Practicing Ethnomusicology

Theresa Thomasulo recently earned her Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her regions of focus are South and East Asia and she has special interest in issues surrounding gender, diaspora, and conflict. She is currently residing in Buffalo, NY and seeking opportunities to continue participating in the field of ethnomusicology.


I wish that I had thoroughly documented everything I ever studied in graduate school.  I wish I had an account of every performance I ever saw, every article I ever read, and every workshop I attended.  I do not have a list of these things, and my memory is pitiful.  However, one performance I do remember was that of the man who created this documentary:

New Year

It has been a long year, but some ethnomusicology opportunities finally seem to be opening up, and I could not be more excited.  Recently I’ve written for Korean Quarterly, and am in the middle of preparing my 2nd piece for them.  I’ve also reached out to MUSE, and have an interview to be scheduled in January.  Looking forward to a new year filled with exciting new possibilities!

I’m back after a very long hiatus.  The past year has been a frustrating and stressful one and I have had few opportunities to practice ethnomusicology.  However, the new year is fast-approaching, and so are new opportunities, if I just take the chance to seize them.  I have written one essay for Korean Quarterly, and the editor has asked that I continue to write for them.  He has also put me in contact with Mr. Vong Pak, whose album, Blue and White: Electric Shaman Live, I will be reviewing for the upcoming issue.  Expect a link to at least one of the songs off this album on my sister-blog Musical Meaning.

Looks like I’ll be spending the weekend of the 17th in Toronto for voice/veena lessons!  I’m very excited to see my teacher.

Back Home

It has been a while since I’ve updated this blog.  I am back home (in my parents house) and substitute teaching while looking for a full-time job.  (My fiance and I can’t justify getting our own apartment until we are both working full-time.)  Although I do not like subbing, there are other, more exciting things going on in my life.  I am going to Korean school on Saturdays and playing in a community orchestra on Thursdays.  I may be joining the UB Sorimori samulnori/p’ungmul ensemble (once I get a changgo) and I approached the Korean Quarterly about becoming a contributor to their amazing newspaper, and they were very pleased to have me on board.  If you do not subscribe to KQ, I highly recommend you check it out.  It is, as its name suggests, a newspaper released four times per year and covers topics ranging from Korean-American identity to Korean politics to bi-cultural family life.  The columns are insightful and well-written and I would be honored to have something published in it. 

Masters Dissertation

I had my last in-person meeting with Richard Widdess (my supervisor) today.  He is leaving next week for Nepal and won’t be returning until I have already returned to New York.  Fortunately, he will be available via e-mail.  Our meeting went very well and Richard helped me narrow and focus my paper.  I think it is going to be very interesting!  I’m eager to re-outline it and then start writing.