I hold a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London (2017), an M.A. in Ethnomusicology (UBC 2008), and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (UBC 2006). I am currently a sessional lecturer in music at Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Community College. My research focusses on music, identity, and representation in transnational music revivals. 

My primary research project is an ethnographic study of jew’s harp revival communities based on multi-sited fieldwork in Norway, Austria, Sicily, and online. My work uses the jew’s harp to examine how musical instruments reflect changing tastes, technologies, and social identities, and how transnational music communities are changing radically in the digital age. This research was supported by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and a Research Scholarship from SOAS, University of London.

My work engages with the musical ethnography of Europe, and aligns with the growing area of historical ethnomusicology. While the jew’s harp has been one of the most popular musical instruments in Europe since the Middle Ages, it has long been seen as an object of little value, sitting at the junctions between classical and folk, public art and private enjoyment, and urban and rural. My research demonstrates how the jew’s harp and the study of “unpopular” music can be used to critically engage with the core concepts of value, virtuosity, and productivity at the centre of European musical discourse.

My full academic profile is available on:

MA Thesis
Morgan, Deirdre. 2008. "Organs and bodies: The Jew’s harp and the anthropology of musical instruments". MA thesis, University of British Columbia.


2017                 Ph.D. in Music, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London                

2008                M.A. in Ethnomusicology, University of British Columbia

2006                B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia



Simon Fraser University

African Music Cultures (Term 1, 2016, 2017); 3 credit elective course; upper-level non-majors

Vancouver Community College

African Music Cultures (Term 1, 2015, 2016, 2017); 3 credit required course; upper level music majors

Asian Music Cultures (Term 2, 2016, 2017, 2018); 3 credit required course; upper level music majors

SOAS, University of London

Introduction to Music Analysis seminar (Term 1, 2014); 3 credit required course; first year music majors



Undergraduate                                                          Graduate/Undergraduate

Research & Writing in the Arts & Humanities           Theory & Method in Ethnomusicology

African Music Cultures (World Music survey)            Ethnography and Representation

Asian Music Cultures (World Music survey)               Fieldwork & Qualitative Methods

American Music                                                           Music and Film                                 

Global Popular Music                                                  Ethnomusicology of Europe

Music, Power, and Protest                                           Interdisciplinary Seminar

Performance Ensembles: Balinese gamelan, Ghanaian dance-drumming, Jew’s harp ensemble



Manuscripts in Submission

Morgan, Deirdre. “Cracking the code: archives, transmission, and smiths in the Norwegian munnharpe revival.” 

Manuscripts in Preparation

Morgan, Deirdre. “(Un)worthy objects: the jew’s harp and the hidden economy of ‘worthless’ music.” 

Morgan, Deirdre. “Perverted talent: the jew’s harp virtuoso from 1730 to present.” 

Book Reviews

Morgan, Deirdre. 2017. Review of The Jew’s Harp in Britain and Ireland, by Michael Wright. Ethnomusicology Forum 26(2): 271-273.

Conference Proceedings

Morgan, Deirdre. 2016. “Excavating heritage: The archaeology of revival in the jew’s harp traditions of Norway, Austria, and Sicily.” In Studien zur Musikarchäologie X, edited by Ricardo Eichmann and Lars-Christian Koch, 75-79. Rahden/Westfalen.: Verlag Marie Leidorf.



2012                Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

2012                Research Scholarship, SOAS, University of London 

2007               Graduate Scholar Award, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada



2015                Student Paper Prize, British Forum for Ethnomusicology



“Arcadian Tones: The Austrian Maultrommel from the Pastoral to the Avant-Garde.” UBC Music Colloquium Lecture, Vancouver, March 17, 2017.



“Rustic Chivalry: Heroes, outlaws, and the Sicilian marranzano.” International Council for Traditional Music, Limerick, July 15, 2017.

"Rustic Chivalry: Heroes, Outlaws, and the Sicilian Marranzano." Society for Ethnomusicology, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., November 10-13, 2016.

"The Anatomy of Style: Playing Technique as Musical Artifact." American Musicological Society, Popular Music Study Group, Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel, November 3-6, 2016.

"Speaking in Tongues: A multi-sited 'insider' ethnography of the international jew’s harp revival." Institute for Musical Research, "Researching Music: Interviewing, Ethnography, and Oral History", Senate House, London, June 6, 2016.

"'The Death of the Drone': The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the Maultrommel in Central Europe." British Forum for Ethnomusicology, Historic Dockyards, Chatham, April 14-17, 2016.

"'The Death of the Drone': The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the Maultrommel in Central Europe." Society for Ethnomusicology, The Hilton, Austin, Texas, December 3-6, 2015.

"Hidden Creators: The role of blacksmiths in the international Jew’s harp revival.” International Council for Traditional Music, Kazakh National University of Arts, Astana, July 15 – 22, 2015.

"Revival/Continuation: Paradigms of transmission and boundaries of knowledge in the Norwegian munnharpe smithing tradition.” British Forum for Ethnomusicology & Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, July 2 – 5, 2015.

"The imagined community incarnate: Virtual connectedness and co-presence in the international jew’s harp revival." Anthropology in London, University College London, June 15, 2015.

“The Norwegian munnharpe revival: A dialogue between material and intangible culture.” Horniman Museum & Royal Anthropological Institute, Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, March 26, 2015. 

“Cracking the Code: The role of archival recordings in the revival of the Norwegian munnharpe.” Society for Ethnomusicology, Wyndham Grand Downtown Hotel, Pittsburgh, November 13, 2014.

“Excavating Heritage: The Jew’s harp revivals of Norway, Austria, and Sicily.” International Study Group on Music Archaeology 9th symposium, “Sound – Object – Culture – History”, Ethnological Museum, Berlin, September 13, 2014.

“Breathing Life to Iron: Audio recordings and the (re)making of the Jew’s harp virtuoso.” British Forum for Ethnomusicology & Analytical Approaches to World Music conference, “Analysis, Cognition, Ethnomusicology”, SOAS, University of London, July 1, 2014. 

“Harnessing Participation: Social media as living cultural archive in the international Jew’s harp community.” British Forum for Ethnomusicology and ICTM-Ireland joint conference, “Ethnomusicology in the Digital Age”, Queen’s University, Belfast. April 6, 2013.

“Hearing Balinese Genggong: the Jew’s harp and the anthropology of musical instruments.” British Forum for Ethnomusicology, “Making Sound Objects”, Pitt-Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. November 24, 2012. 



2016 – present           Book Notes Reviews Editor, Yearbook for Traditional Music

2014, 2016                  Manuscript Review, Studien zur Musikarchäologie

2008                           Organizing Committee, Society for Ethnomusicology, Northwest Chapter Conference, University of                                      British Columbia



2011 – present             Board Member, International Jew’s Harp Society

2012 – 2015                 President, SOAS Mouth Harp Society

2011 – 2013                  Executive Director, North American Jew’s Harp Guild

2006 – 2011                 President (2010-11) and Board Member, Gamelan Gita Asmara



2014 – 2015                Professional Development in Higher Education Programme

                                    SOAS, University of London (29 hours of pedagogical training)

2007 – 2012               Arts Administration (production, marketing, and development)

                                    Past employers include musica intima, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, MusicFest Vancouver, Vancouver                                      International Song Institute and Festival, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

1992 – 2002              Piano Performance Grade 9; Harmony; History; Counterpoint; Analysis 

                                   Royal Conservatory of Music and Conservatory Canada



Society for Ethnomusicology             

British Forum for Ethnomusicology  

International Council for Traditional Music

Galpin Society for the Study of Musical Instruments



EthnomusicologyAnthropology of MusicEthnography, Applied EthnomusicologyAnthropology of the BodyMusic and identityMusicologyOrganologyMusical Instruments, Material Culture StudiesMusic analysisWorld Music PedagogyMusic EducationMusic PsychologyMusic and LanguageBreath - Body - VoiceBody in Performance, Participatory ResearchCultural MusicologyCultural AnthropologySociology of MusicOvertone Singing and HarmonicsVowel harmonyTranceShamanismDrone-Based MusicClowningPerformance As Research, FestivalizationPopular Music StudiesSound archives, European StudiesEthnography (Research Methodology), Ethnographic MethodsDigital EthnographyEthnographic fieldworkFolk MusicFolk Music RevivalsNorwegian folk musicTraditional MusicArts Administration (Specializing In Music)Ethnographic FilmJew's HarpJaw HarpMouth harpVarganKhomusMaultrommelMunnharpe,ScacciapensieriMarranzanoBrumle,DorombDan Moi, GenggongSicilyAustria, and Norway