This years’ British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference was held at the University of Sheffield from 20th to 23rd April 2017. There were over 150 attendees from the UK, Europe and beyond, and the keynote speaker was Professor Michael Bakan from Florida State University. City’s Music Department was represented by two of its academic staff: Professor Stephen Cottrell and Dr Laudan Nooshin, who both delivered papers. Stephen’s paper was entitled ‘Ethnomusicology, Music Information Retrieval and Big Music Data’, and considered the ways in which computational analysis of large audio data sets might impact on the study and understanding of music traditions around the globe. Laudan presented as part of a roundtable which she convened on ‘The Ethics and Aesthetics of Studying Music in Situations of Conflict and Violence’. Her contribution focused on some of the issues raised by music video responses to the 2009 contested presidential elections in Iran. The roundtable generated interesting discussion across a range of issues related to undertaking research in situations of conflict and violence.
The size and success of the conference again demonstrated the strength and vitality of British ethnomusicology, and the large numbers of early career scholars who attended – including some from City – augurs well for the future development of this part of the music studies field.