SAMR is a special interest group operating within the Society for Ethnomusicology. It is a collection of scholars dedicated to learning more about Arab music, broadly defined, and the cultural production of the Middle East, North Africa, the Muslim world, and its diaspora.

In addition to this page and its annual meeting at the SEM national conference, the organization hosts an email list. Contact the current president for more information.


  • Chair: Christopher Witulski
  • Chair-elect: Beau Bothwell
  • Web Development and Management: Christopher Witulski

SEM Panel Sponsorship

Each year, SAMR is able to organize and sponsor panels submitted for the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting. While sponsorship does not increase the chances of a paper being accepted, the exchanges and discussions that go into planning have been shown to be helpful according to SEM.

The following list of past sponsored SEM panels, roundtables, and other events demonstrates the thematic and geographic diversity that SAMR supports.


Sounding Arab: The Politics of Race and Difference in Middle Eastern Music


Besides Resistance: Affects and Politics of Youth Music and Listening in the Arab Mediterranean

Popular Culture, Activism, Violence, and the State in Israel/Palestine

A Musical Mahjar: Idiom, Translocality, and Agency Across the Indian Ocean Region


Workshop: Eastern Arab Maqam in Performance: The Case of Maqam Huzam


Musical Ethnographies of Western Asia: Shifting Foundations of Practice in Kuwait, Iran and Baloch Oman

Roundtable: Intertwined Futures of Ethnomusicology and the Middle East: Reflections from an International Symposium on Music Research in the Arabian Peninsula


Revolution and Song: Exploring Martyr Music of the Egyptian Spring


Film session: Songs of the New Arab Revolutions: A Collaborative Documentary Film by Members of the Society for Arab Music Research and Members of the Facebook Group “Songs of the New Arab Revolutions”

Workshop: Eastern Arab Maqam in Performance— The Case of Maqam Hijaz


Workshop: Eastern Arab Maqam-Based Improvisation


Musical Festivities: Constructing Place, Identity, and Spirituality in Public Settings