Past events

RAI Research Seminar: John Baily
Wednesday 15 October 2014, 05:30pm - 07:30pm
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The emergence of ethnomusicology and the RAI

Professor John Baily, Goldsmiths

Wednesday 15 October at 5.30 pm

In 1953, when the newly denominated discipline of ethnomusicology was emerging, the RAI Council proposed ‘to appoint a committee to consider what action should be taken for the encouragement of this branch of anthropology’. The Ethnomusicology Committee was set up, and replaced by the Ethnomusicology Panel in 1963, which continued, with rather different objectives, until 1974. The seminar will discuss the work of the Committee and the Panel and evaluate the contribution the RAI made to the development of ethnomusicology in the UK during this period. Committee and later Panel member Raymond Clausen wrote in 1958 : ‘The single most important consequence of the committee's existence is that the British Universities can no longer plead ignorance about ethnomusicology. Nor, with the RAI's backing to the committee's work, can they lightly cast aspersions on the respectability of the discipline.’ Since 1974 ethnomusicology in the UK has thrived, but in departments of music, not (with a few notable exceptions) within anthropology. The remit of the new Ethnomusicology Committee is to continue to ‘encourage this branch of anthropology’, a return to the aspirations of 1953.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to

Location 3