There are several emerging research areas due to the interest of researchers affiliated to the MMRC, political realities, or the expertise that has been developed at the mdw over the years:


Some issues are dictated by political developments, and academia should respond accordingly. In ethnomusicology, this means dealing with precisely those groups of people who are portrayed as undesirables by certain political movements. Fieldwork findings provide substantial information that can play a role in the public discourse. Migration and forced migration are central themes of ethnomusicology nowadays. Emerging debates even suggest that due to socio-political circumstances worldwide the discipline should be understood as an "ethnomusicology of migration" (in contrast to formerly being regarded as an "ethnomusicology of nations").

The musical diversity of Vienna (urban area)

The MMRC is located in Vienna, and there are several reasons to deal with what is going on on our "doorstep". First, there is a longstanding tradition of research on immigrants’ music scenes in Vienna at the Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology, that can serve as a point of departure. Second, the emergence of the urban area as a topic of research in ethnomusicology (1970s) is closely linked to minority studies, as urban centers are always shaped by migration. Third, Vienna, widely referred to as "the city of music", has a long history of especially attracting musicians from all parts of the world and therefore served and serves as a place for musical encounters. Research projects on local scenes also have the advantage of offering the opportunity to cooperate with local NGOs. The center will take a closer look at Vienna’s urban soundscapes in their different manifestations.


Ursula Hemetek's 30 years of research on Roma music will function as a point of departure to look at Roma as a minority worldwide (without a "country of origin" that acts as a protecting power). The Roma people are subjected to various forms of discrimination worldwide, and in Europe they are effectively given the role of the personified 'others'. In addition to this, musicality is stereotypically attributed to Roma. These two factors lead to possibilities for comparison that are hardly present in other minority groups.

Theoretical framework: Comparative study on minority concepts and terminology

The use of a term like minority is very much influenced by local discourses and political systems. In an international context, this leads to intensive discussions. These have been going on in the ICTM Study Group on Music and Minorities for a long time, which has led to several changes in the definition of minorities over the years. It would be fruitful to carry out an international comparative study on concepts of minorities used in ethnomusicology in order to contribute to the theoretical framework of Music and Minority Studies. The projected study would involve experts from different parts of the world.