Welcome to MMaP

Welcome to the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP) at Memorial University. MMaP conducts a wide range of research projects on music and culture. These include the production of CDs, websites, videos, and live events on the music of Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Canada, and beyond. We also publish the journal Music Research Annual and engage in book projects, conferences, a residency series, and other initiatives that examine fundamental theoretical questions in music research. Located in the John C. Perlin Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s, MMaP’s facility is the home to Memorial’s MA and PhD programs in ethnomusicology, a recording and audio restoration studio, a presenting space, and more. We invite you to explore this web site and follow us on social media to find out more about the Centre’s work.


CRC Program Award

The Canada Research Chair’s Program (CRCP) has awarded Harris M. Berger a second seven-year term as Tier One Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. (The CRCP is a funding body administered by the government of Canada’s Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat.) Berger holds appointments in both the School of Music and the Department of Folklore and directs Memorial’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP), which was founded in 2003 by Memorial’s first CRC in Ethnomusicology, Beverley Diamond. “I am honored to receive this appointment,” Berger said, “and look forward to continuing to lead the work of the Centre.”

Good As a Concert Returns

Traditional music performance series Good as a Concert returns with a day-long event to celebrate the change of season with songs and stories from our folk music heritage that reflect all the promise, inevitability, joy and disappointment of spring. Join us on Saturday, March 23, 2024 as we push winter out the door and usher in a new season!

The March 23 event will begin with a Storytelling Session at 10:30 AM, featuring Mary Fearon, Harry Ingram, Jim Payne and Catherine Wright. The afternoon Folksong Session starts at 2:30 PM with singers Eleanor Dawson, Paul Dean, Mark Manning, and Monica Walsh, with both sessions at the MMaP Gallery on the second floor of the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. An evening concert featuring Anita Best, Joe Byrne, and Aaron Collis starts at 7:30 PM at Suncor Hall in the MUN School of Music Building. Tickets are $10 for the daytime sessions, $25 for the evening concert, all available at the door. You may also purchase a day pass for $40.

From the tragic overtones of lost love in Early Spring to the frustrated resignation of Our Island is Covered with Fog, knowing that For the Fish We Must Prepare to the sealing tragedies of The Newfoundland and Greenland Disasters, the landlocked rhythms of Hurling Down the Pines to the lusty High Times in Our Ship, and the loneliness of The River Drivers Lament to a sailor’s anticipation of reuniting with his Charming Blue-Eyed Mary, this province’s relationship with spring in all its complexity is explored in our vast folk song repertoire.

Good as a Concert, a collaboration between Memorial University’s Research Centre for Music, Media, and Place (MMaP) and local folk singers Eleanor Dawson and Jim Payne, celebrates the coming season with lesser-known songs and stories from Newfoundland and Labrador’s folk music traditions.

Neighbours St. John’s Phone App Update

MMaP is pleased to announce that an updated version of the Neighbours St. John’s phone app is now available. A free application for iOS and Android phones, Neighbours: St. John’s presents stories from the diverse cultural communities of the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The app offers users a map of downtown St. John’s with markers indicating culturally significant sites in the city. Using GPS technology, the app allows users to create their own walking tour of St. John’s and learn about its history and cultures.

Due to technical issues, the app had been removed from the iOS and Google Play app stores, but it is now available once again. The new version offers a cleaner interface and revised information. The iOS version can be downloaded here, and the Android version can be downloaded here. If you had the first version of the app, the new version may already be on your phone. To make sure that your app has the latest data, tap on the three dots at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, tap on “Settings,” and tap on “Check for updated content.”

Good as a Concert: Traditional Newfoundland Songs from the Collections of MacEdward Leach

To celebrate the launch of Folk Songs of Atlantic Canada from the Collections of MacEdward Leach, a website featuring over 650 recordings of traditional music from Newfoundland and the Gaelic-speaking areas of Nova Scotia, MMaP partnered with SingSong Inc. and Eleanor Dawson to present another event in the "Good as a Concert" performance series. Featuring a variety of well-known singers, the event showcased songs from Leach's collections and highlighted the province's rich musical heritage. The concert took place on Saturday, February 25, 2023, in The Well Room, which is located at 272 Water Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Partial funding for this event was provided by the Office of Public Engagement at Memorial University. The producers gratefully thank them for their support.

Videos of this event are available on the MMaP YouTube channel.  The video for the first half of the event can be found here, and the video for the second half can be found here.

Riedel Lecture Postponed

Friedlind Riedel’s November 15, 2022, Music and Culture lecture has been postponed due to illness. When a new date has been set, an announcement will be posted to here.

New Website Launches! Folk Songs of Atlantic Canada from the Collections of MacEdward Leach

Between 1949 and 1951, American folklorist MacEdward Leach recorded almost 700 songs from singers on the island of Newfoundland and in Gaelic-speaking areas of Nova Scotia. Folk Songs of Atlantic Canada from the Collections of MacEdward Leach is an online archive that make his recordings available. It is a major revision of the MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada website, which was published by MMaP in 2004. The new site offers complete recordings of songs from the Leach collection (rather than excerpts), carefully restored audio, new search capabilities, contemporary web design and functionality, and updated texts. We invite you to explore the collection!

MMaP Hosts Virtual Residency by Dr. Rumya Putcha

After a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MMaP is excited to announce the return of our scholar-in-residence series. From March 7 to 11, 2022, MMaP will host a virtual residency of Dr. Rumya Putcha, who is an assistant professor appointed in the Institute for Women’s Studies and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. On March 8, Putcha will present an address in our Music & Culture Lecture Series titled “Somatic Orientalism and the Indian Body in Empire.” The following evening, MMaP, Memorial University’s Nexus Centre, and other Memorial partners will co-host an informal public talk entitled “Yoga and White Public Space.”  Putcha will also lead seminars in two ethnomusicology graduate classes and meet individually with students to discuss their research. Welcome to MMaP, Dr. Putcha!

The Cultures of Sound Network Expands

MMaP is delighted to welcome the Centre for Sound Communities at Cape Breton University to the Cultures of Sound Network. Established in 2018 by MMaP, the Canadian Museum of History, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Sound Studies Institute at the University of Alberta, this unique international alliance develops initiatives for the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge about music, sound, and culture.

MMaP Launches New Journal

MMaP is delighted to announce the launch of its new journal, Music Research Annual. Edited by Harris M. Berger and Jocelyne Guilbault, MRA is the first peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to publishing review essays from the full range of academic disciplines that study music. Each article explores the current state of scholarship on a key topic within a discipline or interdisciplinary juncture and charts ways forward to new research. Led by a group of renowned scholars, the journal seeks to forward academic inquiry into music and foster interdisciplinary dialog. Volume one includes articles by noted scholars Martin Stokes, Robin James, Stephen Davies, Blake Howe, and Hollis Taylor. New articles are published on the journal’s website throughout the year. To keep up with the journal, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Mastodon, or sign up for email notifications on the journal’s landing page.

MMaP Hosts Virtual Album Launch: Doughboys and Molasses, Oh!

On November 26, 2020, MMaP hosted the virtual launch of our latest CD in our Back on Track Audio Publication Series, Doughboys and Molasses, Oh! Traditional Songs from the Gros Morne Region. The launch was screened on MMaP’s YouTube channel and featured performances of songs from the album by special guest musicians, as well as greetings from the project’s partners. Watch the video to learn more about the musical heritage of this distinctive region of Newfoundland’s west coast.

MMaP Receives Major Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology

At the 2020 meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), MMaP received the Judith McCulloh Public Sector Award, which is given in alternating years to an individual or organization whose “work contributes significantly to public understandings of ethnomusicology.” With this award, SEM has acknowledged the work of all of those scholars and staff who have contributed to MMaP’s success since its inception, as well as numerous guest producers and student researchers. The award was presented by Dr. Nancy Groce, Senior Folklife Specialist from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In her remarks, Dr. Groce observed that McCulloh Award was particularly competitive this year, with the committee considering 23 nominations from seven countries.

For more announcements, click here.