Assistant Professor of Music
Tala Jarjour is an ethnomusicologist who studies music from the Arab World and the Middle East. She has a background in Historical Musicology and violin Performance. Her research interests include art and popular musics as well as music in the local academe. She is particularly interested in religious musics from the region – especially Levantine traditions such as Christian and Sufi musics – and focuses on Syriac chant. Her current research examines issues of contemporary modality and musical systems, identity, minority and ethno-religiosity, society and performance, emotion, survival, nation and power.
As a Gates Scholar and recipient of the Overseas Research Studentship Award Scheme, Tala wrote her PhD on the contemporary Syriac chant of Edessa as practised in the Syrian city of Aleppo. She did so under the supervision of Martin Stokes, at the University of Cambridge, where she also had the privilege of mentorship from Roger Parker. Tala came to Notre Dame from New York University where she was Assistant Professor of Music.
With experience in curriculum design at New York University for its Abu Dhabi offshoot, and preceding that at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, Jarjour is working to develop the ethnomusicological dimension of music studies at Notre Dame, particularly in terms of studying sacred music in its wide geographic, historical and cultural variety. Based in the Department of Music, Jarjour has a concurrent appointment with the Department of Anthropology and is Fellow of the Medieval Institute. She teaches in the Master (MSM) and Doctoral (DMA) programs of Sacred Music at Notre Dame.