Hello! I’m Bradford Garvey and I’m a doctoral candidate in Ethnomusicology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. I research the relationships between sound, poetry, performance, and social authority in the Sultanate of Oman. I’m particularly interested in how the social role of poetry and poets differs from the society I grew up in: New England in the USA.


I was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and spent a lot of time in Becket, MA as well. I graduated High School in Westfield, MA, and got a degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I started studying Arabic there, and enjoyed it. I studied the history and cultures of Middle East at the MEMEAC at the Graduate Center, and then moved into the Music department. There, I began focusing on musics of the Middle East, and specifically rural genres in the Arabian Peninsula and Arabian Gulf. I also study the art music of urban Iraq, al-maqām al-‘Irāqī and how it is transmitted between and among generations. I am also interested in the musics of the United States, especially the vernacular and mixed traditions of New England and the Eastern US. I play banjo and drumset, and I dabble in steel-string fingerpicking on the guitar. You can listen to some of my music, solo and in garage band, in the Soundcloud links in the top right.

Here’s some examples of what I research: al-‘āzī and al-razḥa in Oman; Iraqi Maqam.


I’m very interested in and committed to interdisciplinary research, “Big Tent” Four-Field approaches in Anthropology, and team-based research. If you are too, and we share even remote research interests, we should talk! Please feel free to contact me.