Laudan Nooshin


Laudan Nooshin gained her BA in Music from the University of Leeds and her MMus in Ethnomusicology from Goldsmiths' College (University of London), where she also taught between 1987 and 1991. Her PhD (Goldsmiths' College, 1996) was a study of creative performance in Iranian classical music. Between 1993 and 2004, Laudan taught in the Department of Performing Arts at Brunel University. She has been at City, University of London since 2004 and has held a number of course leadership positions during this time - BMus, MA, PhD and DMA Programme Director - and from 2017 to 2020 was Head of the Music Department.

Laudan is an active researcher working in the broad fields of urban sound studies, film music studies, popular music studies and contemporary music cultures, with a particular focus on Iran and the Middle East.

She is currently working as an AHRC Innovation Scholar, seconded to the theatre consultancy company Charcoalblue , working on a project entitled‘Place-making Through Sound: Designing for Inclusivity and Wellbeing’

In 2022, Laudan was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for the project Sonic Tehran: Tehran's Historical and Contemporary Sound Spaces from which a book is currently in process.

Between 2021 and 2022, Laudan served as a full panel member for the UKRI Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) for Unit of Assessment 33 (Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies).

Laudan’s publications include the monograph Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity (Ashgate Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2016 British Forum for Ethnomusicology Book prize, and the edited volumes Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (2009, Ashgate Press), The Ethnomusicology of Western Art Music and Voices for Change in the Classical Music Profession: New Ideas for Tackling Inequalities and Exclusions (co-edited with Anna Bull and Christina Scharff, 2023, Oxford University Press), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters (see publications section). She was awarded the 2019 Helen Roberts Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology for her article '"Our Angel of Salvation” Towards an Understanding of Iranian Cyberspace as an Alternative Sphere of Musical Sociality’. 2018, Ethnomusicology, 62(2): 341-74.

Laudan has been active in the academic community for many years. Between 2007 and 2011, she was co-Editor of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum and is currently an Advisory Board member for the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication (Brill). Between 2019 and 2023, Laudan was co-Editor (with Professor Simon McVeigh) of the Cambridge University Press Elements series Music and the City. She is currently a Vice-President and Trustee of the Royal Musical Association, Chair of the RMA Search Committee and founded the RMA EDI Working Group in 2020.

Since 2007, Laudan founded and continues to convene (with Professor Rachel Harris at SOAS) the twice yearly Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum. She is also a co-founder and currently events co-ordinator for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies Network.

Previous roles include serving as a member of the Institute of Musical Research Advisory Board, the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Alan Merriam Prize Committee (2013), an elected committee member of the National Association for Music in Higher Education (2008-2011), a member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (2006-2009), and a member of the QAA Benchmarking Statement Review Panel for Music (2015). Laudan has served several terms as committee member of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and convened a number of conferences for this organisation.

Laudan regularly writes feature articles and reviews CDs of Iranian music for Songlines: The World Music Magazine and is often contacted for advice and information on Iranian music and invited to speak about her research.

Laudan is strongly committed to knowledge exchange and outreach work. In 2011, she initiated and led the Shahnameh Project in collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra's Community and Education Department, London Music Masters, composer David Bruce and storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton, introducing Key Stage 2 children to Iranian music and culture through a series of workshops, concerts, teacher training INSET days and a published teacher’s guide. This project became the core of an impact case study submitted by City University for REF2014. The piece Prince Zal and the Simorgh that was commissioned for the project was also performed by the Cornwall Youth Orchestra at the Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2015, the latter involving City University’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.

More recently, the the Phoenix of Persia project used the same story as the basis for a picture book with specially-composed music introducing British children to Iranian culture, music, history and storytelling. Laudan worked with publisher Tiny Owl, storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton and a group of Iranian musicians to create the book and accompanying educational resource materials for Key stage 2 children. The book was published in 2019 and the project includes a cross-curricular education resource website.

Laudan also co-leads, with Dr Maria Mendonça (Kenyon College, USA), the HEIF-funded project ‘Re-sounding the Past: Decolonizing Sonic Heritage Spaces’, which has included adding a sonic installation to the kitchen area of Ham House, a historic National Trust property in Richmond, Surrey.

A great believer in extending students' horizons, in June 2008 Laudan organised and led an educational trip to Iran for 6 students from the Music Department at City, funded by the City University Alumni Association. 

Updated 5/10/2023

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