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 ...