Sean Williams (ethnomusicologist)

Sean Williams (ethnomusicologist)

Sean Williams (b. 1959, Berkeley, California) is an ethnomusicologist who teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Her primary areas of teaching include Irish studies and Asian studies; she leads the Sundanese music ensembles Gamelan Degung Girijaya (Enduring Mountain Gamelan) and Angklung Buncis Sukahejo. She received a BA in classical guitar performance from UC Berkeley in 1981, and an MA (1985) and Ph.D. (1990) in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington (Seattle).

She is a co-editor, with Dr. Terry E. Miller, of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (Southeast Asia volume), and The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music, a version of the Encyclopedia reduced to textbook size with supplemental material on the internet. She has written numerous articles about music in Indonesia, Ireland, and Japan. Her first book, "The Sound of the Ancestral Ship: Highland Music of West Java" (Oxford 2001) is an academic monograph about Sundanese aristocratic sung poetry of Indonesia. Her second book, "The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook: Complete Meals from Around the World" (Routledge 2006), is an edited volume joining recipes with articles about food and music in 47 different regions of the world. Her current book (with co-writer Lillis O'Laoire) is a biography of the great Irish singer and storyteller, Joe Heaney (Oxford, forthcoming), titled "Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man." Her next book, "Focus: Irish Traditional Music", is a textbook to be published by Routledge in 2009. She is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (former board member), the Society for Asian Music, and other music-and-culture-related societies.

Sean Williams is also a musician; she plays numerous Indonesian instruments along with the classical guitar, Irish fiddle, and banjo. She sings in Irish and English. In the summers she sometimes teaches at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in Port Orchard, Washington.


* [ Personal webpage]


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