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About City

Sam Mackay

MPhil/PhD student

Department of Music

E: Sam.Mackay.1@city.ac.uk

PhD title: Music, modernity and urban change in contemporary Marseille

Supervisor: Professor Stephen Cottrell

Higher educational background - summary

MA Ethnomusicology, City University London

BMus Music, University of Edinburgh

Overview and research interests

My research critically examines the interfaces between musical culture and post-industrial urban practice in the framework of culture-led ‘regeneration’. I am interested in the ways in which music both enacts and contests new city identities, particularly those that situate themselves in relation to notions of cosmopolitanism, postcoloniality and neoliberal capitalism.

Research interests

  • Urban Ethnomusicology
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • North African popular musics
  • Urban Geography
  • Avant Garde & Experimental musics

Conference presentations

  • 2016. “Where’s the graffiti: Music and the Symbolic Economy in Contemporary Marseille." British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference, Chatham.
  • 2015. "Freedom and exile: North African musical migration in Marseille." British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Annual Conference. London.
  • 2015. "A shared history? North African musical heritage and the public sphere in contemporary Marseille". Institute of Musical Research. London.
  • 2014. "La Culture est à nous: music and the politics of place in a European Capital of Culture". ICTM Ireland Annual Conference. Galway.


“Classical Music & The Interrupted City”. Noise & Silence, 2016.


  • 2015-2016: Researching Music in Contemporary Cultures (PG), Musical Traditions of the Middle East (UG), Global Popular Musics (UG).
  • 2014-2015: Urban Ethnomusicology (PG), Global Perspectives (UG), Investigating Western Music (UG).


Sam Mackay is Co-Director of London Contemporary Music Festival

Writing for The Quietus