Music of Timor: an online exhibit for the ITLSC meeting at AAS 2017


Click the name of a researcher or project to see a list of their music-related work.

Brigitte Clamagirand

Brigitte Clamagirand did ethnographic research with the Ema (Kemak) community of Marobo in central Timor. Clamagirand authored several studies that detailed Ema social organization, most notably The Social Organization of the Ema of Timor (1980) and Marobo: une société ema de Timor (1982). She also made several audio recordings, which are archived at the Centre de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie in France, and in 1979 she published a collection of these recordings on LP under the title Chants des Ema.

Claudine Friedberg

Claudine Friedberg (also Berthe-Friedberg) is a professor of  ethnobiology and biogeography at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and a laboratory director at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. She was a member of the équipe Timor, a multi-disciplinary team of French researchers who visited Timor in 1966 and 1969-70; the team included several ethnographic researchers, each with their own distinct focus: language, social organization, economic anthropology, oral literature, and, for Friedberg, ethnobiology (Berthe-Friedberg et

Dana Rappoport

Dana Rappoport is an ethnomusicologist and researcher with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. She has worked extensively with the ritual music of the Toraja people from South Sulawesi, and since 2006 she has been studying duet traditions in eastern Flores. While Rappoport's work to date hasn’t involved any fieldwork on Timor, she has done significant research that connects to Timorese music: her 2015 article Musique et rituel dans l’Est insulindien contextualizes Timorese music in Eastern Indonesia, and a series of articles, culminating most recently in her 2015 Music as Evidence of Settlement, asks whether unusually similar musical traditions from Lamaholot and Lautém may suggest patterns of inter-migration between the two. 

Tatoli Ba Kultura

Tatoli ba Kultura was a research collaboration led by Tony Fry at Griffith University and coordinated by David Palazón in Dili from 2009-2012. The research focused on identifying and documenting “products and skills, historic materials and artefacts, tangible and intangible culture,” (Palazón, 2017). It was to provide the basis for developing an “indigenous-focused curriculum for an educational institution [in Timor] that would centre on conservation and innovation” (ibid.). 

Henri & Maria-Olímpia Campagnolo

Henri & Maria-Olímpia Campagnolo were members of the équipe Timor, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from France and Portugal who visited Timor in 1966 and 1969-70. The team included several ethnographic researchers, each with their own distinct focus: social organization, oral literature, and, in the case of Henri and Maria, language and economic anthropology respectively (Berthe-Friedberg et al. 1972).

Louis Berthe

Louis Berthe [1927-1968] was a French ethnologist and researcher whose research included work on Timor as well as on Sumbawa, Java, Bali, and Greece. He was married to the ethnobiologist Claudine Friedberg (also known as Berthe-Friedberg) [1933—], and the two collaborated as part of the équipe Timor, a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from France and Portugal, headed by Berthe, who worked together in Timor in the 1960s and early 70s.

Louise Byrne

Louise Byrne is an activist and researcher who became involved with the movement for East Timorese independence in 1989. At that time, she writes that “[she] felt that both music and religion, which are fundamental elements of nation-making, were being ignored by foreign activists, who concentrated more on the 'resistance' side of the liberation struggle (human rights data, anti-indonesian stuff, 'blood for oil' type banners)” (Personal Communication, 2017). Byrne has been working for the cause of West Papuan liberation and self-determination since the time of the East Timorese referendum i

Margaret Kartomi

Margaret Kartomi is an ethnomusicologist who specializes in the music of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on the music of Sumatra. She is the author of many articles, books, and other publications on a wide range of topics in ethnomusicology. She has also produced several recordings of music from Indonesia, and in 1999, twenty-three of her recordings from West Timor were collected for a CD called Music of Timor, published by Celestial Harmonies.

Margaret King

Margaret King (aka King-Boyes) undertook broad ethnological and musicological/choreological research in 1960-61 in what was then Portuguese Timor. She wrote generally on the topic of Timorese music, detailing and comparing various traditions that she encountered in her fieldwork in a chapter of her book From Eden to Paradise (1963)In 1965 she published a very detailed piece of work on music from Ermera in her article The Eagle Dance of At Sabe. The State Library of South Australia also houses an archived collection of King’s recordings.

Philip Yampolsky

Philip Yampolsky has been doing music research in Indonesia since the 1980s. His recent work has taken a turn toward Timor, and he has graciously agreed to collaborate on this exhibit. Aside from giving advice and guidance, he wrote the following summary and the descriptions of each of his works included below. 

Ros Dunlop

Ros Dunlop first traveled to East Timor in 2002 as a touring performer, playing clarinet for the music of composer Martin Wesley-Smith. She became concerned and curious about the indigenous music of East Timor, and she returned in 2003 to begin what would become a 12-year project to learn about, record, and document traditional music. 

Yohanes don Bosko Bakok

Yohanes don Bosko Bakok is a graduate student at ISI Yogyakarta. In 2015 he gave a paper at the 3rd Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts in Southeast Asia (PASEA), based on research he undertook in Padiae, Oekusi, in 2014. In this paper, titled Acculturated Music in Kore Metan Ceremony Among the East Timorese, don Bosko Bakok argues that the music of Kore Metan, an East Timorese mourning ceremony, contains traces of Portuguese and Indonesian influence.