John O’Connell is director of the Ethnomusicology programme at Cardiff University, where he has taught since 2006. He is the author of Alaturka: Style in Turkish Music (SOAS Musicology Series, 2013), a study of the significance of style in Turkish music and, in particular, the polemical debate about an Eastern style of Turkish music (called alaturka) that developed during the early-Republican era (1923-1938), a time of major cultural change in Turkey. These arguments about style disclose competing conceptions of Turkish space and time where definitions of the East and the West, and interpretations of the past and the present were hotly contested.
He is a graduate of Oxford University, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the University of California (Los Angeles) where he completed his PhD in ethnomusicology on Turkish music. He is the principal editor of Music and Conflict (Illinois UP, 2010) and author of many articles on Middle Eastern and Central Asian topics. He is currently writing a book on music and nationhood in the Middle East.