John Baily

John Baily's brief biography

Dr John Baily is Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology and Head of the Afghanistan Music Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. Born in Glastonbury, Somerset, he read Psychology and Physiology at the University of Oxford, has a D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex, a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology (Ethnomusicology) from The Queen's University of Belfast and is also a graduate in documentary film making from the National Film and Television School. He has held ethnomusicology teaching positions at The Queen’s University of Belfast, Columbia University in New York, and Goldsmiths. His research is focused mainly on the music of Afghanistan, starting with two years’ fieldwork in Herat in the 1970s and continuing with research in the Afghan diaspora in Pakistan, Iran, USA, Europe and Australia.

Since 2001 he has visited Kabul seven times, where he set up a Tradition Bearers’ Music Programme on behalf of the Aga Khan Music Initiative for Central Asia. He has published several books and numerous articles, CDs and DVDs about the music of Afghanistan, and has recently published a monograph entitled War, Exile, and the Music of Afghanistan: The Ethnographer's Tale, which brings together his work on Afghan music in the diaspora and in Afghanistan since 1985. He is an avid player of the Afghan rubab and one of his most frequently cited publications is ‘Learning to perform as a research technique in ethnomusicology’. British Journal of Ethnomusicology, 2001, 10(2): 85–98. Details of his publications concerning the rubab are given in Chapter 9.