Regula Qureshi | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Regula Qureshi

(Anna) Regula Qureshi (b Burckhardt). Ethnomusicologist, teacher, cellist, b Basel 13 Jul 1939, naturalized Canadian 1968; MA German literature and linguistics (Pennsylvania) 1962, M MUS musicology (Alberta) 1973, PH D anthropology (Alberta) 1981.

Regula Qureshi

(Anna) Regula Qureshi (b Burckhardt). Ethnomusicologist, teacher, cellist, b Basel 13 Jul 1939, naturalized Canadian 1968; MA German literature and linguistics (Pennsylvania) 1962, M MUS musicology (Alberta) 1973, PH D anthropology (Alberta) 1981. Regula Qureshi studied cello 1958-60 at the Curtis Institute and music history and ethnomusicology at the University of Alberta after 1963. She studied sarangi with Ustad Hamid Hussain 1968-9 and with Ustad Sabri Khan 1984-5.

Academic Career

A scholar of Urdu and Hindi language and literature and of the art music of India and Pakistan, Qureshi has given numerous lecture-recitals on sarangi, Indian music, and Muslim chant in Canada, the US, Pakistan, India, and Western Europe. She has contributed articles to The New Grove Dictionary and to the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and has served as co-editor of the Journal of Ethnomusicological Research, the British Forum of Ethnomusicology, and the Indian music journal Bansuri.

Qureshi was a research associate with the Provincial Museum and Archives of Alberta 1970-2, during which she collected and recorded examples of the province's ethnic folk music and established the Ethnic Folk Music Collection. She joined the University of Alberta's music department as a McTaggart Fellow in 1983, and was appointed professor in 1991. She subsequently became an adjunct professor in the departments of anthropology (1991), religious studies (1992), and East Asian studies (1993), and was associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research 1994-6. Qureshi founded the University of Alberta's Centre for Ethnomusicology in 1992 (renamed the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology in 2002), and directed its folkwaysAlive! project beginning in 2004. She was named professor emeritus of music in 2005.

Professional Memberships

Qureshi was a Canadian liaison officer for the International Council for Traditional Music 1985-94 and was the secretary of the Society for Ethnomusicology 1987-9. In 1988 she founded the Ethnomusicology Organization of Canada, which later joined the Canadian Society for Musical Traditions (renamed the Canadian Society for Traditional Music in 1994). She directed the Canadian Society for Musical Traditions 1990-6 and was a member of the board for the Society for Ethnomusicology (1st vice-president 1997-9, 2nd vice-president 2006-8). Qureshi has also been a juror for the Juno Awards, and in 1998 helped select the winner of the best global album category.


Qureshi was a cellist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra 1962-3 and with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 1963-70, and performed 1963-73 with various University of Alberta chamber orchestras. She has given numerous solo sarangi performances, and has also appeared on the sarangi as part of chamber ensembles at the Tan Sen Festival of Indian Music in Chicago (1986) and the University of Alberta's annual World Music Concert (1990).

Awards and Honours

Qureshi was awarded the Jaap Kunst Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology in 1968 for the article "Tarannum: The Chanting of Urdu Poetry." In 1995 she was granted a Killam Annual Professorship from the University of Alberta, and in 1996 she received a fine arts award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Qureshi was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1996.

Selected Writings

"Tarannum: The chanting of Urdu poetry," Ethnomusicology, vol 13, no 3, Sep 1969

"Ethnomusicological research among Canadian communities of Arab and East Indian origin," Ethnomusicology, vol 16, no 3, Sep 1972

Qureshi, Regula B., Waugh, Earle H., and Abu-Laban, Baha, eds. The Muslim Community in North America (Edmonton 1983)

Sufi Music of India and Pakistan: Sound, Context, and Meaning in Qawwali (Cambridge 1986)

"Musical sound and contextual input: A performance model for music analysis," Ethnomusicology, vol 31, no 1, 1987

"Focus on ethnic music," Ethnomusicology in Canada, ed R. Witmer, CanMus Documents 5 (Toronto 1990)

"Musical gesture and extra-musical meaning: Words and music in the Urdu 'ghazal,'" Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol 43, no 3, Fall 1990

"Sufi music and the historicity of oral tradition," Ethnomusicology and Modern Music History: Festschrift for Bruno Nettl, ed S. Blum and P. Bohlman (Urbana, Ill 1990)

"Whose music? Sources and contexts in Indic musicology," Comparative Musicology and Anthropology of Music: Essays on the History of Ethnomusicology, ed B. Nettl and P. Bohlman (Chicago 1991)

Qureshi, Regula B., Waugh, Earle H., and McIrvin Abu-Laban, Sharon, eds. Muslim Families in North America (Edmonton 1991)

"Muslim devotional: Popular religious music and Muslim identity under British, Indian and Pakistani hegemony," Asian Music, vol 24, no 1, Winter 1993

Qureshi, Regula B., La France, Albert, and Dalen, Brenda, eds. Canadian University Music Review (issue devoted to Violet Archer), vol 16, no 1, 1995

"Music anthropologies and music histories: A preface and an agenda," Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol 48, no 3, Fall 1995

"His master's voice? Exploring Qawwali and 'gramophone culture' in South Asia," Popular Music, vol 18, no 1, Jan 1999

"Confronting the social: Mode of production and the sublime for (Indian) art music," Ethnomusicology, vol 44, no 1, Winter 2000

"How does music mean? Embodied memories and the politics of affect in the Indian sarangi," American Ethnologist, vol 27, no 4, Nov 2000

Qureshi, Regula B., ed. Music and Marx: Ideas, Practice, Politics (New York 2002)

"Female agency and patrilineal constraints: Situating courtesans in twentieth-century India," The Courtesan's Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, ed Martha Feldman and Bonnie Gordon (New York 2006)

Master Musicians of India: Hereditary Sarangi Players Speak (New York 2007)

"Situating Folkways Records in Canada," Folk Music, Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology: Canadian Perspectives Past and Present, ed Anna Hoefnagels and Gordon Smith (Newcastle, 2007)