of research on mentoring that can serve as a useful reference for those seeking to improve upon their approaches to doctoral supervision. 

In preparation for the panel, I reviewed several recent studies on PhD education, and reflected on my own experience as a doctoral supervisor. In my current job (within a recently merged institution that is seeking full research university status) there have been few opportunities to mentor doctoral students, but I have enjoyed much doctoral supervision in several previous jobs as well as recently through various adjunct (visiting professor) positions in Europe and Asia. In all, I have served on 15 doctoral committees, with universities in 10 countries in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. This includes dissertation studies using a variety of research methodologies, from ethnographies, historical studies, surveys and experiments, to philosophical and mixed methods studies. Education and music are fields in which there is much interdisciplinary research, with interesting opportunities to study diverse topics using an array of methodologies and theoretical approaches, which is quite stimulating. 

Our panel included some excellent researchers who shared experiences from an array of fields, from natural sciences to higher education, arts and therapy. Around 40 professors--recent hires from all across the university--participated in the course, and I think the four panelists shared helpful anecdotes and recommendations through our discussion and question/answer session. One of the panelists, Sally Barnes from the University of Bristol, especially reminded us of the importance of really knowing ourselves as part of the mentorship process. There are many indications that doctoral programs face increasing pressures that threaten to lower standards, and I think it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that quality and high academic standards are maintained through transparent application of well-conceived policies and procedures. At the same time, it is important that both PhD students and their mentors are given appropriate support using strategies informed by the latest research findings.


Eurasian Music Science Journal

Just today I learned that I have been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Eurasian Music Science Journal. This will soon be announced on the journal’s website. EMSJ is a fully refereed journal that publishes two issues per year in Russian and English languages. 

Based in Uzbekistan, the Eurasian Music Science Journal is rapidly becoming recognized as an important resource for studies of traditional music in Central Asia. While I already serve on several other Editorial Boards, this one has a rather different profile, and I am excited to see what we can develop with future publications. 

Here is a link to the journal:


Shown above is a public domain image of a performance of Shashmaqam, the profound musical heritage of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Below is a visual representation of the Eurasian landmass.   


Norwegian Folk Music Pedagogy

Next week our teacher education students in Bergen will enjoy an intensive schedule of lessons in Norwegian folk music provided by Ole Bull Academy

The skilled Norwegian folk musicians, dancers and scholars who will teach for this course include Arne Anderdal, Lajla Buer Storli, Hans Christian Dahlgaard, Jo Asgeir Lie, Astri Sudmann, John Ole Morken, Lars Fivelstad Småberg, and Stein Villa. 

We look forward to learning many unique songs and dances associated with local heritage. Hopefully when our students themselves become teachers, they will effectively share these rich traditions with many students. 


Online Conference in Uzbekistan

It was enjoyable to give a presentation for the online conference today that was hosted by the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. Musicologists joined from several countries, including Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, India, Norway, the UK, USA, Poland, UAE, and Kuwait. There were also brief presentations by the institution's Rectors and representatives from UNESCO.

Proceedings from this event will soon be published in Russian and English. Two of my frequent co-authors also had presentations, Jonathan McCollum and Mikolaj Rykowski (now Vice Rector at the academy in Poland), and it was very interesting to hear about recent developments in Central Asia. Click HERE to access a draft program (of which some details were later modified).  


 Международный научный семинар-конференция

«Шарк тароналари-2019»: взгляды ученых год спустя

(Перспективы развития традиционной музыки народов Востока)



ISME History Standing Committee

It was a pleasure to learn today that I have been appointed to the History Standing Committee of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). I look forward to collaborating in support of the important work of this organization.

I include here an image of the shofar, which for a few thousand years of Jewish tradition has been an important celebratory instrument to be played on this day, September 20 (Rosh Hashanah). A similar instrument has also been used in Norwegian folk music since Viking times.  

Below are some websites related to ISME’s History Standing Committee:




Summer Course 2021: Internationalizing Higher Education

Applications will soon be accepted for the intensive PhD course Internationalizing Higher Education, to be offered through Bergen Summer Research School (June 7-17, 2021).

Depending on the status of the pandemic, the course may be offered entirely online or face-to-face in Bergen. Typically, many students receive scholarships to cover the expense of participation, and the BSRS courses (for ECTS credits) attract PhD students from all around the world.

The application deadline is February 1, 2021. More details will be available soon, and linked to here with updates. For now, click HERE for the course announcement on the BSRS website, click HERE for an earlier announcement about the course concept, and click HERE for the BSRS website with details regarding the application process.


Nature Conservation and Music Sustainability

My article ‘Nature Conservation and Music Sustainability: Fields with Shared Concerns’ has been accepted for publication in the ‘Wild Pedagogy’ special issue of the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education.

Here is a link for the journal, although I expect it will be at least another month before the Wild Pedagogy special issue with my article is published: https://cjee.lakeheadu.ca/

[UPDATE (November 19, 2020): According to the editors, publication of this special issue is delayed until 2021.]

Interdisciplinarity has always been appealing to me, and this is probably the furthest outside my main fields that I have ventured as an author, with readings in environmental education to get a better sense of how music could be relevant, and vice versa. It is always a stimulating intellectual exercise to rethink one's subject area from the orientation of other fields of study, almost like visiting a different country. Hopefully the article will be interesting and useful for some readers.

Shown above is a photo I took near the start of this year while hiking in the woods near my home.


Digitized Musical Heritage: Nordic/Baltic Event

The Nordic Network for Music Education (NNME) will be holding its annual symposium and intensive joint Master course during the first week of November 2020. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be an entirely online event, hosted virtually by Camilla Kvaal at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

The theme for this year is Digitized Heritage: Sustaining Local Traditions.


We have received positive responses from notable experts who will serve as invited speakers for this online NNME event, including prominent researchers based in Australia, China, Kenya, Germany, and elsewhere. This unique event will also feature Nordic and Baltic keynote speakers and projects, and ongoing thesis research developed by the Master student participants.

Some parts of the event will be live-streamed for open access. Participation for full credit (with presentation of ongoing research and commentary) is limited to 21 Master students, but additional students may participate in a virtual poster session with access to the keynote speeches.

Click HERE for the main homepage of the Nordplus-sponsored Nordic Network for Music Education (NNME), and HERE for the 2020 intensive course announcement.

Click HERE for the NNME entry on Wikipedia. The network includes the postgraduate programs for music teacher education across the eight Nordic and Baltic countries, and for more than 20 years it has been coordinated by the music programs at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. 

David Hebert



Benefits of Shifting to Online Learning During Pandemic

Here is a link to an article from Norway News about my recent PhD course in Norway:

After clicking on the (above) website, one must scroll down to access the full article. 

Click HERE for a Norwegian language article about this course in Sunnhordland newspaper.


Keynote in Thailand

I look forward to giving a Keynote presentation soon for a conference in Thailand in collaboration with creative colleagues in the avant garde ensemble The Six Tones. Our presentation is titled “Musical Transformations: Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation,” a keynote developed for Is the Virtual Real?: Musical Communities in the 21st Century, the annual Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music (PGVIM) International Symposium.

UPDATE (Sept. 27, 2020):

Here is a link to our entire keynote presentation (complete with performances and interviews):

Here is a link for anyone who wants to skip to the Conclusion from our keynote presentation: 


For several years, the PGVIM events have attracted music specialists from around the world to Thailand. Due to the pandemic in 2020, our presentation is via videoconference.

Click HERE for the symposium schedule of events, and HERE for details on our presentation.

Above is a photograph of members of The Six Tones, and below is a photo of me playing Thai cymbals at a Maori marae in New Zealand (from 15 years ago during the Thai-Maori Musical Exchange Project with Dr. Pornprapit Phoasavadi, who had been my teacher of Thai jakhe for several years).

Paper presentation (with guitarist Stefan Östersjö, Vietnamese dan tranh master Than Thuy Nguyen, and composer Henrik Frisk), “Musical Transformations: Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation”; Panel discussion with composers Joseph Hyde (Bath Spa), Scott Wilson (Birmingham), and Ivan Zavada (Sydney), Is the Virtual Real?: Musical Communities in the 21st Century, Annual PGVIM International Symposium, Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music, Bangkok, Thailand (August 25, 2020). [presented via videoconference] 


Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning

It is a pleasure to announce the publication of the Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning, a unique new research resource that promises to attract much interdisciplinary interest. It is edited by three scholars based in Ontario, Canada: Janice Waldron, Stephanie Horsley and Kari Veblen. 

My chapter in this handbook is co-authored with Sean Williams, and titled “Ethnomusicology, Music Education, and the Power and Limitations of Social Media”. Sean and I describe how the fields of ethnomusicology and music education have made creative use of various forms of social media, including blogs such as this one. Moreover, we demonstrate how the field of music as a whole has been profoundly transformed through recent technological developments in ways that are both positive and negative for artists, researchers, educators, and the general public.



International PhD Course in Summer 2020

Sunnhordland newspaper recently published a description of innovative approaches in a new course that I developed and taught during the summer (July 14, 2020 edition, p.5). I would like to thank editor Hilde Vormedal Nybø for approving its publication, and here is a link to Sunnhordland, which I encourage Norwegian readers to support: https://www.sunnhordland.no/

The article describes an example of how the higher education sector in Norway has devised creative ways of strengthening international education despite the challenges of the Covid19 pandemic. In May and June of this year, Høgskolen på Vestlandet (HVL) offered the new course PhD 911: Non-Western Educational Philosophy and Policy within its PhD program in Bildung and Didactical Practices. Fitting its international theme, the course was taught in English, and due to the Coronavirus, all course activities were facilitated through online learning. 

Click HERE for further information about this course, which we look forward to offering again in 2022. Also, click HERE for information on the upcoming intensive summer PhD course Internationalizing Higher Education, to be offered through Bergen Summer Research School.  


Journal of Popular Music Education: Internet Special Issue

The Journal of Popular Music Education is now publishing an Internet Special Issue edited by Christopher Cayari (Purdue University) which is focused on Internet-based music learning.

This has become an important topic especially under the Covid19 pandemic conditions. 

Click HERE to access the journal.

Among others, the special issue includes the following article:

Brudvik, S. & Hebert, D. G. (2020). What’s stopping you?: Impediments to incorporating popular music technologies in schools. Journal of Popular Music Education, 4(2), pp.135-152.  

Below is a public domain image (from LSDB's Anatomography project) of the hippocampus, which plays an important role in music appreciation. 



Teaching World Music in Higher Education

Have you considered teaching a World Music course for a college or university? Is your administration hoping to see World Music courses offered, or do you know someone who has mentioned the possibility of teaching this subject? For some lecturers, this vast field can be an intimidating assignment for which it is hard to know where to begin. Even for ethnomusicologists who have taught World Music for years, it can be difficult to envision fresh and creative approaches to the subject beyond standard textbooks. This new book offers helpful stimulation for anyone interested in teaching a successful World Music course to students in higher education. 

Link for details: 


A Quarter-Million Visitors

It has now been over 13 years since I started posting various activities and announcements on this website, which across time has turned into a kind of digital portfolio. It is hard to believe, but according to statistics from the host Blogger, by mid-Autumn I am projected to have had a total of over 250,000 visitors to Sociomusicology. Those numbers are much larger than I would have ever expected, but some of the traffic might be "bots" rather than real live humans.

The very first post on Sociomusicology was about visiting Kyoto, Japan, in 2007 to complete research for my first book, while working as a young Assistant Professor at Boston University. As I would later write, just a few months afterward, it was a pleasure to have such activities as playing trumpet in Boston for Honkfest with Charlie Keil and Reebee Garofalo, and with bluesman Lou Pride in Victor Coelho’s great band. I was also excited about the work of my doctoral students, as well as the landmark Tanglewood-II symposium, but by the end of the year I left for a new job as a full professor in Finland, and eventually ended up in Norway.

Since 2007, there have been so many developments and activities that I could never have imagined. Those who have done any online writing in a blog, or related medium, will know that it can be difficult to decide what to write (and what to leave out), and inevitably issues arise across years in one’s older posts, such as broken links, formatting changes, and images that are no longer online. Meanwhile, the technology keeps evolving, especially across more than a decade. With time, I have gradually started to include more videos and photos, but never felt the need to have much interactivity built into the site. I figured that if people were curious about something they read, they could always just send me an email, and indeed, there have been many messages from strangers. I regret that sometimes I have been so busy that it has taken a while to reply.

Today most online activity is centered on proprietary social media that emphasize instant interaction and enable “big data” analytics for targeted advertising and surveillance: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Nevertheless, I think it still remains useful to maintain a site with one’s own content, something to link to with relative autonomy, so Sociomusicology will probably keep going for a while longer.

Displayed above are various systems that humans use to represent numbers, as well as a bit of time-lapse photography taken a few days ago from beside my home as mist was drifting across the lake.


Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy

For many generations, the cross-cultural study of music has been an important way of both fostering intercultural understanding and strengthening international relations. What counts as heritage has been rapidly changing as a consequence of globalization and commodification, and today western art music and hip-hop may be as much a part of cultural diplomacy as traditional folk music and Indigenous traditions. 

The book Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy (forthcoming, April 2022, Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield) aims to examine this topic to an unprecedented level of detail, from the perspectives of cultural diplomacy, international law, and (ethno)musicology. This unique book promises new insights for educators, researchers and policy-makers.

Click HERE to learn about the book’s contributing authors.

Click HERE for an article related to this topic from The Norwegian American.

This book is a new volume under development that is forthcoming in the series Deep Soundings: The Lexington Series in Historical Ethnomusicology.


Music in the Age of Streaming

The timely conference Music in the Age of Streaming will be held as scheduled next week, but offered entirely online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Click HERE for details regarding our presentation on Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation.

The presentation reports on an innovative project developed by artistic researchers: guitarist Stefan Östersjö, Vietnamese dan tranh master Than Thuy Nguyen, and composer Henrik Frisk, while my own role has been to provide an empirical research (ethnomusicological) perspective. The project Networked Performance in Intercultural Music Creation is producing some exciting outcomes that I think will improve understandings of online musical interaction, including streaming technologies.

The application of digital technologies in ethnomusicology and music education is a topic I have long been researching (for more than a decade). Below are some publications in this area from just the past five years, two of which are in collaboration with talented students from Norway, while others are with accomplished colleagues at universities in the US, China, and Poland:

  • Xie, J. & Hebert, D. G. (2020, forthcoming). Establishment of an Innovative Higher Education Initiative in Beijing: The Open Global Music Academy 「全球开放音乐学院——在北京建立一个创新高等音乐教育机构的计划」. In R. Allsup, (Ed.), Proceedings from New Directions for Performance and Music Teacher Education: A Symposium on University Music Education in China (Xiamen University).
  • Hebert, D. G. & Williams, S. (2020). Ethnomusicology, Music Education, and the Power and Limitations of Social Media. In Janice Waldron, Stephanie Horsley, & Kari Veblen (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Brudvik, S. & Hebert, D. G. (2020). What’s stopping you?: Impediments to incorporating popular music technologies in schools. Journal of Popular Music Education, 4(2). 
  • Husby, B. V. & Hebert, D. G. (2019). Integrated Learning of Music and Science: Reception of Björk’s Biophilia Project in the Nordic Countries. In D. G. Hebert & T. B. Hauge, (Eds.), Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe (pp.222-246). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.   
  • Hebert, D. G. & Rykowski, M. (Eds.), (2018). Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 
  • Ruthmann, A. & Hebert, D. G. (2018). Music Learning and New Media in Virtual and Online Environments. In G. McPherson & G. Welch (Eds.), Creativities, Technologies, and Media in Music Learning and Teaching, an Oxford Handbook of Music Education, volume 5 (pp.254-271). Oxford: Oxford University Press (updated edition of 2012 publication).
  • Hebert, D. G. (2016). Editorial Introduction: Technology and Arts Education Policy. Arts Education Policy Review, 117(3), 141-145 (“Technology” Special Issue). 


Internationalizing Higher Education

It is a pleasure to announce that in June 2021 we will be offering a new intensive PhD course through Bergen Summer Research School called Internationalizing Higher Education. The purpose of this course is to examine both theoretical and practical approaches to the improvement of international cooperation in the field of higher education, and it is designed to be of benefit to both professors and senior administrators. 

Application Deadline: 1 February 2021! 

I previously taught courses in cultural policy for BSRS: Cultural Policy: Arts Heritage and Sustainability (2019), and Cultural Heritage and Policy in a Digital Age (2018), and although this new course has a different focus we intend to include a strong arts component. I will be coordinating the 2021 course along with Robert Gray and Steinar Sætre, both based at University of Bergen. We will post links to more details when they become available.

Bergen Summer Research School courses explore interdisciplinary topics at the interface between society, science, and global challenges, and tend to attract 100 PhD candidates each year from all around the world, many of whom are sponsored by scholarships. It is a unique opportunity to obtain advanced research training while building international professional networks.

On a more personal note, I was recently asked to compile a dossier of my teaching, and was pleasantly surprised to receive enthusiastic endorsements from numerous former students and colleagues. Upon actually counting, I found that over the years I have taught for 85 institutions on each inhabited continent. It has been quite an adventure, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities. There is so much to learn from international dialogue. Hopefully we will receive lots of strong applications for the BSRS 2021 course, and can have a positive impact on colleges and universities that are seeking to open up for more international cooperation. 

Here is a video that shows what Bergen is like at this time of year ...


Colors of Spring

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, there are many new developments across the past week with music research and postgraduate studies here in Bergen, Norway. Shown here is a photo I took outside the window just three days ago, which demonstrates the unique colors of late springtime.    

I am pleased to announce that the Nordic Network for Music Education (NNME) has been awarded a substantial budget to continue its operations through 2021. This state-funded international network organizes intensive joint Master classes and exchange of music teachers and students across all Master-degree awarding music teacher education programs in the eight Nordic and Baltic countries. We have recently published a book from the network, and we are seeking to increase our collaboration through joint courses and (ultimately) programs.  

The Grieg Academy Music Education research group has also received an additional budget this spring based on its history of successful research outcomes, including refereed journal articles, books, encyclopedia entries, and chapters in major research handbooks. 

Finally, there has been very strong interest in our new PhD course Non-Western Educational Philosophy and Policy. I am happy to report that doctoral students applied to this course from such countries as China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada, Guyana, South Africa, Nigeria, Poland, the UK, Luxembourg, and Denmark, and from doctoral programs at leading education faculties, such as University College London and Education University of Hong Kong. We have great plans for this unique course which will be offered entirely online in late May.

We are hopeful that life may return to "normal" relatively soon, to the extent possible, and that until then we can all learn to be more patient. Hopefully by Autumn many activities will resume again, although much caution will still be necessary.


Cultural Heritage Policy Book

A few days ago I was able to complete and send the detailed plans for a new book that is being developed by an excellent group of contributing authors. They seem to be an ideal team for our topic, and I am thankful for their important contributions to an international-comparative volume that is likely to change how music is understood in the context of international relations.

It seemed worthwhile to introduce the team here, as they proceed with further development of their chapters.

About the Contributing Authors:

UPDATE (July, 2021): Five additional contributing authors have been added to this project: Koji Matsunobu, Ambigay Yudkoff, Lauren Braithwaite, Jan Magne Steinhovden and Chaden Yafi. The full manuscript of this contracted book has been submitted and is now under editorial review. 

Koji Matsunobu is Associate Head of the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts at the Education University of Hong Kong. An accomplished player of the Japanese shakuhachi flute, he holds PhD degrees from both Tokyo Gakugei University and University of Illinois, and is widely published on such topics as music education, spirituality, mindfulness, Indigenous knowledge, and creativity. 

Ambigay Yudkoff holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of South Africa. She has served as guest conductor of the Sai Movement’s youth choir of Isipingo in South Africa and the Battenkill Chorale of Vermont in the United States, each boasting notable performances for Nelson Mandela. Her monograph on Sharon Katz is volume 1 of the Deep Soundings series: Activism through Music during the Apartheid Era and Beyond: When Voices Meet

Lauren Braithwaite is a PhD student in music at Oxford University who has lived and worked in Afghanistan across recent years, where she researches music education in the ‘post-Taliban’ era. Her study focuses on Zohra, Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra. 

Jan Magne Steinhovden is a Lecturer at NLA University College and Ph.D. Candidate with the University of Bergen, Norway. He spent much of his childhood in Ethiopia and holds a Master of world music studies from the University of Sheffield. His dissertation concerns music and identity among Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in Norway. 

Chaden Yafi is a professionally-trained pianist and music educator with a doctorate in music from Boston University. Born in Syria, she has published on musical aesthetics and held a full-time position as a recitalist with the National Opera House in Damascus before moving to the USA. She now teaches many piano students in the Houston area. 

Marja Heimonen, DMus, Docent in Music Education, is a University Lecturer at the University of the Arts Helsinki. She also has a master-level law degree from University of Helsinki. In addition to her doctoral dissertation on music education and law, she has published chapters in books and anthologies, and articles in several different scholarly journals. She is the Managing Editor of the Finnish Journal of Music Education.

Juqian Li, PhD, is a Professor of International Law with China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, where he has directed the Public International Law Research Institute. He is also Director of Norway’s Confucius Institute and has been a visiting professor in South Korea and Iceland. He has authored 15 books and 20 articles on international law and international economic law, including in Introduction of Space Law, WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism, International Law, and International Law Commentary.

Marianne Løkke Jakobsen is Director of International Affairs with the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen, where she also has served as founding Director of the Music Confucius Institute. She has led several projects that advance music collaborations between China and Europe.

Jonathan McCollum, PhD, is an Associate Professor with Washington College (USA) and founding Chair of the Historical Ethnomusicology special interest group of the Society for Ethnomusicology. He is known for his widely published contributions to the historiography of global music, and music traditions in Armenia and Japan.

Elnora Mamadjanova, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Music History and Criticism with the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. She has coordinated several international musicology symposia affiliated with international music festivals in Uzbekistan. Her publications include the book Traditional Music of the Uzbeks (Extremum, 2016).

Nguyễn Thanh Thủy, PhD, is a leading Master performer of the Vietnamese traditional instrument dan tranh who recently completed doctoral studies at the Malmo Academy Music, Lund University, Sweden and is now a Swedish Research Council funded postdoctoral researcher.

Stefan Östersjö, PhD, a professional guitarist and widely-published pioneer of intercultural studies in the field of Artistic Research, is now a full Professor and coordinator of doctoral studies in music at Lulea University of Technology, Sweden.

Nasim Niknafs, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Music Education at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Nasim’s research concerning social justice, activism, and politics of contemporary music education is widely published. Concluding a longitudinal research on the music education of rock musicians in Iran, Nasim has recently begun research on migratory and diasporic practices in music education. Nasim holds degrees from Northwestern University, New York University, Kingston University, London, and University of Art, Tehran.

Karan Choudhary holds a PhD from the National Law University Delhi, India and Université Paris Nanterre, France. Presently, he is a Judge in Delhi, India. He was a recipient of an Erasmus Scholarship from the European Union. His research interests include culture, law, indigenous rights and policy designs, with publications in Interactions between Culture and Law in India and Europe, and Language, Law and Community.

Abraha Weldu holds a PhD in History and Cultural Studies from Mekelle University, Ethiopia. His doctoral dissertation is an intellectual biography of one of the most prominent diplomats and cultural attachés of twentieth-century Ethiopia. For more than seven years, he has taught courses in history and heritage studies at Bule Hora University. He was a participant in the Bergen Summer Research School in Norway.

Rhoda Abiolu is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Durban University of Technology, and holds a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her research interests are in Media and Cultural studies with emphasis on media and cultural representations, ethnomusicology, participatory culture, and political economy. She was a participant in Bergen Summer Research School.

We have exciting plans for this book, and I am eager to see how the final version turns out as we obtain and respond to recommendations from an external reviewer. 

Click HERE to see reviews of my first six books.