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Durham University



Mr Thomas Anthony Graves, BMus (Kent), MMus (SOAS)

Member of the Department of Music

Contact Mr Thomas Anthony Graves

Thomas is an Ethnomusicologist with a significant interest in Music Psychology who is currently pursuing a PhD with Professors Martin Clayton and Tuomas Eerola.

His area of interest is in North Indian music, specifically Qawwali, the most popular Sufi music of the region. His research entails a humanistic ethnographic approach upon which empirical experiments are based. He focusses upon musical, textual, and contextual elements which contribute to musical emotion in a ritual context, aiming at a constructive critique of extant theories of musical emotion in music psychology.

He holds an MMus in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, where he studied South Asian Music with Professor Richard Widdess, Central Asian Music with Professor Rachel Harris, Ethnomusicology with Professor Keith Howard, and Music in Development with Dr Angela Impey, as well as beginning his ongoing study of the Urdu language. He also holds a BMus in Popular Music from the University of Kent, where he discovered his interests in Ethnomusicology and Musical Emotion.

He has published on the experience of joy in collective music making in a community folk group in England (soon to be published in an updated form as a chapter in the book Musical Spaces: Place, Performance and Power edited by James Williams and Sam Horlor). He has also given a paper at the 2018 British forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference, for which he was awarded a BFE student bursary.

He is currently working on a research project examining YouTube comments on Qawwali Videos, and contributes to the module Music of India as a graduate teaching assisstant.

He is a recipient of the SEMPRE Gerry Farrell Travelling Scholarship.

Research Interests

  • Ethnomusicology
  • Music and Emotion
  • Music and Islam
  • Music and Ritual
  • Music of North India
  • Qawwali


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