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Reconfiguring musical spaces: Making space for multiple forms of musical knowledge

Tuesday 11 January 2022

10:00am - 12:00pm

Online via Zoom

Course leader: Pete Yelding curated by Brenda Rattray

Participants will be encouraged to interrogate their musical imagination and explore ways of de-centring dominant forms of musical knowledge and musical practice.


During this session
Pete will lead an explorations into making musical spaces more equitable, with a focus on

  • Developing the skills to look at the social formation of musical spaces: identifying the ways colonialism and racism were socially embedded in the rituals of European Classical music over time, finding ways to move beyond them through de-centring certain behaviours and approaches and widening our aesthetic lens.
  • De-elevating the Eurocentric music history we are taught and starting to think about global flows of musical knowledge instead.
  • Identifying behaviours and narratives in Western music that offer opportunities to engage dialogically with these global flows, such as embracing dissonance and ‘deep listening’, as opposed to seeking to assert Western-centric versions of modernity upon them.
  • Learning to think differently about melody: through guided listening and exploration of multiple melodic systems
  • Discussing how this can be taken into our own practices

Who is it for?

  • Primary and secondary music teachers / leaders
  • Peripatetic / instrumental / vocal teachers
  • Workshop leaders / practitioners working in schools
  • Music Education Hub / music education organisation staff / leaders working in schools

This session will help practitioners to

  • Make changes in their work to create musical spaces that more accurately reflect the global flows of musical knowledge, which have shaped the world around us.


£25 – Individuals/freelancers; £35 – Organisations with a turnover of less than £100k; £45 – Organisations with a turnover of more than £100k*

*We have a number of bursary places available on our training programme for individuals who have lost income as a result of the pandemic or other circumstances. Please email with a request for a training bursary.

Pete Yelding (he/him)

Pete is a cellist, sitarist and vocalist from a family of travelling Showpeople. His unique musical voice and multifaceted skill set blends multiple worlds of musical knowledge into soulful songs, pieces and improvisations that owe their existence entirely to his masterful teachers.

He began his sitar training in North Indian Classical Music during his cello and composition studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, and later studied with Jonathan Mayer of the Senia veen-kar Gharana. Since, Pete has become student of the legendary Sarod player, Ustad Irfan Muhammad Khan, the inheritor and Khalif (chief) of the Lucknow Shahjahanpur Gharana. In addition to his ongoing study under Irfan Muhammad Khan, Pete has received vocal tuition from Rauf Saami, son of Ustad Naseeruddin Saami. He has also received tuition in string performance techniques from Fulani Griot and master of the Riti, Juldeh Camara and Mandinka Griots and masters of the Kora, Sura Susso and Jally Kebba Susso.

He allows the techniques from across his practice to cross-pollinate and inform one and other so his cello, sitar and vocal playing sound alike. This unique and carefully crafted sound and his research has led to collaborative work with Zinzi Minott, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Talvin Singh, Kuljit Bhamra, Sura Susso, Bristol Old Vic, and Charanga. He is now studying a PhD at Bath Spa University looking at the body as the musical archive, with a focus on the Lucknow Shahjahanpur Gharana.



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