Margaret Sarkissian

Professor of Music

Margaret Sarkissian

Contact & Office Hours

Sage Hall 304



Ph.D., M.M., University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

B.Mus., King’s College, University of London


Margaret Sarkissian teaches courses in ethnomusicology and anthropology. She is author of D’Albuquerque’s Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia’s Portuguese Settlement (University of Chicago Press, 2000), Kantiga di Padri să Chang (CD and 141-page booklet, vol. 5 in the series a viagem dos sons/the journey of sounds; Tradisom and EXPO ’98), and many articles on the music and dance of the Portuguese and Straits Chinese communities in Malaysia. D'Albuquerque's Children explores the medium of the tourist show (in which domain she has extensive practical experience as an accordionist). Her field research has concentrated on issues of identity among minority groups in Malaysia and among Armenian immigrants in Toronto and Chicago. Since 1990, she has done extensive field research with Malaysian-Portuguese and Straits Chinese communities in Melaka (Malacca). She has also done research in Japan and on Islamic popular music in Malaysia.

Current projects include new work on the history of Straits Chinese musical culture in Melaka from the mid-1920s to the present; life histories of selected Malaysian-Portuguese, Straits Chinese and Malay musicians in Melaka; and the impact of Facebook on the evolving construction of Malaysian-Portuguese identity. With co-author Ted Solís of Arizona State University, she is currently completing a book, Ethnomusicology Lives: Growing Up and Into a Profession, based on 50 or so interviews of ethnomusicologists in many different stages of and relationships to the profession.