Royal Society for Music History of The Netherlands

Musicological Expo 2020


Digital event on December 12th

Language: English


After a successful first edition in 2019, the Royal Society for Music History of The Netherlands (Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis) is excited to welcome you for the second Musicological Expo.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year the event will be hosted online on Zoom. The links to attend the Expo and a guide on how to log in have been provided via email. During the Expo, the panellists will each give a position statement of ca. 10 minutes on the topic of the session based upon their individual expertise. This is followed by a panel-discussion led by the session’s moderator. During the event, all attendees will have their microphones and videos automatically turned off. You will be able to direct your questions for the speakers via the chat. The ‘host’ will select and communicate questions with the moderator of the session. Make sure to stay on topic and respectful of the speakers and other attendees.


We urge you not to share the zoom-link with anyone who has not registered for the Expo.

For any questions or last-minute registrations, please contact


If you are active on Twitter, please use #KVNMexpo2020 in your posts.


SESSION 1 (11.00 - 13.00 CET)


Focus on migration and migrants’ activities have enriched music studies in manifold ways over the past decades. During this panel, meLê yamomo, Iye Echa, Marthe Holman, and Rebekah Ahrendt (moderator) will shed light on this topic by introducing their research on music and migration in colonial Southeast Asia, West African djembe musicians in the Netherlands, and Dutch charity organizations working with music projects and refugees.


Profiles of the speakers


meLê yamomo will join the Musicological Expo to talk about music and migration in colonial Southeast Asia. meLê is an Assistant Professor of Theatre, Performance, and Sound Studies (University of Amsterdam) and author of Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). He is laureate of the »Veni Innovation Grant« (2017-2022) funded by the Dutch Research Organization (NWO) for his project »Sonic Entanglements: Listening to Modernities in Southeast Asian Sound Recordings«, and one of the 2020 KNAW Early Career Awardee by the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. meLê is also resident artist at Theater Ballhaus Naunynstraße and in his works as artist-scholar, engages the topics of sonic migrations, queer aesthetics, and post/de-colonial acoustemologies.


Iye Echa is a musician and cultural analyst. He has studied the musical practice of Senegalese Sabar drumming and Taasu, the art of praise-singing. Echa is an accomplished saxophonist and has released a number of saxophone related recordings. His research interests include music and migration, music history and expression in performance, music in world cultures, jazz improvisation and music education. Originally from Nigeria and now residing in the Netherlands, Echa's current research focuses on West African djembe musicians who are active in the Dutch music scene in various capacities – as performers, music/dance instructors, and instrument makers or as repairers and music entrepreneurs.


Marthe Holman graduated from the Research Master in Musicology at Utrecht University in August 2019. Her research interests include music, conflict and peacebuilding, music and migration, and music NGOs aiming for social change. In her final thesis she related Dutch charity organisations that organise music projects for refugees, asylum seekers and status holders to cultural policy trends in which music is seen as a means to other ends and intersects with asylum policy aims, such as facilitating social integration through cultural participation.


Rebekah Ahrendt is Associate Professor of Musicology in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. A specialist in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but with interests across the longue durée, Ahrendt’s scholarship proposes thinking about mobility musically, by tracing the processes by which ideas, people, and practices are transposed. Much of her recent scholarship has focused on music and international relations, including the co-edited book Music and Diplomacy from the Early Modern Era to the Present (2014) and the chapter 'The Diplomatic Viol' in International Relations, Music and Diplomacy (2018). Ahrendt is also co-founder of the international research project Signed, Sealed, & Undelivered, which explores the challenges to archival inquiry posed by a collection of undelivered early modern letters.


SESSION 2 (15.00 - 17.00 CET)


Whiteness is the default setting of most Dutch music institutions. Curricula at the conservatories and musicology departments remain rooted in white European musical traditions, and the faculty at such institutions remain overwhelmingly white. This panel will put a spotlight on the whiteness of Dutch music industry, education, and scholarship - whiteness that still largely remains invisible and therefore functions as universal. In order to be able to decenter it, we must first define how it functions and name the violence it inflicts. During this panel, Pravini Baboeram, Charissa Granger, Gavin-Viano, Aafje de Roest, and Olga Panteleeva (moderator) will address the historical background as well as the present-day impact of this environment on white and non-white people who navigate the Dutch music world.


Profiles of the speakers


Pravini Baboeram is an artist and activist, creating art to contribute to social change. As an independent artist she has set up her own label Pravini Productions, that has produced 5 albums, 6 singles and 5 international tours. She is co-founder of action committee Holi is not a Houseparty, a campaign against cultural appropriation of the Hindu spring festival Holi, and initiator of the Anti-racism Voting Guide. In 2019, she released her album and documentary “The Uprising”, a film about the anti-racism movement in Europe.


Charissa Granger is a musicologist whose teaching and research focuses on Afro-Caribbean and diasporic music-making and performance as decolonising practices. Attending to the residue of chattel-slavery and the legacy of colonialism, Charissa is interested in decolonial aesthetics and epistemologies of musics such as steelband and tambú. After completing a bachelor’s in visual and performing arts at Northern Illinois University (USA) with a focus on cultural studies and steelpan performance, and a master’s in cultural musicology at The University of Amsterdam, Charissa focused on world music performance practice, attending to how otherness is framed at world music festivals as a doctoral research project at the University of Göttingen (Germany). Charissa also completed a Marie Skłodowska-Curie LEaDing Fellowship at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2020.


Gavin-Viano graduated as a director from the Toneelacademie Maastricht in the summer of 2020. For his graduation performance “Ach Mijn Wederhelft” he recently received the DNA Next Stimuleringsprijs. Gavin-Viano stages art productions with social urgency. He creates for young and old, but specifically for people like him. People who never got a voice in the theatre landscape, people who didn't feel welcome in the cultural sector and people who didn't see themselves in any form in stories from the Western culture.


Aafje de Roest is a PhD Researcher at Leiden University who works on the cultural identity formation in online Dutch youth culture with a focus on Dutch hip-hop. Her project investigates how Dutch youth uses online hip hop culture to shape their cultural identity in a globalized context. For her master thesis she was awarded the Vliegenthart Thesis Award