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Dr Peter McMurray

Dr Peter McMurray

Lecturer in Ethnomusicology

Peter McMurray is accepting applications for PhD students.


Peter McMurray an ethnomusicologist, saxophonist, and media artist. His research focuses primarily on the intersection of Islam and sound, including recitation, liturgy, theology, and architecture and he is currently completing a book and media project, Pathways to God: The Islamic Acoustics of Turkish Berlin. He has also published on various aspects of the history of sound recording, especially tape and YouTube music. He is currently researching music and the refugee crisis in contemporary Europe and Turkey as well as intersections of sound, media and empire in the 19th century. His media practice includes extensive non-fiction audio and video work.

 For over 10 years he has worked as the Assistant Curator of the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature and continues to do research on oral poetry, the history/theory of orality, and the voice. As a performer, he has a longstanding interest in jazz and experimental improvisation. He also has been a part of Harvard’s metaLAB and Sensate Journal. 

 He completed a PhD in Ethnomusicology at Harvard, with secondary emphasis in Critical Media Practice. He also holds degrees in music composition (MFA, Brandeis) and Classics (Greek) and Slavic Literature (BA, Harvard). After his doctoral studies, he held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT (Mellon) and Harvard’s Society of Fellows (through spring 2018).

 More information on projects and publications can be found here.

Subject groups/Research projects

Creative Practice:

(Sound Composition, Film-making)*

Ethnomusicology, Popular Music and Sound Studies:

(Islamic Diaspora, Sensory Ethnomusicology, Popular Musics)*

Colleges, Departments and Institutes

Queens' College: