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The Society for Ethnomusicology was founded in 1955 to promote the research, study, and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts.



The Society for Ethnomusicology is a U.S.-based organization with an international membership of approximately 1,800 individuals dedicated to the study of all forms of music from diverse humanistic and social scientific perspectives. As a network of scholars, educators, students, musicians, activists, curators, and other professionals that reaches across countries, disciplines, and institutions, SEM serves as an inclusive forum for the exchange of knowledge about the world’s music and for advocacy on behalf of musicians and their communities.

  • The SEM Annual Meeting is held each fall, attracts over 900 participants, and features more than 350 scholarly presentations, roundtables, films, workshops, and concerts.

  • The SEM Journal, Ethnomusicology, is published three times a year and is the leading periodical in the field. The journal is distributed to members and to approximately 800 institutional subscribers.

  • SEM’s Online Publications include the SEM Newsletter, SEM Student News, Ethnomusicology Translations, the blog Sound Matters, the podcast Ethnomusicology Today, and various electronic forums.

  • SEM awards a variety of Prizes each year in recognition of outstanding work in ethnomusicology.

  • SEM includes 32 Sections and Special Interest Groups focused on particular topics in ethnomusicology and 10 Regional Chapters in North America.

SEM has been an active member of the American Council of Learned Societies since 1966 and collaborates with various other national and international organizations.

The SEM Business Office is located on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington and gratefully acknowledges this institution's support.

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