Dr. Michael Frishkopf
Professor and Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, Department of Music
Director, Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology (CCE) (cce.ualberta.ca)
Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Lead, International Traditional Medicine, Integrative Health Network
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Communication and Cultural Studies, University for Development Studies, Ghana
Mail: Michael Frishkopf, Department of Music, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, 3-82 Fine Arts Building, Edmonton, AB CANADA T6G 2C9
Office: 334D Old Arts Building
Tel: Skype: (617) 275-2589; office: (780) 492-0225. Music Dept: (780) 492-3263
Fax: Music Dept: (780) 492-9246. CCE (780) 492-0242
Email is preferable for all initial communications.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Affiliations
- 3 CV
- 4 Select Publications
- 5 Theses
- 6 Awards and Honors
- 7 Some recent talks and lectures
- 8 Music and Health
- 9 Music, Sound, and AI
- 10 Applied Ethnomusicology
- 10.1 Music for Global Human Development
- 10.2 Multimedia projects
- 10.3 Digital repositories
- 10.4 Technology
- 11 Collaborative projects
- 12 Educational programs
- 13 Musical composition, improvisation, performance
- 14 Concerts, workshops, and conferences
- 15 Media
- 16 Quotations
- 17 Miscellaneous
Michael Frishkopf, Professor of Music at the University of Alberta, is an ethnomusicologist, performer, and composer. A graduate of Yale College (BS Mathematics, 1984), Tufts University (MA Ethnomusicology, 1989), and the University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D. Music, 1999), Dr. Frishkopf’s ethnomusicological research interests include music of the Arab world; Sufi music; sound in Islamic ritual performance; music and religion; comparative music theory; the sociology of musical taste; social network analysis; (virtual [world) music]; digital music repositories; machine learning for sound recognition, music information retrieval, and soundscape therapies; music in West Africa; participatory action research; psychoacoustics and music cognition; music and global health; indigenous medicine and music as medicine for integrative health; and music for global human development and social change.
His research and teaching combine a number of different fields, including ethnomusicology, anthropology, Middle East studies, religious/Islamic studies, psychoacoustics, computer science, media studies, literary studies, music theory. He is a lifetime member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Council for Traditional Music, and the Middle East Studies Association of North America. He is also a member of the International Association for Music & Medicine.
He has received numerous fellowships supporting his research, including grants from Fulbright, the American Research Center in Egypt, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Killam Foundation (Canada), the National Endowment for the Humanities, Canada Foundation for Innovation, New Frontiers in Research Fund, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
In performance, Michael specializes in the nay (Middle Eastern reed flute), and also performs the song-drum-dance traditions of Ghana. He is the founder (in 2004) of the University of Alberta Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble, as well as the University of Alberta West African Music Ensemble (in 1999). Both ensembles perform frequently in public in the Edmonton area, especially to support progressive causes. He also performs “Third Stream” and world music inflected jazz on the piano, following studies with Ran Blake and others in the Third Stream program at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
Some current projects include:
- Autonomous Adaptive Soundscape project: an intelligent bioalgorithmic system generating personalized therapeutic soundscapes especially for critically ill patients in the ICU, using machine learning and biosignals
- Deep Learning for Sound Recognition
- Digital repositories and metadata for ethnomusicology
- Sounds of Islam and Sufi ritual
- Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam
- Music media and the music industry in the Arab world
- [Virtual (world] music) - world music and ethnomusicology in cyberworlds
- Music for Global Human Development
- Giving voice to hope: popular music towards post-conflict healing in Liberia
- Songs for Sustainable Peace and Development: popular music for peace and development
- Music for Cultural Continuity and Civil Society: traditional and fusion music for social solidarity, community, and identity
- Aswan Music Project
- Music and Sanitation in Northern Ghana
- Music and Maternal/Neonatal Health in Ethiopia
- The transmission of musical taste in Canada
- Music culture as social network (social network analysis)
- Microtonal ear training.
- Professor of Music
- Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, Director
- Religious Studies, Adjunct Professor
- Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Community Engagement, Adjunct Professor
- Integrative Health Institute scholar affiliate and Lead - International Indigenous Medicine (to June 30, 2020; Integrative Health Network thereafter)
- Centre for Health and Culture, member of the board
- Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Research Group affiliate
- Stories of Change
- AI for Sound Societies Collaboratory, under the aegis of the AI for Society signature area
- Frishkopf, Michael. “Music for Global Human Development.” 2021. In Transforming Ethnomusicology, vol. II, edited by Beverly Diamond and Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (27 pages)
- Frishkopf, Michael. West African Polyrhythm: culture, theory, and representation'. In SHS Web of Conferences, Volume 102, 2021, The 3rd ETLTC International Conference on Information and Communications Technology (ETLTC2021)
- Frishkopf, Michael. My Musical Journey. In Global Middle East: Into the 21st Century, edited by Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera. (View Webinar by contributing authors)
- Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika, Gillian Creese, Michael Frishkopf, and Njoki Wane. 2020. “Re-envisioning Resilience from African Immigrants’ Perspectives.” Canadian Ethnic Studies, 52:3, pp. 129-149
- Frishkopf, Michael. "Aesthetics, Creativity, and Mysticism: An Investigation of Three Modes of Consciousness", Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. 54(4), December 2019.
- Jayarathne, Isuru, Michael Cohen, Michael Frishkopf, and Gregory Mulyk. 2019. “Relaxation ‘Sweet Spot’ Exploration in Pantophonic Musical Soundscape Using Reinforcement Learning.” In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces: Companion, 55–56. IUI ’19. New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3308557.3308686
- Frishkopf, Michael. “Identity maintenance through ritual language performance among contemporary Egyptian Sufi orders.” 2019. In Aspects of Performance in Faith Settings: Heavenly Acts, ed. Andrey Rosowsky, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, pp. 233-266.
- Frishkopf, Michael. “Aesthetics, Emotion, and Social Solidarity in the Eʋe Kinka Funeral.” 2019. In Death and Creative Instinct: Some Mortuary Arts and Acts from Africa and the Diaspora, edited by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi. Berlin: Galda Verlag.
- Rasmussen, Anne K., Angela Impey, Rachel Beckles Willson, Ozan Aksoy, Denise Gill, and Michael Frishkopf. 2019. “Call and Response: SEM President’s Roundtable 2016, ‘Ethnomusicological Responses to the Contemporary Dynamics of Migrants and Refugees.’” Ethnomusicology 63 (2): 279–314.
- Frishkopf, Michael. "Forging Transnational Actor Networks through Participatory Action Research: Responsibility to Protect via Musical Rehumanisation in Post-War Liberia". World of Music. 7 (1/2): 107-134, 2018.
- Frishkopf, Michael. Paralinguistic Ramification of Language Performance in Islamic Ritual, Yale Journal of Music and Religion, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2018.
- Frishkopf, Michael and Federico Spinetti, editors. Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam, (University of Texas Press, 2018). (http://bit.ly/musari) Supplemental AV materials are on Archnet. Turkish translation: İslam'da Müzik, Ses ve Mimari, tranlated by Şükrü Atsızelti. Publication expected November 2020.
- M. Frishkopf, D.Zakus, S.Abu, H.Hamze, M.Alhassan, I.A.Zukpeni. "Traditional Music as a Sustainable Social Technology for Community Health Promotion in Africa: “Singing and Dancing for Health” in Rural Northern Ghana." Annals of Global Health, Volume 83, Issue 1, January–February 2017, Page 38.
- Frishkopf, Michael. Popular Music as Public Health Technology: Music for Global Human Development and “Giving Voice to Health” in Liberia. Journal of Folklore Research, Vol. 54, No. 1-2, Music and Global Health (January/August 2017), pp. 41-86.
- Frishkopf, Michael, Michael Cohen, and Rasika Ranaweera. Curating Ethnomusicology in Cyberworlds for Ethnomusicological Research. "World Music in Wonderland". Ethnologies, special issue: Exhibiting Soundscapes, edited by Marcia Ostashewski and Michael Frishkopf. 37(1), 2017.
- Frishkopf, Michael, David Zakus, Hasan Hamze, Mubarak Alhassan, Ibrahim Abukari Zukpeni, Sulemana Abu. 2016 Traditional Music as a Sustainable Social Technology for Community Health Promotion in Africa: “Singing and Dancing for Health” in Rural Northern Ghana. Legon Journal of the Humanities, special issue: Music, Health and Wellbeing: African Perspectives, edited by Florian Carl and Eric Debrah Otchere, 27(2):59-90, 2016.
- Frishkopf, Michael, Hasan Hamze, Mubarak Alhassan, Ibrahim Abukari Zukpeni, Sulemana Abu, and David Zakus. 2016. “Performing Arts as a Social Technology for Community Health Promotion in Northern Ghana.” Family Medicine and Community Health 4 (1): 22–36, 2016.
- Ranaweera, Rasika, Michael Cohen, and Michael Frishkopf. 2015. “Narrowcasting and Multipresence for Music Auditioning and Conferencing in Social Cyberworlds.” Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 24 (3): 220–42, 2015.
- “Muslims, music, and tolerance in Egypt and Ghana: a comparative perspective on difference." In Islam and Popular Culture, ed. by Karin van Nieuwkerk. University of Texas Press, 2016.
- Against ethnomusicology: Language performance and the social impact of ritual performance in Islam, Performing Islam, Volume 2, Number 1, December 2013 , pp. 11-43 .
- Майкл Фришкопф. 2013. “Этноджаз". Этноджаз в Центральной Азии: 17-21. ”Ethnojazz.” EthnoJazz in Central Asia: 49-52. In: EthnoJazz in Central Asia: Sociocultural design in the sphere of culture. Bishkek: Central Asian Arts Management, 2013
- "Music as debate: Social forces shaping the heterodoxy of Sufi performance in contemporary Egypt." In Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety. Ed. Kamal Salhi. London: Routledge, 2013.
- "Tradition and modernity: the globalization of Sufi Music in Egypt." In Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook, edited by Walid El Hamamsy & Mounira Soliman. London: Routledge, 2012.
- "Prediction of dissimilarity judgments between tonal sequences using information theory", in Proceeding HCCE '12: Proceedings of the 2012 Joint International Conference on Human-Centered Computer Environments, Pages 194-199, ACM New York, NY, USA ©2012
- “Ritual as strategic action: the social logic of musical silence in Canadian Islam”, in Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World, edited by Karin van Nieuwkerk. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011
- Review of The Rough Guide to Sufi Music, Asian Music, Volume 43, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2012, pp. 148-155
- "Folkways in Wonderland: A Cyberworld Laboratory for Ethnomusicology", (Rasika Ranaweera, Michael Frishkopf, and Michael Cohen), in Proceeding CW '11: Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Cyberworlds, Pages 106-112, IEEE Computer Society Washington, DC, USA ©2011
- “Technology, Change and the Music of Sufi Chanting in Egypt.” Earle Waugh & Michael Frishkopf. Musica Humana 3(1), 2011
- Music and Media in the Arab World, edited & with an Introduction by Michael Frishkopf. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, distributed by Oxford University Press (2010).
- "(virtual [world) music]: Virtual world, world music: Folkways in Wonderland" in Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Principles and Applications of Spatial Hearing, Zao, Miyagi, Japan, November 2009. (co-authored: Rasika Ranaweera, Michael Cohen, Nick Nagel, and Michael Frishkopf).
- "Mediated Qur’anic recitation and the contestation of Islam in contemporary Egypt", in Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East. Ashgate, 2009. Audio examples: ex 3.1, ex 3.2, ex. 3.3,
- "Globalizing the soundworld - Islam and Sufi Music in the West", in Sufis in the West (Routledge, 2008)
- “Music”, in The Islamic World, edited by Andrew Rippin (Routledge "Worlds" series). New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 510-526.
- "Music, Nationalism, and the development of Egypt's phonogram industry: Muhammad Fawzy, Misrphon, and Sawt al-Qahira" (SonoCairo) Asian Music, Volume 39, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2008, pp. 28-58.
- “‘Islamic Music in Africa’ as a tool for African Studies”, in Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 42, #2/3, 2008, pp. 478-507.
- “Metadata Infrastructure for Sound Recordings", Proceedings of ISMIR 2007 (International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, September 23rd-27th 2007, Vienna, Austria). Co-author.
- Islamic Music, in New Encyclopedia of Africa, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2007, pp. 643-648.
- Music of Makran: traditional fusion from coastal Balochistan, in Asian Music, Summer/Fall 2006
- Sufi music review: (1) Soufis d'algerie: Mostaganem/Algeria: The Sufis of Mostaganem. 2003. Prophet Collection 31. Philips 472 503-2; (2) Chant soufi de Syrie: Dhikr Qadiri Khalwati de la Zawiya Hilaliya, Alep /Sufi chanting from Syria : Dhikr Qadiri Khalwati of the Zawiya Hilaliya, Aleppo . 2002. Maison des Cultures du Monde, Inedit W 260109. (3) Maroc: L'art du sama' a Fes/Morocco: The Art of Sama' in Fez . 2002. Disques VDE-GALLO, VDE CD-1104. (CD reviews). In Yearbook of the International Council for Traditional Music, 2003.
- Review of “The Yemen Tihama: trance & dance music from the Red Sea coast of Arabia” International Music Collection of the British Library National Sound Archive. Topic World Series, Topic Records Ltd. TSCD920. (CD review). Asian Music, Fall/Winter 2003/2004, XXXV:1.
- "Authorship in Sufi Poetry", in Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, #23: Intersections: Literature and the Sacred (2003)
- “Spiritual Kinship and Globalization”, in Religious Studies and Theology v. 22 #1, 2003
- "Some Meanings of the Spanish Tinge in Contemporary Egyptian music", in Mediterranean Mosaic, edited by Goffredo Plastino (in the series entitled Perspectives on Global Pop, edited by Gage Averill; Routledge Publishing) (2002).
- "Shaykh Yasin al-Tuhami: A typical layla performance", Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6 (2002).
- "al-Inshad al-Dini (Islamic religious singing) in Egypt", Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6 (2002).
- Review of Asmahan’s Secrets: Woman, War, and Song (No. 13 in the Middle East Monograph Series ( Austin: UT Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 2000), by Sherifa Zuhur), International Journal of Middle East Studies (fall 2002). Arabic version in Weghat Nazar.
- Musical transformations of time, in "Eighth International Conference on Human Interface Technology", March 14-20, 2002, Aizu University, Japan.
- "Inshad Dini and Aghani Diniyya in 20th c Egypt : a review of styles, genres, and available recordings", Bulletin of the Middle East Studies Association, Winter 2001. (Arabic translation: Wijhat Nazar (Viewpoints), #35, vol. #3, December 2001, under the title: “al-inshad al-dini wa al-aghani al-diniyya fi masr al-qarn al-‘ishrin”, pp. 68-72. Cairo : Egyptian Company for Arab and International Publication.)
- "Changing modalities in the globalization of Islamic saint veneration and mysticism: Sidi Ibrahim al-Dasuqi, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Burhani, and their Sufi Orders". Religious Studies and Theology, v. 20 nos. 1 & 2(2001).
- "Tarab in the Mystic Sufi Chant of Egypt", in: Colors of Enchantment: Visual and Performing Arts of the Middle East, edited by Sherifa Zuhur. American University in Cairo Press, 2001, pp. 233-269
- The Magic of the Sufi Inshad: Sheikh Yasin al-Tuhami (compact disc liner notes). Paris: Long Distance, Real World Works, 1998
- La voix du poète : tarab et poésie dans le chant mystique soufi
- with M. Garner, V. Haimo, I. Loobeek, D.Davis, Type-of-service routing: Modeling and simulation. Technical Report 6364, BBN Communications Corporation, January 1987.
- with S. Cohn, S. Eiser, J. Robinson, and J. Wiggins, Congestion Control Study Final Report, July 1985.
- Dissertation (UCLA, 1999)
- Sufism, Ritual, and Modernity in Egypt: Language Performance as an Adaptive Strategy (now including high-resolution graphs)
- Appendix F: Analytical Graphs (separate, full-color)
- The Character of Ewe Performance (Tufts University MA Thesis, 1989)
Awards and Honors
- 2020 Edmonton Interfaith Advocate award
- 2018 Community Connection award: Community Scholar
- 2018 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award
- 2014 Appointed Chief of Goodwill, "Maligu Naa", in Tolon district, Northern Region, Ghana
Some recent talks and lectures
- with Martha Steenstrup and Elisavet Papathanassoglou, Autonomous Adaptive Soundscapes for Reducing Stress in Critically-Ill Patients, a poster presentation for the inaugural Canadian Stress Research Summit, May 6-8, 2021, Toronto.
- "Polyrhythm: Theory, experience, representation, and context". Invited keynote for ETLTC2021, Japan (delivered remotely).
- "Music for Global Human Development: Health and Wellbeing". Invited talk for Society for Ethnomusicology Preconference Symposium: Musical Activism and Agency: Contestations and Confluences. (delivered remotely)
- "Poet-Composer Collaborations in Egyptian Song: A Social Network Analysis Approach to Egypt’s Musical History", at Sunbelt 2020, International Society for Social Network Analysis (July 2020)
- "Socio-musical resonance: a powerful, sustainable technology for social resilience," invited keynote speaker for Modular and Offsite Construction Summit 2019, May 22, 2019, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, AB, Canada.
- "Sound, architecture, and Islamic reform: the attenuation of ritual resonance in the built environment of Cairene saint veneration," invited lecture for Yale's Institute of Sacred Music, April 25, 2019.
- “Sound, architecture, and Islamic reform: the attenuation of ritual resonance in the built environment of Cairene saint veneration,” invited keynote lecture for a conference entitled Egyptian Soundscapes: Music, Sound, and Built Environment, co-hosted by the American Research Center in Egypt and the American University in Cairo, December 2018. (see writeup in Scene-Noise)
- “The Possibility and Necessity of Musical Ecstasy (Tarab) in the Mystic Sufi Chant of Egypt,” guest lecture presented at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, April 2018.
- “Towards an Extensible Global Jukebox: Deep Learning for Cantometrics Coding,” guest lecture presented at University of Aizu, Japan, March 2018.
- "Towards an Extensible Global Jukebox: Deep Learning for Cantometrics Coding." Invited contribution to a roundtable, The Global Jukebox: Science, Humanism and Cultural Equity Chair: Anna Wood, Association for Cultural Equity, at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Denver, October 2017.
- Chant in music, sport, ritual and politics: tracing music’s social power in Egypt's 2011 revolution, and beyond. Invited keynote address for ICPSong’16: Protest Song and Social Change, 15-17 June, 2016 (Lisbon, Portugal).
- International Indigenous: Traditional Medicine in Ghana. Invited talk for the first annual Integrative Health Institute conference, May 2016 (University of Alberta)
- The Possibility and Necessity of Musical Ecstasy (Tarab) in the Mystic Sufi Chant of Egypt, April 2016 (Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Cairo)
- Music for Global Human Development (m4ghd): Cultural Continuity and the Performing Arts in Egypt, April 2016 (Institut Français d'Egypte)
- Fostering Religious Literacy through the Arts: The Case of Islam (speaker), August 2014
- Music for Global Human Development, at Notre Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies, April 21, 2015
- Keynote address at the Rich Man Poor Man Dinner, April 5, 2014
- Religious Diversity, Tolerance, and Conflict: Muslims and Musical Ritual in Egypt and Ghana, for the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University], March 12, 2014
- Music and Global Human Development, a colloquium for Tufts University's Granoff Music Center, March 10, 2014
- University of Alberta International Week, 2014
- Giving Voice to Health: “Sanitation” in Liberia, for Music and Global Health: Toward Collaborative Paradigms, Society for Ethnomusicology Pre-conference, 2013, Lilly Auditorium (UL0130), University Library, 755 West Michigan Street, IUPUI Campus, Indianapolis.
- The Social Power of “Shahid” (Martyr) Metaphors in Music Videos Produced by Football Fan-activists in Egypt’s 2011-12 Revolution: A Durkheimian Perspective, Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting 2013, Indianapolis.
- Narrowcasting Enabled Immersive Music Browser for Folkways World Music Collection. In Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents. May 2013, Istanbul, Turkey. (Rasika Ranaweera, Michael Cohen, and Michael Frishkopf).
- Differentiating traditional and popular music by analyzing the social structure of fame: a computer simulation of fan-artist affiliation networks (Aizu, Japan, 2013) (PDF version of the ISSM presentation)
- Forging New Transnational Actor-Networks through Participatory Action Research: socio-musical dimensions of the “responsibility to protect” Liberian refugees (Halle, Germany, 2012)
- Tarab in Sufi Music (for A night of Sufi & Inshaad, Royal Opera House Muscat, Muscat, Oman, 2012)
- Cultural dimensions of the UN's "Responsibility to Protect" norm (Kigali, Rwanda, 2012)
- Venerating the Cairo’s Saints through Music and Monument: Islamic Reform, and the Architextual Colonization of the Lifeworld (University of Alberta, 2011)
- Ray Smith Symposium (Syracuse, 2011)
- The Possibility and Necessity of Tarab (ecstasy) in the Mystic Sufi Chant of Egypt (Bremen, Germany, 2011)
- MuDoc (Multimedia/Music Documentation): a dynamic digital multimedia archive for world music (Proceeding HC '10 Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Humans and Computers, Pages 2-2)
- Muslims, Music, and Tolerance in Egypt and Ghana: A Comparative Perspective on Difference (UNC, 2010)
- Music Moves Islam in the Indian Ocean (Syracuse, 2008)
- The Influence of Interdisciplinary Scholarship in the Humanities: a Citation Network Analysis of Ethnomusicological Literature (INSNA Sunbelt 2002)
Music and Health
Evidence-based research in Music and Sound Therapies
Giving Voice to Health: M4GHD ethnomusicology
- Singing and Dancing for Health in Ghana: http://bit.ly/sngdnc4h
- Sanitation in Liberia: http://bit.ly/sanitationtitles
- Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia: http://bit.ly/m4mnch
Music, Sound, and AI
- Machine Learning for Sound Recognition
- Autonomous Adaptive Soundscapes
- AI for Sound Societies (a collaboratory under the AI for Society signature area)
In recent years, I’ve moved sharply towards an engaged ethnomusicology, centered on what I call music and global human development, collaborating on production of “traditional” and “popular” musics (including media and music education) as tools for global development of communities marginalized and disempowered by colonialism and its aftermath, on either side of the North-South divide between “developed” and “developing” nations. Such work follows a participatory action research paradigm, ideally engaging local communities as equals, and subjecting all work to critical reflective scrutiny.
There are two main directions to this work:
For a recent writeup, see this story.
A set of participatory action research projects centered on the use of popular music to disseminate development messages, especially for key development issues in public health, education, religious/ethnic tolerance, and peace. I have been working primarily in collaboration with Liberian refugee musicians in Ghana, and recent returnees to Liberia, helping them articulate and disseminate musical messages of peace and development, producing media with a triple purpose: catalyzing positive social change locally, raising awareness globally, and generating a revenue stream to support their musical communities.
Several songs and a music video have been completed or are in progress; see http://bit.ly/songsspd.
- Singing and Dancing for Health, health promotion in northern Ghana
- Singing for Maternal Health, health promotion in Ethiopia
- "Be aware: beware of HIV/AIDS" Ft. Shadow, KB., Lib. Dream and Ampain ($1900), recorded and mixed at Brain Drain Studio, Accra. Sponsored by the University of Alberta Department of Music's President's Fund http://bit.ly/beawarehiv
- Sanitation and Safe Water, featuring Shadow, J-Glo, 5YA, Jacob V, and Chiller Coolnanee, based on the earlier audio version "Sanitation", featuring J-cop V, Shadow & Faya. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Calgary.
- "Sanitation and Safe Water in Liberia" music video (for Liberian distribution)
- music video with introductory titles (for global distribution)
- documentary short, Click here for accompanying documentary. Also on Vimeo All videos were produced in Liberia, with some guidance, financial support (thanks to the Rotary Club of Calgary), and post-production from Canada.
- Music for Ebola awareness, prevention and training
- Traditional music and dance for health education and promotion in rural northern Ghana. Funded by a Killam Cornerstones Grant.
- Buduburam music - audio CD project
- Popular music in Buduburam - video documentary
- Sustainable Peacebuilding through Popular Music, York University 2010
- Capturing the sound of hope
- The color of hope
- Liberia: Refugees Produce CD of Music With Canadian University (Allafrica)
- Influence of music in foreign conflicts (The Daily Orange, Syracuse University)
- Cultural Dimensions of the UN’s “Responsibility to Protect” Norm, presented at Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation: Bridging Past, Present, and Future, an international conference sponsored by the School for International Training, January 10-13, 2012 (Kigali, Rwanda)
Projects for cultural continuity, supporting Ewe music of Ghana, El Mastaba Centre for Egyptian Folk Music, the Egyptian Centre for Culture and Art, and AMAR (Foundation for Arab Music Archiving and Research), Beirut, including consulting as a member of the Board. Media products are designed to catalyze local social progress, raise global awareness, and generate a revenue stream for local musicians.
- Traditional Ghanaian music culture
- Traditional Egyptian music culture
- Collaboration with El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music, Cairo, to preserve, archive, document and develop Egyptian music. We are developing an applied research project to support digitization and metadata tagging for El Mastaba's extensive collections, while simultaneously providing training in these procedures to enable sustainability, with in-kind support through secure offsite storage at the University of Alberta.
- Collaboration with Egyptian Center for Culture and Art, Cairo: To encourage the diversity, specificity and vibrancy of Egypt's cultural scene. Have provided advisory support.
- Collaboration with AMAR (Foundation for Arab Music Archiving and Research), Beirut: to preserve and disseminate archival recordings of traditional Arab music from the early 20th century. Member of the Board of Directors.
- World music presentations to local Edmonton schools and daycares (ongoing series of presentations, at the University of Alberta, or onsite)
- Local community outreach through performance U of A Senate to celebrate campus volunteers
Relevant publications on M4GHD
- 2019 “Music for global human development, and refugees,” Ethnomusicology, 63:2 (in press).
- Giving Voice to Health: Sanitation and Safe Water - Music for Social Justice in Liberia: (music video), and (documentary). Collaborations with Liberian artists.
- Shadow and Music in Buduburam(longer version). Collaborative documentary video on and with Liberian refugee music producer. Produced with support from the President’s Fund for the Performing and Creative Arts, in collaboration with musicians of the Buduburam refugee camp.
- Songs of the New Arab Revolutions: A collaborative documentary film by members of the Society for Arab Music Research and members of the Facebook group Songs of the New Arab Revolutions
- Music and Architecture in Islam (website and film, in progress...), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($136,000).
- The weekly Saturday hadra at the saha of Sidi Ali Zayn al-Abidin (Sufism in Cairo) (2011)
- Five Sufi hadras: Sufi chanting in Egypt 1996-1998. The final hadra, performed by Shaykh Yasin al-Tuhami, is presented in full here.
- Videographer for Celebrating the Prophet in the Remembrance of God: Sufi Dhikr in Egypt, an educational video produced by Dr. Valerie Hoffman, Professor in the Program for the Study of Religion, University of Illinois, 1997.
- Interview with Marcel Khalife
- Producer and writer for cassette/CD recording: Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees. Audio CD with 28 page descriptive booklet (2009), documenting music produced by musicians living in the Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana. Since 1990s this camp has sheltered refugees from conflict in nearby Liberia. Production is designed to raise public awareness about the camp, while returning profits to its participating NGOs and artists. (http://bit.ly/buducd)
- Kinka: Traditional songs from Avenorpedo. Producer of cassette, audio CD and website (http://kinkadrum.org), and author of accompanying 40 page booklet (November 2010), based on MA thesis (1989).
- Prepared extensive liner notes for Magic of the Sufi Inshad: Sheikh Yasin al-Tuhami.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
- A Virtual Musical Exhibition: The 2020 SEM Orchestra concert in VR
- Sounding the Garden: http://bit.ly/soundingthegarden
- Virtual Sonic Architecture: The Ottoman mosque of Hadım İbrahim Paşa Virtual Sonic Architecture: http://bit.ly/vsahipm
- TranceCultural Music Exhibition: http://trancetrans
- Sounding Islam (in progress)
- Wahba-Alexandru Egyptian folklore project (in progress)
- Principal Investigator and project director, VMCTM: Virtual Museum of Canadian Traditional Music. Sponsored by Virtual Museum Canada and the Canadian Heritage Information Network. (funded by Canadian Heritage Information Network). Managed complex three year development, including over a dozen participants, a partnership with Smithsonian Folkways, and a $175,000 budget. In French and English.
- Musical change in a West African Village. Ongoing (2007-2010) collaborative research project carried out together with students participating in the UofA Ghana summer program, led by Michael Frishkopf.
- SonoCairo searchable web 2.0 catalog. Relational database containing metadata for several thousand cassette recordings produced by the Egyptian state recording company (SonoCairo) from 1962 to present, based on Egypt research 2003-04 (in development)
- Folkways in Wonderland: An immersive collaborative virtual environment for browsing world music and doing ethnomusicology. Constructed in collaboration with colleagues in computer science at the University of Aizu, Japan, and in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways, with support from folkwaysAlive! and SSHRC (approx. $20,000 to date)
- World Music in Wonderland (WMiW).
- MuDoc (Music/Multimedia Documentation) peer-reviewed federated world music web digital repository. Designed digitial repository for music multimedia (text, score, audio, video), supported by funding from Sun Microsystems, Alberta Ministry of Innovation and Science, and the University of Alberta (over $300,000 total).
- biofeedback microtonal ear training... (in progress)
- SEM Orchestra, founded in 2011 to support the SEM Stevenson Prize (here is the Virtual Reality version of the 2020 concert)
- Global Musics - Local Connections
- Exhibiting Sound
- Diversity Cape Breton
- Migration Views at the UofA
- Heavenly Acts: Aspects of Performance through an Interdisciplinary Lens (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of UK]
- Assessing the efficacy of traditional music and dance for health education and promotion in northern Ghana (funded by a Killam Cornerstone Grant) (PI)
- Evolving the Botanic Garden: Digital Environmental and Cultural Interpretation at the Edmonton Devonian Botanic Garden's new Islamic Garden (funded by SSHRC)
- Mnohai'ia lita! Celebrating Eastern European communities and cultures in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (funded by SSHRC)
- Music, Ritual, and Architecture in Islam (funded by SSHRC) (PI)
- FiW (folkways in Wonderland) (see above)
- Board of Advisors, Makan (Egypt)
- Educating talented Ghanaian youth
- Stories of Change in Ghana
- Certificate in World Sound Arts.
- West African Music, Dance, Language, and Culture: summer program in Ghana (initiated in 2007)
- Studies in Ethnomusicology and World Music at the University of Alberta
- Courses taught at the University of Alberta:
- Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble (founder, 2004; director 2004-2012)
- West African Music Ensemble (founder, 1999; director 1999-2003)
- Music and Religion
- Music and Islam
- Music of the Arab World
- Music Culture as a Social Network
- Music for Global Human Development
- Music and Religion in Africa (665)
- Arab and African Music (365)
- Ethnomusicology of the Arab World, with Community Service Learning component - at a distance.
- Field methods in ethnomusicology(666)
- World music programs developed for Edmonton public schools (K-12)
- List of students supervised
Musical composition, improvisation, performance
Some recent work:
Third Stream version of Blowin in the Wind, by Bob Dylan (1963) - featuring Jenny Boutros with traditional mawwal introduction (melody by Jenny Boutros). Performed March 14, 2017, Convocation Hall, University of Alberta. (Full event here.)
- Insonations at the shrine of Jamila Hanem in Cairo
- Nyewe Blues (performed at the 2014 meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology) Click here for scores and instructions
- Helen's Necklace (several versions, and score), composed and performed for Carole Frechette's acclaimed play, and performed in 2005, at the Shadow Theatre
- Spacings, for two pianos and two flutes, inspired by forms of traditional Zimbabwean mbira music (2007)
- BaAka Soundings, a stochastic piece for variable-sized ensemble including mixed chorus, bell, and percussion sticks. Programmed in R, drawing on melodic cells and polyphonic style of the BaAka people, Central African Republic. Composed for a production of The Ik, by Colin Turnbull; directed by Heather Fitzsimmons, and performed at Edmonton’s Walterdale Playhouse, 2000.
- e-Dhikr (finale), inspired by Sufi sounds of Cairo. Composed and performed (entirely) by M. Frishkopf, with nay, percussion, voice, and looper. (2008)
- Kurd, neo-takht composition/improvisational frame, premiered at the Dignity of Difference conference, 2009.
- For Marcel Khalife (rough sketch version). (2010)
- 40,000, Third Stream composition/improvisation (performed at Amnesty International's Small Places concert, University of Alberta, October 2008, towards awareness of political prisoners of the Arab world,). Inspired by Ran Blake, 3rd Stream, Arabic maqam, the Muslim adhan (call to prayer), and Olivier Messiaen's birdsongs and modes of limited transposition. (Michael Frishkopf, piano)
Nay for The Color of Your Voice
Concerts, workshops, and conferences
- Exhibiting Sound (Oct-Nov 2015), including sonic Masking Halloween Parade
- I am a bird from Heaven's Garden: Music, Sound, and Architecture in the Muslim World. I co-organized this complex international conference held September 2013. Funded by a major SSHRC grant for which I serve as Principal Investigator, in collaboration with the Aga Khan University and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, as well as the Faculty of Arts and the Office of the Provost at the University of Alberta.
- Sounds and spaces of Muslim Piety. Collaborated in organizing this international conference at the University of Alberta, May 2011.
- The Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble at the Winspear, Edmonton (2011)
- The Music of Rumi, a celebration of his 800th birthday (2007).
- Master of Islamic vocal arts to perform on campus : organized visit of acclaimed Egyptian Islamic reciter (munshid) Shaykh Mohamed el-Helbawy, including workshops, concerts, and community-linked events (2005)
- Annual World Music Sampler, 2005 to present (yearly concert featuring our three world music ensembles: the West African Music Ensemble, the Indian Music Ensemble, and the Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble)
- Invoking Love in search of God: The heritage of Egyptian inshad
- AI for Society podcast (Episode 5)
- Music is a basic human need
- Gateway article
- Folio article
- 'Singing and Dancing for Health' puts spotlight on preventing malaria
- ICPsong, in Lisbon, Portugal
- Folkways in Wonderland: Sound Matters (SEM Blog)
- Ethnomusicology Review Interview
- Canadian University Promotes Sanitation in Ghana
- TOLON:Canadian University promotes sanitation
- CBC: Music and Development in Ghana (Radio Active)
- UAlberta news: Call him the Maligu Naa
- Canadian musicologist made chief at Tolon, from Ghana's Daily Graphic
- BBC Arabic: music of the poor
- Afro-pop worldwide:
- Influence of music in foreign conflicts (The Daily Orange, Syracuse University)
- Sustainable peacebuilding through popular music (York University)
- Thus Spake the Reed Flute (al-Ahram Weekly)
- Liberia: Refugees Produce CD of Music With Canadian University (Allafrica)
- Célébrer tout en musique (CBC)
- Salsa de Arabia (World Changing)
- University of Alberta composers
- UCLA graduate student profile
"Listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening." -- Pauline Oliveros
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music" -- Aldous Huxley
Ethnomusicology provides the broadest possible frame for studying music; as "the meaningful social-linguistic-sonic practice of studying music as a meaningful social-linguistic-sonic practice" ethnomusicology achieves recursive breadth: it becomes a legitimate object of its own study (Frishkopf 2016).
“My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony.” -- Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
"Music is living sound" -- Willard Rhodes
Music is more than sound, for silence is also music -- Michael Frishkopf
"I have nothing to say and I'm saying it" -- John Cage
"Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.” -- Frank Zappa
"Music is among the most powerful of all social technologies" -- M. Frishkopf
"The craft of singing...is the first to disappear from a given civilization when it disintegrates and retrogresses." - Ibn Khaldun, 14th century
"The loudest noise in the world is silence." -- Thelonious Monk
My Egypt (a map)
University of Ghana - Department of Music website (from circa 2010)