Sunday, February 12, 2023

Curriculum Vitae of The Late Dr. Tran Van Kee (Vietnam)

Dr. Tran Van Khe

+ DATE OF BIRTH : July 24th 1921

+ PLACE OF-BIRTH : Binh Hoa Dong, Mytho (Tien Giang) (Viet Nam) 

+ NATIONALITY : Vietnamese, 




- Ex-Director of research in the French National Center for Scientific Research (1960-1989)

- Ex-Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of Paris Sorbonne (1966-1989)

- Member of the "Board of Directors" of the Unesco-IMC Project : The "Universe of Music, A History" (UMH) 

- Ex-Chairman of the Scientific Board of the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation (Berlin) 

- Honorary Member of the IMC Internatioal Music Council (Unesco)

- Honorary Member of the ICTM Internatioanal Council of Traditional Music

- Corresponding member of the European Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts

Professor of Vietnamese Traditional Music, Special Adviser of the Scientific Board, Private University of Binh Dương, Province of Binh Dương 9 Viet Nam)

Member of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Musicology of VietNam


- 1958 : Ph.D. University of Paris-Sorbonne Dissertation : Vietnamese Traditional Music 

- 1951 : Diplome de I'lnstitut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po : International Relations) (Institute of Political Studies)

- 1943 : First Certificate of Medicine (Medical College : University of Hanoi) 

- 1942 : Certificate of P.C.B. (Physics- Chemistry-Biology) University of Hanoi 

- 1941 : Baccalaureat (Philosophy) Saigon 

- 1940 : Baccalaureat (First Part) Saigon


Music Education : Belongs to a family of musicians : 4th generation, training in traditional musical instruments and drumming since his childhood in the family.

Musicology : Institut de Musicologie de Paris (1954-1958) Paris Institute of Musicoloby.



* Research and teaching

-  2014 : Adviser for the Vietnamese students preparing thesis or dissertation on Vietnamese traditional music or theatre

- 2004 : (from May 17 to June 9) Workshop : “New methods of teaching Vietnamese Traditional Music to the children of the primary schools” organised and directed by myself with the collaboration of the  Department of Culture and Information Ho Chi Minh city; College of Art and Culture HCM City, Primary school Tran Hung Dao( HCM City) and with a special grant from UNESCO through Mrs Teresa Wagner

- 2003- Since 2003 up to the present time, I have actively, participated in the cultural life of the whole VietNam.

I attended the Symposium on Court Music in Viet Nam organised by the Center for the Preservation of Hue relics, and together with Mrs Noriko Nakamura from Unesco, have helped the Vietnamese scholars to achieve the file on Nha Nhac, Court Music  in Hue to be presaentesd to Unesco for the nomination as a master piece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In 2003, Nha Nhac Hue Court Music was recognized by Unesco as a masterpiece of Oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity. The Vietnamese Ambassador near Unesco, organised a series of concerts in France and in Belgium to introduce Vietnamese Nha Nhac to the European audience and asked me to be the MC of those concerts. I accepted the proposal and was happy to do that work.

In 2005, I was invited by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Culture and Information of the Vietnamese Government to be a special adviser, to help the Vietnamese specialists to prepare a file on the Ca Tru (special vocal art of North VietNam).

At the same time, UNESCO invited me to write an evaluation of the file on Gongs on the High Plateaux in VietNam.

I compared the Gongs ensembles from VietNam with the gamelan from Java the Gong from Bali, the Kulingtan from the Philippines and finally proposed Unesco to recognized the “Cultural area of gongs from the High Plateaux in VietNam” as a masterpiece of an oral and untangible heritage of Humanity.

I had been for several years, from 2006 to the present time a special adviser of the scholars in charge to prepare the file of Quan ho from Bac Ninh, of the Ca tru.

Recently, I played an active part in the preparation of the file on the Don ca tai tu from Nam bộ (South Vietnam).

The People Committee of Ho Chi Minh city, to thank me on my presentation of Vietnamese traditional Music and particularly of the Don ca tai tu (entertainment music from the south) throughout the world gave me the title of “Emerite citizen” of Ho Chi Minh city and the sum of thirty millions of Vietnamese đồng.

-1999 : Professor of Vietnamese Traditional Music at the Private University of Hung Vuong until 2003. 

- 1989 : (January-March) Visiting Professor, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Manila 

- 1988 : (January-Septemter) Fulbright Scholar, Visiting Professor University of Hawaii at Manoa (USA)

- 1985 : Visiting Professor at the University of Western Australia, Perth 

- 1984-1987 : Director of a Seminar on "Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) ( School of High Studies on Social Sciences) Paris

- 1983 : Visiting Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa : Summer Course (USA)

- 1981 and 1979 : Visiting Professor at Listz Academy of Music, Budapest Hungary. 

- 1979-1977 : Guest Professor at the “Intercultural School” - in Venice, ltaly

- 1975-1985 : Guest Professor at the Institut Catholique de Paris Liturgic Music : Buddhist Music in Vietnam (Paris Catholic Institute)

- 1973 : Visiting Professor at The Faculte de Musique, University of Montreal, Canada (Music College)

- 1972 : Guest Professor at the University of Southern Illinois Carbonda1e, USA 

- 1968 : Guest Professor at the UCLA, (University of California, Los Angeles) Los Angeles, USA 

- 1966-1988 : Lecturer, Professor, University of Paris-Sorbonne
Ethnomusicology, Adviser for Students preparing Master's thesis and Doctoral dissertations on Asian Music (more than 40 students) 

- 1959-1988 : Professor, Directeur d'Etudes, and President of the "Centre d'Etudes de Musique Orientale" (Professor. Director of Studies and President of the Center for Oriental Musics Studies, Paris), 

- 1960-1988 : Researcher in Musicology, French National Center for Scientific Research (Paris France)

- 1960-64 : Attache de recherche (Beginner Researcher)

- 1964-68 : Charge de recherche (Confirmed Researcher)

- 1968-72 : Maitre de recherche (Master of Research)

- 1972-88 : Directeur dc recherche (Director of Research)

- 1977-1987 : Every year Visiting Professor at The Institute of Musicology in Viet Nam 


Several hundreds of lectures on Asian Music and on Methodology in Ethnormusicology, in several Universities in the world, namely Berkeley, Maryland, Baltimore County USA, (1988) Central Conservatory of Beijing, (People's Republic of China 1987), Antatanarivo, Madagascar (August 1985), Kunitachi College, Japan (July1985), Wellington, New Zealand / November 1984), Venice, Italy (March 84-April 85) Harvard, USA (June 1982) Conservatory Tchaikovsky, Moscow, USSR/May 81) National Institute of Music of Algeria (August 1980), National Center for the Performing Arts, Bombay, India (Sept. 1979), Teheran, Iran (June 1976) Conservatory of Saigon, Buddhist University of Van Hanh, Catholic Institution Taberd, Centre Culturel Francais, VietNam-USA Association, (South VietNam August 1974), Sau Paulo, Brasil (July 1974) Shiraz .lran (August 1972) Sangeet Natak Akademi, Nev Delhi India (May 1961), Traditional Musicians Association, TaiPei, (April 1961) Ueno University, Japan (April 1961).



- Member of Societe Francaise de Musicologie (French Society of Musicology)

- International Musicologlcal Society 

French Society for Ethnomusicology

- Society for Ethnomusicology (USA)

- Society for Asian Music 

- International Society for Music Education 

- Societe des Gens de Lettres (France) (Society for Writers )

- International Folk Music Council (and after 1983)(IFMC)

- International Council for Traditional Music (Ex-Vice President now Life Honorary Member) ICTM

- International Music Council (Ex-Vice President, now Life Honorary Member)



- 27 records

- 1 film on Indian Dhrupad singing tradition, 4 tapes on Asian Music (GRM Groups de Recherche Musicale French Radio) 

- 4 video tapes on the Chinese Sheng (mouth organ), Qin (Chinese 7 stringed board zither), Vietnamese Dan Tranh (16 stringed board zither) Audio Visual Center University Dauphine (France)

- 4 books on Vietnamese Traditional Music (in French, German. And Italian languages)( Europe)

- 1 book on Water puppets in Viet Nam (Paris-France)

- About 200 articles (in French, English languages) on Asian Music, Vietnamese Music, and musicological matters. (Europe mainly France)

- 14 books, 140 articles (in Vietnamese) on autobiography, researches on Vietnamese traditional music and musicological matters (S.R of VietNam)



Has participated in more than 180 Internatinal Congresses, Conferences, Symposia, and Music Festivals. (The list of publications and the International Conferences was given to Prof. Chen Zi Ming in April 2014)) 

Participating international organs : Member of more than 10 Associations of Musical Studies in France, USA and many other European and Asian countries. Member of Standing Board and Vice President of the International Council of Traditional Music and the International Music Council (UNESCO). Significantly contributing to various works to research, publish and publicize major traditional music in Asia, especially Vietnamese, organized by the International Center for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation (Berlin) as a member, and for 8 years as Chairman of the Scientific Council. Since 1988, life honorary member of the International Music Council (UNESCO). Special advisor for the Council in subjects related to traditional music of Asian countries. Ex Vice President of the ICTM and now Life Honorary Member

Especially I shall stress on my activities as a member of the IFMC(Internatioa, Folk Music Council) and later ICTM.(International Council of Traditional Musics)

In 1987 Prof Kishibe Shigeo and I suddently saw no longer our names on the list of the members of the executive committee without receving any notification about that.

In 2013 Life Honorary Member of the ICTM



Has participated in more than 180 International Congresses, Conferences, Symposia, and Music Festivals. (The lists of publications and International Conferences were given to Prof Chenziming  in April 2014) 



- Member of French Musicological Society 

- International Musicological Society 

- French Ethno Musicological Society   

- Asian Music Society

- International Society for Music Education

- International Council for Traditional Music (Ex-Vice President, now Life Honorary Member)) 

- International Music Council (Ex-Vice President, now Life Honorary Member)



- 2013 Bagde of Ho Chi Minh City (Emerite citizem of Ho Chi Minh city)

- 2011 Phan Chau Trinh Award (VietNam)

- 2011 San Francisco – Ho Chi Minh City City Sister : Life Time Award in Vietnamese Tradionnal Music (USA-VietNam)

- 2005 Đao Tan Award (VietNam)

- 2003 Glory of Vietnam

- 1999 French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques

- 1999 Medal of Labor (First Class) (S.R of Viet Nam)

- 1999 Doctor (HC) in Ethnomusicology, Moncton University (New Brunswick - Canada) 

- 1994 Koizumi Fumio Ethno musicological Prize (Japan) 

- 1995 Correspondent Member of The European Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters 

- 1991 Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) Medal of Arts and Letters French Government)

- 1988 Full Bright Scholarship (USA)

- 1985 Japan Foundation Scholarship 

- 1981 UNESCO IMC Music Award 

- 1975 Doctor in Music (honor) - University of Ottawa (Canada)

- 1974 1st Class Medal of Letters and Arts (Republic of Viet Ham) 

- 1974 1st Class Medal of Culture (Republic of Viet Nam) 

- 1970 Grand Prize from French Music Academy of French Records  Record : VIET NAM 1. BM LD 2022 (Paris. France) 

- 1969 Schallplatten Prize for Record VIET NAM 1. BM LD 2022 (Germany) 

- 1960 Grand Prize from French Music Academy for the Record of : La Bo De - Musique NOLD 565 (Paris-France)

- 1949 2nd Prize of the International Competition on Folk Music Instruments ; in the Youth Festival of Budapest in Hungary.


Sunday, January 29, 2023



Metamorphosis is a hard-cover bound book which contains pristine information from a ten-year review of an extraordinary and sustained development in Indian dance (music implied) in Singapore - something quite different from publications in this field in previous eras. The book is filled with colourful photographs, enthusiastic labelling and lots of interesting text. It is a capture of migrating arts events between Singapore’s DIAP (Dance India Asia Pacific), dovetailing a mass of projects in Singapore, with special links to India (Milapfest) and Australia (Monash University and others there). DIAP too has recently migrated into a modified platform called IPAC (Indian Performing Arts Convention). It is managed through Singapore and reflects the growing importance of this island to Asian arts expression. IPAC has an unfolding plan which I think is worth following and writing about. The next big book will be on music - as it was ptomised in this current volume of Metamorphsis. 


           A new generation of younger arts leaders and followers are driving this outreach. It seems to have originated from one of the leading arts organisations in Singapore – APSARAS Arts Ltd. One person who is central to this development is a young new leader, Mr. Aravinth Kumarasamy (pictured above), who has grown up in Singapore as a performer and blossomed into an arts leader and planner. He works on the strengths of past contributors (including legends) and ensures inputs from India in particular, as well as the Pacific region, where Indian art forms thrive in creatively new ways. Aravinth also seems to be aware of the importance of industry impact, although this difficult subject has no conclusive information on real impact from his essay in this publication! Nevertheless, industry is vital to current arts transformation, and I am sure it will be kept in sight.


           Aravinth’s chapter on Lec-Dems (lecture demonstrations) is the highlight of this book - a direct reflection of the importance of making artistic elements directly informative through accurately placed speech, knowledgeable demonstrations and presented by experts. There have been some stirings on this subject in Singapore, in various other ways in some music institutions. Perhaps, lec-dems will grow into a multimedia series in the future.


           An interesting set of short chapters called “Scholarly Insights” put Barathanatyam as an important centre piece of South Indian high art which can be the moving foundation of South Indian creative drives. There were also two studies about composition that would be of interest to musicologists at large: a. Dr. Gayatri Kannan’s summation on one of South India’s great female composers, Padhukka, who in her words wrote visual music – a term that could be developed much further; b. Dr. Arudra, who made analysis of javalis (songs that place Bharatanatyam in the orbit of the raga-tala consterlation). A listing from among a sample analysis appears in this secton. Both, could help musicology push forward, if there was a way to expand the scope of IPAC. Conservatories in Southeast Asia are presently groping in this area.


           Metamorphosis was compiled and edited by Vidhya Nair, who has done due-diligence in coordinating such a vast collection of material on local arts legends in this field, as well as, a fair-record of bold and energetic programmes which took place in the last decade – including the contributions of the Singapore National Arts Council, the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, the Temple of Fine Arts (another leading Indian arts institution) and even Sruti, a publishing database for Indian artefacts. 

     For those who want to obtain a copy, please send an email to:


Monday, December 5, 2022


Dr. Joe Peters  
B.Soc.Sci (1971, Singapore); M.M. (1981, Philippines.). Ph.D (1999, West Australia)

Director,  Sonic Asia Music Consultants.

(This company will be re-constituted soon. It was closed while I was away these last few years). It will implement Sonic Environment Studies - Refer to Course 1.

Founding Director, Tremolo Strings Pte Ltd

This company is currently developing Tremolo Strings using the Heuristic Group Music Pedagogy (HGMP). Refer to Course 2.


        Study rare literature and learn through new investigative tools like macro and micro measures, timeline annotation and develop defensive listening skills in a world of confusing musical emissions from a growing plethora of sonic emitters.

        This course is built on Applied Music modelling (pedagogy, musicology and technology) with rare databases from fieldwork and other private field collections yet to be heard. It will enable an exciting new way for understanding sonic environments in defined territories. The underlying aim is to accept that listening to music is a skill and classroom music education has to be re-organised. We need cyclic curricula that evolves with the growing student. Advanced listening skills are needed while sonic environments change con-currently. These students may eventually be custodians of a sonic environment that may be completely devoid of traditional and indigenous musics. Or an environment where faint characteristics of the past remain all due to current pitch migration, which we can control. TMAL-P provides a new way for current and future connectivity and collaboration for such a solution and provide a generation that may have a chance to compare current and evolving sonic environments using its configuration of assets and tools. 

        This is a challenge at large - the protection of the pristine musical cultures in defined territories. Pitch migration and the erosion of other important musical elements like rhythm, form, timbre and aesthetics, have been going on for over 100 years since radio was invented. Despite the full on-sloth of the vast other technologies in current times, much of the major musical systems are still surviving - but depleting rapidly. However, the most essential element is pitch which brings out the sound differences that determines character of what we deem to hear as Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and other non-Western musics. Pitch is migrating from the unique myriad varieties towards the Western tempered equidistant intervals. The chart below is a compilation of work by the first generation of musicologists who drew an approximation of pitch intervals for the major non-Western systems related to Asia. I took this as a benchmark for my generation (which is already depleting) to lay some foundation for the next generation to try and get these assessments quantised so that it could be part of policy, a calculated educational approach to the evaluation and influence of the  business of the music chain. Just as state policy covers law, business, engineering, medicine, architecture and more, music is and has been an important fabric of all societies through time. We cannot blot out pitch and other elemental migration from native sonic environments without at least attempting to be serious about a quantised approach to its implementation, and response to statistics.

        TMAL-P lab-methodology concentrates on timeline annotated music listening. A series of important publications reflect the urgency to check pitch migration. In 1966, a set of conference papers were published as The Musics of Asia. Notice the plural in the word musics - it emphasises that there are fundamental differences in pitch intervals in much of the Asian musical systems. 

It was followed by a series of other published projects under ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)  between 1989 - 2003.

            These Asean Music Publications (including the 1966 book titled Musics of Asia) are available in PDF are part of the huge digital TMAL-P library for this course. 

VideoSonic Orders in ASEAN Musics: The largest field to lab musicology project in South East Asia:

TMAL-P  grew silently in three stages:  

           1. In the 1980s when MIDI (Musical Instruments Digital Interface) came on the market, I set up the Electronic Music Lab (EML) at NUS to explore this new music technology. It was and still is a powerful technology but only for music made in the Western tertian equidistant intervals. 


              I made a case in my PhD and in many conferences (before and since) for a two pronged approach to prevent pitch migration: First, for music education to develop micro and macro measures that could aid and assist music listening as a skill for all in the classroom music cycle that averages as a 12 year cycle; and Second, to work towards a Version 2 for MIDI (Music Instruments Digital Interface) that would address the missing non-Western musical systems in the world of music businesses. The rhetoric against this idea was high (both audible and silent). However, ASEAN (at my prodding) agreed to a project to look at the issue in a field to lab structure. See point 2 below

            On the general music listening side, TMAL-P provides a measurable tool called Sonic Orders Listening Mode Index (SOLMI) which is based on simple identification of the musical elements (including pitch) of musics in general.  Here is one example (from my PhD thesis) of a lab study of Asian musics. Sonic Environment Studies has this as a centre piece for laboratory work. 

            SOLMI tracks the common music elements (pitch, rhythm, timbre, form and aesthetics) in a variety of musics, and how they become sources for identifying elements in musical cultures. A sub-variant called MESI (Music Emission Sustainability Index) is available when comparative studies between classes in different sonic environments become available. It could become a starting point for a worldwide index of sonic emissions from sonic emitters in music chains in defined territories.

             Pitch and elemental migration is a reality and the music profession has to take full responsibility for it - not by talking/writing about it or cajoling listeners to support programmes, but by sheer hard work and raw statistics from lab methodology and statistics. The enjoyment of music on a wide base comes only through hard work and bringing balance to commercialism in the music industry.

        2.  Nevertheless, the underlying issue was and still is the intransigence of MIDI and the need to expand the limited editing 127 protocols to include the pristine musical systems in the world (e.g. pelog-slendro, raga-tala, and the huge variety of modal music found in the ASEAN and the Greater Asian regions). 

        3. This course will also keep abreast of other new and emerging technologies that would assist its current applied academic trajectory.

            Fortunately, ASEAN listened and approved (after stalling for a long time) a huge field-to-laboratory study called Sonic Orders in ASEAN Musics (1998 - 2003). With an audio scientist from Singapore, musicologists and selected performers from the ASEAN region did some pioneering work for a laboratory method, to measure pitch intervals.  However, this was/is the first step. No other steps were made hence! It is unfortunate! Nevertheless, I did my part! But I would like to do more! 

            It is up to politicians and/or arts leaders in these affected territories to understand that this is a scientific process that will take time, money, and expertise across disciplines, involving sophisticated science/engineering laboratories, working in tandem with musicologists and musicians, who are the custodians of pitch matters in the various musical systems that are eroding. 

            TAMAL-P hopes to provide a route eventually for such work to resume in a serious and measured manner. 

            It is only after the lab work is done and approved (this is another grey area because it will involve politics and the relevant socio-cultural sectors) that anything tangible can happen for the next level of application work.  

        3.  The fore-runner of TMAL-P was a brick and mortar Music Laboratory (See the graphic below) which was built at SMU (Singapore Management University) for an elective course called Music East and West, which I taught between 2000 - 2007. 

            Music East-and-West was designed as a laboratory based course for timeline annotation and musical-commentary studies: information (text, voice and graphics) were added to the sound, to understand/explain the operational complexities of the music elements that creates such musics. Of course, with skill this could become a bane for broadcasters and internet jockeys. I hope it would but would like to see them fully trained.

            Lectures were entwined with small group projects that drew from life concerts, recorded music and more, as musical de-construction projects. Then the students worked on their timeline annotation projects using lab technology as well as their software selection (where they were capable of doing) to create audio (voiced over) timeline products using prescribed, demonstrated or free to dream up formats. The finished products were submitted as enhanced Compact Disks for their grades. 

            I was grateful for this lab because it was built on my design. It was a figment of my imagination in the concluding paragraphs of my PhD thesis at the University of Australia. I actually woke up my wife in the middle of the night (before the day I had to submit my thesis) to draw an arbitrary design for such a laboratory for sonic environment studies. My wife has been the mainstay for all the graphics that I needed to do, to explain this very hard subject in music education. 

         Anyway, there was a server room built in the design (reluctantly approved by the IT department). Today, TMAL-P is the server and the laboratory!!

         TMAL-P is based on an open source app called Audio-Timeliner. It is a simplified version of Variations Audio Timeliner that I was not aware off while I was teaching Music East-West at SMU. When I began to teach graduate students in Thailand my astute technology-colleague in Singapore traced the old app to Indiana University. The current version of this software is managed by another astute technologist at Brigham Young University. Anyway, it is good to also remember that it is not the technology nor the hardware and software that makes the difference to pitch migration - it is the way teaching and learning skills are structured, tested, evaluated and applied in stages to achieve real goals in reversing such erosion of musical elements - at the levels of the skilled listening individual in sonic environments!


         From the graphic above you can see the basic configuration of TMAL-P. The app sits at the centre of the server and all data that comes and goes through it, is protected. The graphic shown at the centre, is an analysis done by one of my students. All text (limitless) are available as printouts, or as text for digital applications for research and development work towards theses and journal essays. The statistics that appears at the top are generated by SOLMI (and MESI later) and can be a separate online facility to monitor elemental erosion in the sonic environment. 

        TMAL-P  has two major audio collections in its working database: Ivan Polunin Multimedia Lab (IPML) and Sonic Asia Music Collections. Eventually it will be opened to other musicologists (with fieldwork collections) and related music collectors.  

COURSE 2: TREMOLO STRINGS OCTETS and the HGMP Method for the Classroom.

Tremolo Musical Instruments Collection - these instruments are now with more than 10 institutions spread across Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam,

        Tremolo music is the unclassified third branch of string music (the other two being bowed and plucked). There is a large world diaspora of tremolo music traversing all categories of music - Classical, Traditional and Indigenous. HGMP (Heuristic Group Music Pedagogy) is an applied music teaching and learning process that has fast and slow learners in the same class. 

        Tremolo grew out of my 36 years of work in adapting the Filipino rondalla to Singapore via the National University of Singapore Rondalla -  an extra-curricular music activity.


TV NEWS: Rondalla in Singapore:

NUS Rondalla Students Recording Project:

Singapore Tremolo Strings accompanying Freddie Aguilar in his world famous song ANAK:

       HGMP allows different learning capacities in one class, all progressing at their own speed and capabilities, and playing repertoire that is written (by teacher and students) in that heuristic vein. A library of scores from other tremolo sources (like NUS Rondalla etc.) is available for explorative work before students apply themselves to their writing and performances. 

        I found out that students can become independent music experts in my students days with bands and other musical outfits. HGMP produced a sustained student self-development for the NUS Rondalla which was an extra-curricular activity and had no assessment needed - except an internal one to attain some kind of standard for public concerts. 

        The HGMP class comprises clusters of 8 students (see below for the Tremolo Octets). Students learn and perform in tempered and/or modal Tremolo Octets: Model 14 (14 strings) have two tuning modes (tempered and just), while Model 10 (10 strings) and Model 8 (8 strings) are in tempered mode. The class ensemble can be configured using this basic equation:  3 or 4 Tremolo Quintets (Tempered or Just separately) plus 1 Trio (Bass, Guitar and Percussion).

                              TREMOLO STRINGS OCTETS

TREMOLO 8 - Modelled after Mandolins

TREMOLO 10 - A New Model with 10 strings

TREMOLO 14 - New Model (Filipino Rondalla) in Tempered and Just Intonation.


Joe Peters - Singapore Music Pioneer.

Joe Peters - Keynote Video Paper: Tremolo Strings and the Heuristic Group Music Pedagogy

(Coming on YouTube soon)

Joe Peters - Keynote Paper: Musical Leadership in 21st Century South East Asia. Paper submitted to  ISI Padangpanjang International Seminar

Joe Peters - Keynote Video Paper: Sonic Orders and the Sonic Environment (Ayudhya Rajabaht University System in Thailand):

Joe Peters - Keynote Video Paper: The Loading Dose for Musicology for UNTREF's South America Conference:

                        EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

1968 - 1971: University of Singapore. 

B.Soc.Sci (Political Science and South East Asian History)

                Joe graduating with a Bachelor's Degree at NUS

1978 - 1981: University of the Philippines, Diliman. 

Masters in Music

 ThesisA Conceptual Framework for a Creativity Based General Music Education Curriculum in Singapore

    Joe outside the College of Music, Diliman campus, Philippines

Masters Class with Prof. Dr. Sr. Placid


             Joe conducting the UP International Center Choir

 Joe conducting the Metro Manila Symphony Orchestra

1995 - 1999: University of Western Australia, 


Thesis: The Sonic Environment as a Macro Measure of Relevance in General Music Education in Singapore


                        PAST EMPLOYMENT

He served the National University of Singapore in a dual career between 1971 - 2009 in separate areas: Music Education through Extra Curricula Activities at the Centre for Musical Activities; and Educational Technology for Academic and Scientific Education areas at the Centre for Instructional Technology


He performed various major roles in developing inaugural music and dance activities for the National University of Singapore, and represented Singapore in Singapore national arts, the ASEAN COCI regional music projects, and in UNESCO bodies like ISME, ICTM (still serving as Singapore liaison), IASA, and others. Some examples of his work:

ASEAN Composers Forum:

Sonic Orders in ASEAN Musics:

          Singapore University Band with Dr. Toh Chin Chye, Vice Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore. This band was the seed for a very large extra-curricula arts programme that grew rapidly at the University of Singapore (now called) NUS in the 1970s onwards.

Video - University of Singapore Military Band: Joe Peters served as the first drum major

Founding Musical Director, National University of Singapore Rondalla, 1981-2016

VideoLaunch of NUS Rondalla: a tremolo music form imported from the Philippines which he imported, and transformed today into TREMOLO STRINGS: Singapore Tremolo Strings and many other ensembles are currently developing in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar: 

Video: Launch of Marymount School Rondalla

Video: NUS Student Video: Presentation of NUS Rondalla by Students in the 1990s

Founding Musical Director: NUS Electronic Music Lab (EML)

EML was set up as a new activity for students to apply computer and electronic tools for creativity and performance. MIDI (Music Instruments Digital Interface) was a fundamental tool. Much testing through compositions and performance gave us an insight into the short-comings of MIDI when it came to applying Asian musical systems. It was also a wake-up call for me for a PhD that addressed the issue of pitch migration in Asia with its pristine scale systems. EML also was a recording service through its Recording Label EML. Computer music composition and performance was another activity through EML's series called Synthecom.


Musical Director of the NUS Stage Band

Designed as a skill-compensating tool for jazz on the campus, professionals from the industry and the best from campus were inter-twined to explore the professional repertoire in big band jazz. I learnt this music playing trumpet in the UP Jazz Lab Band which trained Filipino music students for the industry.  

Joe and NUS Stage Band on Campus

NUS Stage Band with the Singapore President

     Joe with colleagues and teacher of the University of Philippines Jazz Lab Band


Centre for Instructional Technology, National University of Singapore (1993 –2009). 

        His job included serving as Executive Producer for Instructional and Corporate Videos for the university;Video Conferencing Manager, supervising and approving usage of the expensive facilities, infrastructures, equipment, and support for large online teaching projects for the Singapore-MIT Alliance graduate project, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities; and, other administrative and technical issues within the job of technology and education. 

During this part of his career, he presented an audio-visual impact analysis measure called AVAI (Audio Visual Assessment Index) that assisted assessment of his staff and multimedia products. The abstract of that paper is at this site:

VIDEO sample of his productions:

                    EARLY MUSIC CAREER

Violin training in Singapore between 1956 – 1964 for ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) examinations up to Grade 8. I had to learn many other musical instruments (Piano, Double Bass, Brass and Percussion and the Sitar) to enable me to teach, write music and expand my main life-long research: integrated music education - which has evolved into HGMP and TMAL-P.

                                   Joe performing on his sitar
                          Joe with his rare Dumas Double Bass

President of SJI Music Society and Drum Major of SJI Military Band (1963-67). He and his school mates created the Buddy System - a music teaching and learning method on a self-learning heuristic

principle (boys teaching boys with no teacher at the helm); he established a choir and an orchestra for the school on similar lines, and presented these at the 1967 first School Music Festival. 

                Joe with his excellent music society team at SJI (1967)

Video: SJI Military Band  on Parade (1966 Inaugural National Day) VIDEO

              St. Joseph's Institution Military Band - a boys teaching boys project. The first
                military marching school band in Singapore.

President, Music Society, University of Singapore (1968 – 1969) Student led musical activities on campus that provided a way to formalise extra-curricular musical activities by 1971 under the first academic music department. Unfortunately, music department collapsed by 1978. Extra-curricular music carried on as a department on its own. Under his watch, the first academic journal in music was published - Ensemble.


voluntary national service): (1972 – 1982). 

They performed song and dance sequences for the troops and for television in Singapore

                        Vigilante Corps Guitar Troupe


Musical Director, Singapore Scene-Shifters (1976 -83) and morestaging of musicals in Singapore: Baron Boligrew (Stage Club); Flower Drum Song, JC Superstar, Okalahoma, Fiddler on the Roof (Sceneshifters) Fantastiks and West Side Story (Spore University), and Samseng and the Chettiar's Daughter (1983 Singapore Arts Festival)

                                    Flower Drum Song

FOLK JAZZ ENSEMBLE (1982 - 2010): 

        My East-West experiment with extraordinary talented music friends (The late Ustad Zia Hussein, my sitar teacher and great friend; Alex Abisheganaden a legend in his own time on the classical guitarand a great friendr; the late M.S Manian also known as the fastest tabla player east of India; Mr. Ambarasan, who took Ustad Zia's place and kept Folk Jazz alive; Mr, Jibby Jacob, a legendary radio technologist and violinist who brought Carnatic music into the group, and many others who came and went during our performing days. Folk Jazz was a term we coined because we did not know how to explain our music. It was only possible with this quartet. As we progressed without Zia, we took many other routes but eventually age and time schedules caught with keep this group going. 


                          ACADEMIC MUSIC TEACHING

Specialist Professor: College of Music, Mahasarakham University, Thailand (2013-14, 2018 - 2021); Nakhon Phanom University (2016-18). He taught PhD students.

My 1st Masters class at MSU - many others Masters/PhD classes followed since!



Advisor, Planning Committee, Rajabhat Ubon Ratchathani University, Graduate Music School. International Institute of Education, 2015.

External Examiner, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).  Singapore, 2009 - 2011.

External Examiner, University of the Singapore Institute of Management (UNISIM), 2016.  



Managing Editor (Asia) Accelerando Music Journal, Belgrade, 2018 - current

Board Member, Asia Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology: APSE. Cambodia, 2018 - Current.

Singapore Liaison for International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), 2000 - current

AdvisorC-ASEAN Consonant, Thailand 2016 - special project for musical super-talents in the ASEAN region. 

             Founder of C-ASEAN Consonant Khun Thapana Sirivadhanabakadi,   
                 Chairman, THAI Beverage presenting Joe the music recording of the
                 late HRH King Rama 9th.    


               PREVIOUS WORK 


Adjunct LecturerMusic East-West (Elective Course)Singapore Management University, 2000-2008. The course design was the early foundation of his current TMAL-P approach (see Course 1). The physical laboratory for this course was designed by Joe Peters and the technology-based music listening method was based on audio technology of that time. Today, this can be done in a fully digital laboratory.


Specialist Professor, Nakhon Phanom University, Music Department, Thailand, 2017 -2018:

Curriculum and Pedagogy Strategies in Discussion. Upgrading Engish for thesis was a major course I developed for music and teacher education classes.

Specialist Professor, Mahasarakham University, College of Music, Thailand, 2018 -2021:

     PhD Class at MSU - waves of students came into this university in the four years I taught there. 

Member, Committee Mixte: RILM (International Repertory of Music Literature), USA, 2006 – 2012. Nominated by ICTM, UNESCO

Co-ChairmanASEAN Korea Traditional Orchestra (AKTO), South Korea, 2008 - 2011.
A major international project that brought together professional musicians from the traditional and indigenous music genres in Asia.

Curtain act after an AKTO performance in South Korea


Music REVIEWER for the Singapore Business Times, 1980s.

A novel experience for me as I applied and learnt new musical knowledge through these reviews in the Business Times.

National Arts Council of Singapore (1972 - 2016); served in many capacities and positions including in various ASEAN projects.


                  Joe Chairing one ASEAN Committee On Culture and Information Meeting

                    CURRENT WORK 

MUSIC COMPOSITIONS by Joe Peters (Selected)

1.  Jade Cloud Overture for Symphony Orchestra (1978) performed by the Metro-Manila Symphony for Television. This work is being re-designed and re-orchestrated currently!

Joe conducting Jade Cloud performed for TV by the Metro Manila Symphony Orchestra at Concerts in the Park TV Series in 1981

2.  DESH for Sitar, Tabla and String Orchestra (1987) performed by The New Music Forum Strings Orchestra with R.S Maniam    (Tabla) and S. Ambarasan on (Sitar);

Subsequent performances by M.S Maniam on Tabla and Lazar on Indian violin with the Vietnam Symphony (2006);  

C-ASEAN Consonant in Thailand (2018) had a different interpretation with Niranjan (Bansuri) and the Consonant; 

Laughbrough Orchestra in London (2022) with Tabla (Mr. Singh) and Sitar (Kaviar) in 2022. (Performance in UK 

3. Computer Music: done between 1987 - 1995 when MIDI and Apple music computing were in their early stages.

        a. The Merlion Odyssey

        b. Kent Ridge Fantasia

        c. Singapore River Rhapsody 
4. TIME in Kapi Mode performed by the Singapore Indian Orchestra

5. Adi Tala written for the ASEAN-Korea Traditional Orchestra 

6. Variations of a Theme on Mohanam for the Singapore Indian Fine Arts School Ensemble.  



Joe Peters. (2023). The Tremolo Music Diaspora: The Un-Classified Third Pillar of String Music. To be published in Accelerando: Belgrade Journal of Music and Dance. 

Joe Peters. (2023). Pitch Migration in Asian Musics. Asia Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology, 25th Conference, Siem Reapp, Cambodia.

Joe Peters. (2023). Musical Sustainability in Defined Territories, 2nd South American Music Conference, Argentina. 

 Joe Peters. (2024). Applied Heuristic Music Education (TMAL-P and HGMP): The Classroom is not Dead Yet! Publisher to be determined. 



Peters, Joe. (2022). Asian Musical Systems: Are They Gone? Keynote Video Paper for the 2nd International Symposium on Creative Fine Arts: Cultural Treasures Heritage, Thailand:

Peters, Joe. (2019). Singapore Music in History, Culture and Geography in Sage Encyclopedia of Ethnomusicology, USA/UK:

Peters, Joe. (2019). Geo-Politics in Asia and the Implications for Music Research and Publishing. Paper for APSE (Asia Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology) 2019, Mahasarakham University.

Peters, Joe. (2017). Musical Leadership in 21st Century South East Asia. Paper presented and published at International Seminar, Institut Seni Indonesia, Padangpanjang.

Peters, Joe. (2016). The Nature of Academic and Professional Music Studies and the Challenge for Inter-Cultural Projects like the C-ASEAN Youth Music EnsemblePrivate Paper

 Peters, Joe. (2016). Dr. Ivan Polunin – The Unknown Asian Ethnomusicologist. Paper presented at the National University of Singapore Museum Series.  

Peters, Joe. (2016). Ivan Polunin Multimedia Lab. Report in the ICTM Bulletin, 132, October, 2016. (page 21)

Peters, Joe. (2016). Extinct Ancient Waijiang Music: A Test Exercise in Singapore on Re-Creation using Study Tracks Methods and Timeline Music Annotation Library-Lab Pedagogy (TAML-P). Paper delivered at ICTM, PASEA, 2 August, 2016 at Penang, Malaysia.

Peters, Joe. (2016). Pak Zubir Said and Majulah Singapura: The National Anthem of Singapore. In Zainal Abidin Rasheed & Norsharil Saat (eds.). Majulah! 50 Years of Malay/Muslim Community in Singapore. World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 25 – 33

Peters, Joe. (2016). Integrated Music Education: Negotiating the Guru-Conservatory Divide in Music Training. Paper for National Seminar, Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University Dr. D.G.S. Dinakaran Salai, Chennai, India.

Peters, Joe. (2015). Tremolo-Rondalla and the Heuristic Music Education Pedagogy for the Asian Classroom. Paper presented at the International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences, 26-27 August, 2015, Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University, Thailand.

 Peters, Joe (2014). Music Emissions Sustainability Index (MESI): Accepting Globalization but Preventing Homogenization of Musical Cultures and Systems”. Paper presented at the Asia Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology (APSE), Mahasarakham, Thailand.

 Peters, Joe (2014). Graduate School of Performing Arts and Entertainment Management. Concept Paper presented to the International Institute of Education, Ubon Ratchathani Rajabaht University, Thailand.

 Peters, Joe (2013). Music Chain Studies - Understanding Business Models in the Music Industry within the Sustainability Issue and Integrated Timeline Music Education”. Paper presented at the conference Performing Arts Business Management: Educational and Practice in Asia. Prince Songkla University, 30 August 2013

Peters, Joe (2013). A Timeline Music Education (TME): Study of Selected Repertoire from Teochew Music in Singapore”. Paper presented at the 42nd ICTM World Conference, Shanghai.

Peters, Joe (2013). A Macro-Measure for Evaluating the Impact of Music Education on Society. Paper delivered at the 4th ISAME Conference: Music Assessment and Global Diversity: Measurement and Policy, Taiwan

 Peters, Joe. (2012). Timeline Music Education: Database Technology for the Future. Paper presented at IASA Conference, Delhi, India.

 Peters, Joseph (2011). Reconnecting with pre-1511 Musical Culture of the Littoral States in the Straits of Malacca. Paper presented at the Conference The Impact of Music in Shaping Southeast Asian Societies. Diliman: University of the Philippines.

 Peters, Joe (2011). Music-Plus-One: AVIT Systems Configuration Writing to Digital Memory to Facilitate Timeline Music Education for Listeners. Paper presented at Music and Memory Conference, KL: University Putra Malaysia.

Peters, Joe. (2010). The Art of Xoan Singing: A Case for UNESCO Intangible Heritage Award. In The Art of Xoan Singing Seminar, Hanoi: Vietnamese Music Institute, pp. 166 -172.

Peters, Joe. (2010). Plotting On-loading and In-loading Trajectories to Understand Hybridism in Music. Paper presented at ICTM Regional (Southeast Asian Performing Arts) Conference, Singapore.

Peters, Joe. (2010). Timeline Music Commentary Technique – A Guided Music Listening Approach to Musical Deconstruction. Workshop presented at International Society for Music Education (ISME), Beijing.

Peters, Joe. (2010) Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Approach to General Music Education using the Sonic Environment Music Measuring Index (SEMMI). Paper presented at the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Beijing.  

Peters, J E E . (2011). Plotting the Evolutionary Trajectory of Don Ca Tai Tu using the Sonic Orders Music Listening Mode Index (SOLMI) Prototype Listening Software. In The Art of Don Ca Tai Tu Music, Ho Chi Minh City.

Peters, Joe. (2010) Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Approach to General Music Education using the Sonic Environment Music Measuring Index (SEMMI). Paper presented at the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Beijing. 

Peters, Joe. (2010). Timeline Music Commentary Technique – A Guided Music Listening Approach to Musical Deconstruction. Workshop presented at International Society for Music Education (ISME), Beijing.

Peters, Joe. (2010). The Fluid PianoTM (Microtonal and Self-Tunable) and Some Implications for Applied Ethnomusicology”. Paper presented at ICTM Regional Conference on Applied Ethnomusicology, Hanoi. 

Peters, Joe. (2009).  Sonic Environment Modeling, Measuring and Monitoring Index (SEMMMI) and the Sustainability of Traditional Music. Paper presented at ICTM 40th World Conference, Durban, South Africa.

Peters, Joe. (2009). Fundamental Differences between Western and Asian MusicsPublic Lecture at Chung Ang University. Seoul, South Korea.

Peters, Joe. (2009). Sonic Orders Listening Mode Index (SOLMI) and the Listenology LaboratoryPublic Lecture at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Hong Kong.

Peters, Joe. (2008). A Proposed Audio-Visual Product Measure.

Paper presented at Audio Engineering Society (AES) 124th Convention, Amsterdam.

 Peters, Joe. (2007). E Learning and Audio-Visual-Information Technology Theory. Paper presented at Online Educa Berlin, Berlin, Germany:

 Peters, Joe. (2007) Ethnomusicology in Singapore.  Paper presented at Ethnomusicology Symposium, Center for Ethnomusicology, University of the Philippines

Peters, Joe. (2004). Re-Thinking Pedagogy in Music Education in a Globalized World. Paper delivered at the Globalization Conference in Hanoi Academy of Music, Vietnam.

Peters, Joe. (2003). (Chief Ed.). Sonic Orders in ASEAN Musics, 2 Vols, 10Cds. ASEAN COCI, Singapore. (available on request)

Peters, J E. E. (1999). Sonic Environment as a Macro Measure of Relevance in General Music Education. PhD Thesis, University of Western Australia. (Available on Request)

Peters, Joseph. (1998). Asian Music: Understand it or Lose it!Soundworks, Vol. 5, Issue 10. pp. 13 - 16.

Peters, Joseph. (1997). Contemporary Developments in Indian Music in Singapore

Peters, Joe. (1995). Country Paper, 3rd. ASEAN Composers Forum on Traditional Music, Bangkok: ASEAN COCI. Book and CD. (Available on Request)

Peters, Joseph. (1996). Problems of Achieving Relevance in General Music Education in SingaporeCommentary, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 19 - 32.

Peters, Joseph. (1995). Singapore. In Santos, R. (ed.). The Musics of ASEAN. Manila: ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information, pp. 190 - 232. (Available on Request).

Peters, Joseph. (1993). Evolving Traditions in Music. In Peters, J. (ed.). Forum Papers: Presentations at the Second ASEAN Composers Forum on Traditional Music. Singapore: National Arts Council, pp. 6 - 15. Book and CD. (Available on Request)

Peters, Joseph. (1992). Professional Music Training in SingaporeThe Graduate, July, pp. 14 - 15.

Peters, Joseph. (1991b). Classical Music of the MalaysThe Graduate, September, pp.12 -14. 

Peters, Joseph. (1991a). Shared Values and the Value of Music: An Appraisal of our Sonic Environment, The Graduate, June, pp. 12-13.

Peters, Joseph. (1990). The Music of Zubir Said. In Zubir Said: His Songs. Singapore: Singapore Cultural Foundation, pp.18 - 22.

Peters, Joseph. (1981). A Conceptual Framework for a Creativity-based General Music Education Program for Singapore Schools. M.M. Thesis, University of the Philippines. (Available on Request)

Peters, Joseph. (1979). Rationale and Curriculum Planning Principles in Music Education: Some Suggestions for SingaporeCommentary, Vol. 3, No. 4, June, pp. 22 - 29.