The Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology

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Please visit the full webpage at: http://CCE.UALBERTA.CA

Territorial Acknowledgement and Call to Action

Michael Frishkopf, Director
Julia Byl, Associate Director

CCE's primary mission is to facilitate musical sound for the public good, through multiple ethnomusicological activities: musical archiving, performance, research, teaching, and community engaged outreach - all contributing towards human development: improving the world through music, building and sustaining community through expressive sound.  Here "music" is defined as broadly as possible, to denote "humanly meaningful sound, transcending mere information, along with associated behaviors, discourses, social organizations, meanings, and materialities."

Thus "music" includes music, but also chant or speech, as well as associated rituals, performances, gatherings, movements, texts, musical instruments, concepts and theories, and all talk about music. (Dance and poetry are a kind of "music" using this broad definition, as are ritual chants and musical aesthetics; in fact "ethnomusicology" itself is a kind of music, leading to "metaethnomusicology": the ethnomusicology of ethnomusicology itself!)

CCE activities go beyond the ordinary duties of faculty and students (to teach, learn, research), by working collaboratively, outside the usual scope of university practices, to address (directly or indirectly) the larger social issues of our times.

At the hub of the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology (CCE), housed under the Department of Music and University of Alberta Museums, is a world music archive (both digital and physical) serving as a research and teaching resource for musical and cultural traditions, locally and internationally.

Revolving around this hub is a range of research, teaching, performance, and outreach projects, including Music for Global Human Development (, K-12 education, world music ensembles, the Edmonton Transcultural Orchestra, and the recently-founded covid-19 era TranceCultural Orchestra (see, both demonstrating the ways music can transcend putative cultural borders to create and maintain affective human connections.

CCE connects to a broad spectrum of academic disciplines across the Faculty of Arts, but extending also to Education and the health sciences, through the initiative entitled Songs for Sustainable Peace and Development, which has resulted in ongoing global health projects in Liberia, Ghana, and Ethiopia. CCE projects may result in printed texts (books and articles), exhibitions, conferences, symposia, concerts and workshops, or in a variety of media, including audio, video, websites, and virtual reality models.

The archival collection includes diverse instruments and more than 4000 titles in audio/video recordings. World music groups include the Indian Music Ensemble, West African Music Ensemble, and Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble, all functioning as teaching centers as well as providing outreach to local Edmonton events. We also run a Summer Study Abroad Program in Ghana, and a weekly noon series of lectures, activities, and workshops, every Wednesday noon - 1 pm in 3-47 Old Arts. The Centre helps students, staff, faculty and the general public at large to understand how people use music to connect, express, and create community and identity, and helps to effect positive change through such activities. Working locally, nationally, and globally, the CCE is of value to students and faculty in the social sciences, humanities, education, and fine arts.

The CCE team is ever changing - each project may have a different set of participants, including faculty, staff, and students at the UofA, and others in a range of communities from Edmonton, to Alberta, to Canada, and beyond. Many volunteer. When funding is available, we often employ students and others to work on these projects as Research Assistants. We hold a weekly series of meetings in 3-47 Old Arts, each Wednesday from noon to 1 pm. These meetings range in formality, from discussions to lecture presentations or workshop performances, sometimes involving out of town guests, and sometimes students and faculty at the UofA. Please join our mailing list (see below) to be kept abreast of the schedule.