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

(email at


Samuel Horlor is an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Musical Research and teaches part-time in the Music Department. His doctoral thesis Community in Chinese Street Music: Sound, Song and Social Life will be examined in December 2016.

Samuel’s research exploring street music performances in Chinese cities builds upon field research conducted in 2014 and upon several years of study in China since 2007. His work uses ethnography of this amateur public-space music to investigate the interactions between performers and audiences, especially the rituals by which the two parties exchange money and other gifts. It 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 is geared towards exploring community and public sociability as expressed and shaped through performance.

His teaching in 2016-17 includes lecturing in ethnomusicology and popular music studies.

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

He is the Music Department's PR Officer, responsible for maintaining the department's homepage, and its Facebook and Twitter feeds. He is also an administrator for the Department of Theology and Religion’s Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies and Resident Tutor and College Mentor at Josephine Butler College.

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