SAMR is a section 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. See below for more information.

You can reach the organization and leadership at


SAMR is open to anyone. While business meetings generally happen within the annual meeting for the Society for Ethnomusicology, much of the oganization’s discussion occurs within an email list. To join the list, visit and enter your information.

SEM Panel Sponsorship

Each year, SAMR sponsors fully-formed panels or roundtables on or relevant to Arab music for submission to the Society for Ethnomusicology’s (SEM) annual meetings, following SEM guidelines. SAMR also networks people with individual proposals to form panels. All submissions undergo internal review that may include suggestions for revision. While sponsorship does not guarantee that a panel will be accepted by SEM, the exchanges and discussions in the review process tend to increase the strength of a panel and its chances of being accepted.

To see the titles of all papers presented at SEM conferences for past years on topics related to Arab music, see the pages listed here:

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


Cultural Diplomacy in the Middle East

Negotiating Musical Change, Cultural Policy and Cultural Difference around the 1932 Cairo Congress

Joint keynote presentation with the Religion, Music, and Sound Section: “Soundworlds of the Saints: Ritual Journeys and Musical Authority in North African Islam,” Richard Jankowsky


After Jews and Arabs: Musical Paths of Arab Jews


Musical Biography and the Writing of Critical Socio-Musical Histories in Iran and the Arab World


Affective Engagements and Musical Performance in the Muslim World


Ambivalence, Yearning, Stillness: Directions in Arab Music Studies

Arab-Influenced UDM and the Politics of Music and Identity (lecture/performance)

Rethinking the Collective in Music after the Arab Spring: Communities, Nations, Diasporas

Spaces in Arab American Musical Life


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