Am 28. November um 18:00 Uhr wurde das Buch „Ethnomusicology matters. Influencing social and political realities“ präsentiert: neben den Herausgeber_innen Ursula Hemetek, Marko Kölbl und Hande Sağlam sprachen auch weitere Vertreter_innen der mdw sowie des Böhlau Verlages, umrahmt von musikalischen Beiträgen.


„Ethnomusicology Matters. Influencing
Social and Political Realities“

herausgegeben Ursula Hemetek, Marko Kölbl
und Hande Sağlam

Donnerstag, den 28. November 2019
18.00 Uhr

mdw – Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1
1030 Wien


► FLYER (book launch Ethnomusicology Matters and kick-off MMRC)



Ulrike Sych, Rector of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Ethnomusicology matters: Influencing social and political realities

What makes research at arts universities such as the mdw so special is the linking of research with artistic practice or artistic forms of expression and practices.

Moreover, by anchoring research at arts academies, specific research questions and research fields can be opened up.

The Department for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology is the initiator and founder of transculturality at the mdw, which today extends across the entire institution.

For an international university like the mdw with students from over 70 nations worldwide, diversity, non-discrimination and transculturality are of the greatest importance.

The Department for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology meets the demands formulated in our mission statement in an exemplary manner and also serves as a model for musical practice and critical and self-reflected academic work at our university.

The relevance of the Department for the mdw cannot be overemphasized, as it combines diverse musical practices beyond classical European music with  research on the music making of marginalized groups.

Thus it ideally complements the work of artistic and scientific departments at the mdw and opens up topics and fields of action for students and society in the broadest sense that were and are often underrepresented.

At the mdw, ethnomusicology plays a pioneering role in terms of content, as it has created a new subject in minority research.

As the example of the Department shows in an exemplary manner, research can advance the critical analysis of social questions related to the present.

The publication Ethnomusicology Matters demonstrates the political and social effectiveness of research by offering a wide range of topics and approaches.

The mdw is a university where the concept of quality and excellence is discussed in a broader context. The Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology provides evidence that we need an extended concept of art and an extended concept of music.

Thus, it is a future challenge to further develop the concept of art, scientific and musical practices in order to take into account our aspiration to equal treatment in a diverse society.
Tomorrow we will celebrate the kick-off meeting of the Music and Minorities Research Center (MMRC). A result of the outstanding work of Ursula Hemetek, who was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize in 2018.

It is thanks to her tireless efforts that the ICTM secretariat was brought to the mdw. I am extremely proud of this success.
Dear Ursula, thank you and your team for your excellent work! I’m very pleased that your decades of work have been so richly rewarded.
I am now looking forward to the presentation of the publication and the kick-off meeting of the MMRC (Music and Minorities Research Center) tomorrow.


Therese Kaufmann, head of research support

Ethnomusicology matters

What a wonderful programmatic title. I can only agree with it. It does make a difference. And it does so in several ways.

As stated in the second part of the book title, ethnomusicology is discussed here as having a direct impact on social and political realities.

Ethnomusicology is thus not only about how we look at music and dance as relevant forces in the shaping of power relations, social interactions and hegemonic structures. It is the very discipline of ethnomusicology that actively engages with the manifold crises and challenges of our times, with social inequality or discrimination. Ultimately, ethnomusicology is about intervening, about creating conditions where change is possible.

For several years I had the great privilege, together with you, Uschi, Hande, and some others to discuss and conceptualise the content of the transdisciplinary lecture series Transculturality. It was an

incredibly fruitful exchange, underpinned by a similar intention. What we were aiming at was the academic and artistic exploration of transcultural phenomena in the context of the historical

(post)colonial, political and economic conditions of art and knowledge production today.

But there was more to it. It was about acting, about creating new spaces for exchange. It was meant to work as an intervention at our own university, a Western European arts university of great international reputation. I think it is no exaggeration to say that this lecture series has triggered not only much critical discourse within the institution, but has led to some structurally relevant initiatives.

Let me come back to ethnomusicology. It matters. And here I am speaking as head of research support at our university. Ethnomusicology is part of a wide range of academic disciplines and research fields at this university. For decades, it has contributed to the fact that the mdw is a research institution of international standing and is strongly committed to research-led teaching. The MMRC will contribute to this.

I am very happy about the recent establishment of the Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology and hope very much that many qualified candidates for the PhD programme of the mdw and thus promising early-stage researchers will emerge from it. As mentioned in the introduction to the book, the structural positioning of the discipline and the content produced by it need to be seen as interwoven.

Ursula, Hande, Marko, you and all the others at the Department demonstrate how successful cutting-edge research can be. You show us that it is possible and necessary to challenge disciplinary boundaries, to develop new research questions and set standards within the discipline – for example by setting up a Music and Minorities working group within the ICTM, or, to give you another example: by promoting concepts of engaged research and dialogical knowledge production that go beyond existing formats of basic and applied research - questioning common subject-object relationships and calling for a critical self-positioning of the researcher within the research context.

I would like to congratulate you, Ursula Hemetek, Marko Kölbl and Hande Saglam on this exciting publication, which as I am pleased to note, also appears in Gold Open Access, and I would like to thank you for all the interventions in our shared space of research here at our university.
Yes, ethnomusicoloy matters. The title is the programme.