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Mr Samuel Horlor, BA (Hons) MA (Dunelm)

Member of the Department of Music

(email at


Samuel Horlor is doctoral student in the Department of Music, and an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Musical Research. His PhD thesis explores street music performances in urban China and is due to be defended in 2016. The ethnomusicological project behind the thesis builds upon field research in China conducted during 2014 and upon several years of study in the country since 2007.

The street performances at the centre of Samuel’s research are known as jiqing guangchang, and they take place in the central-Chinese city of Wuhan. Ethnography of the extensive social life that the events enable supports investigation of the interactions between performers and audiences, especially the rituals by which the two parties exchange money and other gifts. The work also draws upon techniques from the fields of sound studies and music geography to map the role of spatiality and materiality in these performance events. Each element of the project is geared towards exploring community and public sociability as expressed and shaped through performance.

Samuel is currently organising the Institute of Musical Research Early Career Research event Music, Geography, Space. This one-day conference, scheduled for 25 January 2017, is co-organised with Sarah Hughes and Alice Cree.

He is also the Music Department's PR Officer, responsible for maintaining the department's homepage, and its Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Samuel received a BA in Music from the University of Southampton in 2007 and an MA in Ethnomusicology from Durham University in 2012. He is the recipient of a Durham Doctoral Scholarship.

Research Interests

  • Chinese popular and folk music
  • Community studies
  • Folk music in the modern world
  • Sound studies and music geography

Is supervised by