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Katherine Butler Schofield

Dr Katherine (née Brown) Butler Schofield

Senior Lecturer

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 6252 
Room SWB11 Music Department
King's College London
Strand Campus




Katherine Butler Schofield (née Katherine Butler Brown) is a cultural historian and ethnomusicologist whose work focuses on South Asia. She trained as a viola player before embarking on postgraduate studies at SOAS in North Indian music, followed by a research fellowship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a lectureship at Leeds.
Research Interests
  • Ethnomusicology
  • South Asia
  • music and colonialism
  • Islam
  • Mughal history

Katherine’s research interests lie generally in the areas of South Asian music, the history of Mughal India (1526-1858), music and Islam, and music and empire. They include the intersection of music with gender, friendship, love and ethics; the history of pleasure; colonial transitions; connoisseurship; social liminality; the history of North Indian musicians, dancers and actors; and Indo-Persian musical knowledge. Most recently, Katherine has been awarded €1.18M by the European Research Council to lead an exciting new major research project, “Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean” (2011-14), which aims to produce a history of transitions from pre-colonial to colonial musical fields in India and the Malay peninsula c.1750-1900.

Katherine welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of her research interests. 

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • “The courtesan tale: female musicians and dancers in Mughal historical chronicles,” Gender & history (forthcoming).
  • “Reviving the golden age again: ‘classicization’, Hindustani music, and the Mughals,” Ethnomusicology 54/3 (2010), pp. 484-517.
  • “The origins and early development of khayal.” In J Bor, F Delvoye, J Harvey and E te Nijenhuis, eds. Hindustani music: thirteenth to twentieth centuries . New Delhi: Manohar (2010).
  • “The social liminality of musicians: case studies from Mughal India and beyond,”twentieth-century music 3/1 (2007), pp. 13-49.
  • “Did Aurangzeb ban music? Questions for the historiography of his reign,” Modern Asian studies 41/1 (2007), pp. 77-121.
For a complete list of publications, please see Katherine's full research profile.
Katherine's teaching interests lie in the ethnomusicology and cultural history of non-Western and vernacular musical traditions, particularly where they concern South Asia, Islam, the Mughal and British empires, and North American vernacular musics. She currently teaches the MMus seminar Music and Empire: India and the Indian Ocean, which looks at the fields of music and dance in the eastern Indian Ocean in their transitions to European colonialism and later to independence c.1750-1950. In previous years she has taught modules on gender and sexuality in Indian music, music and globalisation, North Indian classical music, world popular music, music and religion, and Orientalism.
Expertise and Public Engagement
Member of the Council of the Royal Asiatic Society Member of the Committee of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology
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