Prof Caroline Bithell

Professor of Ethnomusicology

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Caroline teaches a range of course units in Ethnomusicology and World Music Studies. With an academic background in music, social anthropology and languages, she holds degrees from the universities of Oxford and Wales.

Caroline is best known in the ethnomusicology world and beyond for her publications on the traditional musics of Corsica and Georgia (Caucasus), music revivals, and the natural voice and community choirs. Her book Transported by Song: Corsican Voices from Oral Tradition to World Stage (Scarecrow Press, 2007) was awarded 5 stars by Songlines magazine, as well as being positively reviewed in the academic press. Her latest books were both published by Oxford University Press: A Different Voice, A Different Song: Reclaiming Community through the Natural Voice and World Song (2014) and The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival (2014). Her current research focuses on the renaissance of vocal polyphony in post-Soviet Georgia and on music, health and wellbeing.

Caroline has served as Chair of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and editor of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum. She is also active in the community music world as a voice practitioner and workshop leader and is a former Chair of the Natural Voice Network.


Caroline has her roots in North Wales. She has also lived in Oxford, Germany and Corsica. She taught at Bangor University before moving to Manchester in 2005. She now counts Georgia as her second home.


  • BA and MA: University of Oxford
  • PhD: University of Wales
  • Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Wales)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Member of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE), Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), Natural Voice Network (NVN)
  • Member of the editorial board for International Journal of Traditional Arts, Journal of World Popular Music, Musicologist
  • Member of the advisory board for Cantos Cautivos

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