The Society for Ethnomusicology was
founded in 1955 to promote the research, study, and performance of music in all
historical periods and cultural contexts.
SEM is a U.S.-based organization with an
international membership of over 1800 individuals dedicated to the study of all
forms of music from diverse humanistic and social scientific perspectives. We
examine music as central to human experience throughout space and time, and
explore its profound relationship to cognition, emotion, language, dance,
visual arts, spiritual belief, social organization, collective identity,
politics, conflict and peace, economics, the physical body, and mental health.
Through SEM programs and the work of our individual members, we seek to advance
academic and public understanding and appreciation of music as a cultural
phenomenon of unlimited variety and as a resource that is fundamental to the
wellbeing of individuals and communities.
SEM's individual members include
scholars, teachers, students, performers, media professionals, museum
specialists, archivists, librarians, and administrators from such disciplines
as musicology, anthropology, folklore, cultural studies, ethnic and area
studies, gender studies, acoustics, and music education. As a network of individuals that
reaches across countries, disciplines, and academic institutions, the Society
serves as a leading forum for the production, exchange, and peer review of
scholarship on the world's music. In addition, SEM has more than 800
institutional members (consisting primarily of libraries) and has been an active
member of the American Council of Learned Societies since 1966.
In the fall, SEM holds an annual meeting
that attracts over 1000 participants. This meeting features scholarly
presentations and discussions, films, workshops, concerts, and the award of
prizes for outstanding work in ethnomusicology. Our ten regional chapters hold
annual conferences during the winter and spring. SEM publishes Ethnomusicology,
the leading journal in the field, the SEM Newsletter, and SEM Student News. Our website
offers a variety of resources related to ethnomusicology, as well as
information about the Society.
The SEM Business Office is based on the campus of Indiana University
Bloomington and gratefully acknowledges this institution's support.
In 2010 SEM completed a Strategic Plan that outlines several goals for
increasing academic and public knowledge and support of music. New initiatives
will be carried out by the SEM membership in collaboration with various partner
SEM Strategic Plan