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Faculty of Music

Dr Min Yen  Ong


Teaching Associate (Ethnomusicology)


Min Yen Ong is an ethnomusicologist with regional interests in Pacific island cultures (Hawaiʻi and Fiji) and the music of China. She completed her PhD in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London. She also holds a Master’s degree from SOAS and a BA in Music from the University of Bristol.

Min is interested in the roles that music-making, aurality and place play in articulating resistance and asserting identity. Her research is informed by notions of nostalgia, belonging, sustainability, agency and resilience. Within this context, she has examined China’s intangible cultural heritage safeguarding policies and the pivotal role that literati-amateurs have played in safeguarding Chinese kunqu opera. Her current research includes how social media and collaborative music videos work as mobilising structures in the native Hawaiian struggle for self-determination through the reclaiming of place, as well as the efficacious use of music to rebuild communities in the wake of Cyclone Winston in Fiji. Min has presented her research in many countries and published in various edited volumes.

In addition to being an educator, she is also interested in practice-based work to empower people and aid communities confronted by global structures of inequality. She has experience within UNESCO and has been employed in various sectors of the music industry in London for 10 years, as well as abroad. These experiences have included international music publishing, recording, editorial work and film composer management. She is also a classically-trained pianist and oboist.

Min identifies as British-Chinese with Singapore and Guyanese roots. She is married to a native Hawaiian. 


Applied ethnomusicology, intangible cultural heritage, sustainability, music and politics, land rights, Polynesia, Melanesia, China

Contact Details

01223 335177