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Yr Athro John Morgan O'Connell MA (Oxon), MA (UCLA), PhD (UCLA), AGSM

Yr Athro John Morgan O'Connell

MA (Oxon), MA (UCLA), PhD (UCLA), AGSM


Ysgol Cerddoriaeth


I am an Irish ethnomusicologist with a specialist interest in cultural history. I have recently completed a monograph on music and commemoration as it relates to the Gallipoli Campaign from the perspective of the Australians and the Turks, the British and the Germans, amongst others (see O’Connell 2017). I also explore the issues of militarism and orientalism with respect to Irish recruits in the military catastrophe, my own family in particular having an ongoing connection with the Ottoman Empire. Some of my ancestors were administrators and soldiers in Ottoman territories, and others were diplomats and doctors in the Ottoman capital (see Figure 1). Significantly, a number of my relatives were either killed or wounded in the Gallipoli Campaign (see Figure 2).

This research builds upon my established interest in the music of the Middle East. It also draws upon my continued research on music in conflict zones. These academic strands have resulted in significant outputs in the form of a monograph (see O’Connell 2013) and a collection (see O’Connell Ed. 2010) respectively. I am currently working on a project that concerns music in Ireland during the Great War. I also aim to complete a study on music in the late Ottoman Empire. In addition, I have conducted impact related research in the Muslim world in association with the Aga Khan Humanities Project (see O’Connell 2015) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2014).

Forthcoming Publications: Selected

O'Connell, John M. 2017. Commemorating Gallipoli: Music, Memory, Myth. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. [Accepted: 130,000 words]

O'Connell, John M. 2017. ‘Kâr-ı Nev: Elaboration and Retardation in the Musical Performances of a Turkish Classic’. Eds Rachel Harris and Martin Stokes. Theory and Practice in the Music of the Islamic World: Essays in Honour of Owen Wright. London: Routledge, 123-143. [Accepted: 10,000 words]



  • 1996: PhD (Ethnomusicology) UCLA, USA
  • 1992: MA (Music) UCLA, USA
  • 1986: AGSM (Performance) Guildhall School of Music, UK
  • 1985: MA (Geography) Oxford University, UK
  • 1982: BA (Geography) Oxford University, UK

Fellowships: Selected

  • 2006: Getty Foundation Internship, Koç Üniversitesi, Turkey
  • 2002: Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Brown University, USA
  • 2001: Music Consultant, Aga Khan Humanities Project, Tajikistan
  • 1992: Turkish Government Fellowship, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Turkey
  • 1991: Graduate Distinguished Scholar, UCLA, USA
  • 1990: DAAD Fellowship, Freie Universität, Germany
  • 1988: Graduate Fellowship, UCLA, USA
  • 1987: Research Associate, York University, UK

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

Permanent Appointments:

  • Otago University (Lecturer)
  • University of Limerick (Senior Lecturer)
  • Cardiff University (Professor)

Visiting Appointments:

  • Queen's University (Visiting Lecturer)
  • Brown University (Visiting Professor)
  • Haverford College (Distinguished Visiting Professor), among others

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Recent: Selected (2014-)

  • 2017: ‘De la musique pour la guerre: pluralisme et chauvinisme’, La Fondation Royaumont, Paris (France)
  • 2017: Keynote. ‘Heal the Pain: The Arts in the Dardanelles (1915)’, Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, Durham University (UK)

  • 2016: ‘Turân: A Turkic Myth in Turkish Music’, Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum, SOAS, London (UK)

  • 2016: ‘Telling Tales: Musical Creativity and National Identity in the Gallipoli Campaign’, Commemorating WWI, National Museum, Cardiff (UK)

  • 2016: ‘Saz as Symbol: A Turkic Lute in the Turkish Diaspora’, Music of the Silk Road, Shanghai Conservatory, Shanghai (China)

  • 2015: ‘The Classical Style: Modal Analysis of a Vocal Improvisation in Turkey’, 3rd International Mugam Symposium, Baku (Azerbaijan)

  • 2015: ‘The Pulse of Asia: Musical Diffusion and Environmental Determinism in Central Asia’, International Council for Traditional Music, Astana (Kazakhstan)

  • 2014: ‘Usûlsüz: A Matter of Meter in the Concerts of Münir Nurettin Selçuk (1923-1938)’, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster (Germany)

  • 2014: ‘Ottomanism Revived: Jewish Musicians and Cultural Politics in Turkey’, Society for Ethnomusicology, Pittsburgh (USA)

  • 2014: ‘Concert Platform: Style and Space in Turkish Music’, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisation, London (UK)

  • 2014: ‘Mythality: Myth and Reality in Turkish Music’, Arnolfini, Bristol (UK)





  • O'Connell, J. M. 2018. Bedî Mensî: Arel ve Ahenk. In: Turan, I. F., Temel, E. and Kurban, E. eds. 2017 Arel Sempozyumu bildirileri: Uluslararası Hüseyin Sadettin Arel ve Türk Müziği Sempozyumu (13-14 Aralık 2017)., Vol. 5247. Istanbul: Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, pp. 341-350.



















I offer a range of lectures and seminars. At an undergraduate level, I teach the following lectures: ‘Music in Human Life’ (Year 1), ‘Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective’ (Year 2) and ‘Project in Ethnomusicology’ (Year 3). At a postgraduate level, I teach the following seminars: ‘The Anthropology of Music’, ‘Methods in Ethnomusicology’, ‘The World of Music’, ‘Doing Ethnomusicology’, ‘The Language of Music’ and ‘Music and Discourse’. I also offer specialist seminars that concern music in the Middle East and music in the Celtic world. My doctoral students are currently completing research on musical topics in the Celtic world, the Balkans, and Turkey.

My research concerns the musical traditions of the Muslim world, with a secondary area of expertise in the musical traditions of Europe. Other areas of interest include the significance of hermeneutic theory and historical ethnography for ethnomusicology. In 2013, I published a monograph on Turkish style in the early-Republican period (1923-1938). In 2010, I edited a scholarly collection that concerns music and conflict in a global perspective. Further, I have recently published chapters on music and humanism, music and classicism, and music and architecture. Having submitted for publication my latest book on music and commemoration in the Gallipoli Campaign (contract signed November, 2016), I am now undertaking a study of music in Ireland during the Great War.

I have acted as a music consultant for a number of international organizations, being awarded a Senior Fulbright Fellowship in association with the Aga Khan Humanities Project (2002) and a Getty Foundation Grant to participate in its International Summer Institute (2006). I was also awarded an AHRC fellowship (2014) for a project entitled ‘The God Article’. I have hosted a variety of international conferences including the 15th ICTM International Colloquium (2004) and the annual conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (2008). I was reviews editor for the journal Ethnomusicology. I am currently a member of the editorial boards for the SOAS Musicology Series, Ethnomusicology Forum and the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, amongst others.