Sonia Tamar Seeman


Nuran Sesler and Sonia Seeman;

photo taken by Selim Sesler

in Kesan, Turkey, 1999.

Sonia Tamar Seeman is currently Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas, Austin, with a joint appointment in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Dr. Seeman specializes in the music of Rom (“Gypsy”) communities in modern Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and Southeastern Europe. In addition to teaching, Seeman plays the Turkish G clarinet and is director of the University of Texas’ Middle East Ensemble, “Bereket”.

Seeman received her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA in 2002, writing her dissertation on Turkish Roman music, “‘You’re Roman!’ Music and Identity in Turkish Roman Communities.” She has also published review essays in Middle East Studies Association Bulletin and Ethnomusicology Forum. She has conducted field research among Roma and minority communities in Macedonia and Southeastern Europe (1985-87; 1989) and in Turkey (1995-1999; 2003).


She has produced an ethnographic recording in collaboration with Thracian Roman clarinetist Selim Sesler, (“Roads to Kesan” Kalan Muzik 1999) served as a consultant and written liner notes for CDs of Roma and Turkish music (“Ciftetelli” with Hüsnü Senlendirici and Laço Tayfa; “Sulukule-Rom Music of Istanbul” with Kemani Cemal; “Lingo Lingo” with Barbaros Erkose; “Gypsy Mambo” with Kocani; “Karsilama” with Brenna MacCrimmon and Group Karsilama), and has served as an ethnographic consultant for a variety of projects.  

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