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Institut für Musikforschung

Research in Ethnomusicology

Ethnomusicology staff research areas

Dr. Juniper Hill is Professor and Chair of Ethnomusicology. She has conducted extensive fieldwork on creativity, improvisation, pedagogy, revival, and intercultural dynamics in South Africa, Finland, the US, and Ecuador. In her new work on multicultural Germany, Hill focuses on intercultural empathy and creative agency, drawing on applied Ethnomusicology and community music.

Dr. Nepomuk Riva is a German ethnomusicologist with a research focus on West-African musics and the image of Africa in the German music culture. 2016-2021 he was coordinator of the DAAD-Graduate School “Performing Sustainability”, a German-Ghanaian-Nigerian university collaboration based on joint research on cultural sustainability. His interest is to use the methods of applied ethnomusicology to disseminate academic knowledge to a broader audience, like i.e. the music intervention “unison against racism”.

Dr. Clara Wenz is a lecturer in ethnomusicology who specialises in music in and from the Middle East, especially Syrian as well as Arab-Jewish musical cultures. Prior to joining the Institute of Music Research, she spent several years studying Arabic and carrying out fieldwork in Damascus and Beirut, worked at the Goethe Institute in Cairo, and, most recently, held a post-doc position at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her new research project focuses on the raqs al-kheil (Arabic for “dance of the horse”), one of Egypt’s most popular musical-equestrian traditions.

Fabio Dick M.A. is a doctoral student at the Institute of Music Research and works as a scientific assistant to the chair for Ethnomusicology at JMU Würzburg. He went to Music College (Regensburg 2006–2008) and holds a B.A. in Applied Musicology and Music Pedagogy (KU Eichstätt 2009–2013) as well as a M.A. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology/Transcultural Music Studies (JMU Würzburg 2012–2016). Expected to be published in 2023, his dissertation on Music and Homeland is based on fieldwork in Eastern Bavaria. The main focus of both his teaching and research is on sociocultural and glocal dimensions of musicking in the 20th and 21st century, yet also on the interrelationship between traditional and popular musics.

Dr. Cornelia Günauer is a research associate and lecturer in Ethnomusicology. She is a trained musicologist and social anthropologist and has conducted extensive field research on the use of music during election campaigns in India. In India, her focus especially lies on the Northeastern region (Meghalaya) where she has spent several months for her PhD research. Having worked closely with the African Music Archives (Mainz), she has also built up an expertise in different musics from across the African continent. Currently, she holds a post-doc position in the research project “Learning from Ethnomusicology and Our Neighbors: Musical Heritage, Creativity, and Intercultural Engagement” which is headed by Prof. Juniper Hill and funded by the VW-Foundation. In her work she is interested in the multiple connections between music and politics, musical diversity, community-participatory approaches, and Applied Ethnomusicology.

Dr. Lisa Herrmann-Fertig is Lecturer in Ethnomusicology. She specializes in historical methods, examining colonial and missionary influences, as well as music and education. She has conducted extensive archival and field research on South Indian musics, as well as shorter projects on World Music Festivals in Germany and contemporary music theatre in Berlin. In her new work, she is interested in exploring the intersections between, Ethnomusicology, Ecomusicology, and Human-Animal Studies in Papua New Guinea in Hindu rituals (especially Theyyam).

Ebru Yazici is a doctoral student that focuses on extended musical approaches in Europe, especially in the framework of improvisation sessions. Her study explores contemporary socio-political dynamics in relation to technic-aesthetic-philosophical components and multiculturalism/cultural interconnectivity.

Mehdi Bagheri is a doctoral student that is currently doing research on Kurdish musicians in diaspora. He approaches this topic with theories of revivalism, hybridity, and identity, by focusing on Kurdish diasporic communities in Germany and Sweden.  

Dr. Max Peter Baumann is Professor Emeritus in Ethnomusicology. He specializes in field research methodologies, the anthropology of listening, globalization, revival, and other topics, and has conducted extensive field research in the Bolivian Andes and the European Alps.

Visitors and Events

Program Winter 2019/2020 (PDF)
Program Summer 2019 (PDF)
Program Winter 2018/19 (PDF)
Program Summer 2018 (PDF)

Ethnomusicology PhD students’ research projects

Fabio Dick is conducting research on feelings of home, sense of homeland, and national identity as expressed in contemporary musical practice in Bavaria.

Ebru Yazici focuses on polyphonic overtone singers in Europe, especially in the framework of improvisation sessions. Her study explores contemporary socio-political dynamics in relation to issues of multiculturalism and musical hybridity.

Lisa Herrmann-Fertig recently completed her doctoral research on music as an instrument of the Jesuit mission in South India from the end of the 17th century until their expulsion in 1759. In addition to in-depth archival and library research in Goa, Lisbon, Évora, Rome, Munich and Mainz, she conducted field research in South India. Pre-dissertation focuses on the question of intercultural communication in missions through musical phenomena and the unique method of Jesuit missionary work through musical aesthetic expressions.


Research projects and online resources

Wamsasa: Würzburger Archiv zur Musik des Sahels und der Sahara (2018)

Arbeitslieder der Sake-Brauer von Echigo (Japan) (2002/Webversion 2019)

Die Konzertina in Franken (2000)

Volksmusik in Franken (1984/Webversion 2018)

Osmanische Musikhandschriften (1997/Webversion 2010)

Research Publications in Ethnomusicology

Intercultural Music Studies (IMS)

Publications of Prof. Dr. Juniper Hill

Publications of Prof. Dr. Max Peter Baumann