Curriculum Vitae

 Dr. Helen Myers

820 Stafford Ave., No. 27

Bristol, CT 06010

(860) 357-8585


May 2014



 Helen Myers is an editor, teacher, writer, and researcher. Her expertise includes ethnomusicology, anthropology, and the field of world music.  She is a specialist on the music of India, the United States, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, and Fiji. She has worked as editor for over twenty years at Macmillan Publishers, London, and, since April 2010, as a freelance copyeditor for The Johns Hopkins University Press,  the University Press of New England, The American University at Cairo Press,  the University Press of the West Indies Press, and a number of other major American university presses.



Current Position: Freelance copyeditor.


I learned editing from my mother, Elsie Myers Stainton, who was for many years the managing editor at Cornell University Press. I grew up hearing tales of editing from Mom and came to be fascinated by the supportive role that the editor plays in the creation of a better book. I worked intimately with Mom on both editions of her excellent book, The Fine Art of Copyediting, Columbia University Press, 2nd ed., 2002.


I worked for over twenty years for Macmillan Publishers, London, on The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  I edited articles, wrote articles, and conducted research in the British Library. While living in London, I edited and contributed to two major books in my field, Ethnomusicology: An Introduction (1992) and Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Studies (1993), both published jointly by Macmillan and W.W. Norton in New York. I am the author of Music of Hindu Trinidad: Songs from the India Diaspora (University of Chicago Press, 1998).


I taught at the college level for years, initially at the University of London and subsequently at Central Connecticut State University, Trinity College (Hartford), and Columbia University. I have received numerous awards and grants from various funding agencies including recently a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Fulbright Grant from the State Department, (2006-2007) to conduct research on folk music in North India.


Now retired, I am seeking to stay active in scholarly publishing and to participate as editor in the ongoing intellectual life of my community.

Recent Copyediting Projects


The Other Saber-tooths: Scimitar Cats of the Western Hemisphere. Edited by Virginia L. Naples, Larry  D. Martin, and John P. Babiarz. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 

Citizenship, Faith, and Feminism: Jewish and Muslim Women Reclaim Their Rights.  By Jan Feldman.  Waltham, Massachusetts: Brandeis University Press, 2011.  Published by University Press of New England, Hanover and London.

Small Wild Cats:  The Animal Answer Guide. By James G. Sanderson and Patrick Watson. Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Robert Kipniss: A Working Artist’s Life. By Robert Kipniss. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2012.

Remixing the Civil War:  Meditations on the Sesquicentennial. Edited by Thomas J. Brown.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Imagining Methodism in 18th-Century Britain: Enthusiasm, Belief & the Borders of the Self. By Misty G. Anderson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

The Truth Machine: A Social History of the Lie Detector. By Geoffrey C. Bunn. Baltimore: Johns  Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Parrots:  The Animal Answer Guide.  Matt Cameron. Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. 

Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America.  Mark A. Largent. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment? By Fawaz A. Gerges. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Frogs of the United States and Canada. 2 vols. C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. Johns Hopkins Unversity Press,  2013.

A Nation of Small Shareholders: Marketing Wall Street after World War II. By Janet M. Traflet.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Parrots: The Animal Answer Guide. By Matt Cameron. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America. By Mark A. Largent. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment? 
By Fawaz A. Gerges. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

A Nation of Small Shareholders: Marketing Wall Street after World War II. By Janet M. Traflet. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility: A Four Nation Study. By Dale Herspring. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America. 4th ed. Edited by Jorge I. Domínguez and Michael Shifter. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

The Fairy Way of Writing: Shakspeare to Tolkein. By Kevin Pask. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Homeric Speech and the Origins of Rhetoric. By Rachel Ahern Knudsen, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War. By Michael C.C. Adams. John Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Musica Naturalis: Speculative Music Theory and Poetics, from Saint Augustine to the Late Middle Ages in France. By Philippe Jeserich. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Parkinson's Disease A Complete Guide for Patients and Families, 3rd ed.. By William J. Weiner, M.D., Lisa M. Shulman, M.D., and Anthony E. Lang, M.D., F.R.C.P. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Music in the Shadows: Noir Musical Films. By Sheri Chinan Biesen. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Health. By Donald A. Barr. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. 

All Joking Aside: American Humor and Its Discontents. By Rebecca Krefting. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Ottoman Egypt and the Emergence of the Modern World, 1500–1800. By Nelly Hanna. American University in Cairo Press, 2014.

Angel Creek: Where the River Meets the Sea.
By Gail Porter Mandell. University of the West Indies Press, 2014.

Dying to Better Themselves: West Indian Builders of the Panama Canal. By Olive Senior. University of the West Indies Press, 2014.

Citizenship under Pressure: The 1970s in Jamaican Literature and Culture. By Rachel L. Mordecai. University of the West Indies Press, 2014.

Red Dreams, White Nightmares: Pan-Indianism in the Anglo-American Mind. By Robert M. Owens. University of Oklahoma Press, 2015.

American Travelers on the Nile: Early U.S. Visitors to Egypt, 1775-1839. By Andrew Oliver. The American University in Cairo Press, 2015.

Sublime Noise: Musical Culture and the Modernist Writer. By Josh Epstein. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.


Early Life and Family


“We love Californians so much we decided to take one home with us!” 

Henry Myers, Distinguished Professor of American Literature,

Stanford University, 1946



“From a rich home life with her much revered Cornell professor-father and editor-mother, and open receptive, yeasty intellect and great personal courage coupled with drive, vigor, and concern for others, and including a world-wide hands on experience, she has fashioned a quiet and warm, witty presence which belies her determination and rather awesome productivity as well as her great effectiveness as a rather fearless, creative teacher.”

Professor Warren Benson, Composer, Eastman School of Music


I was born in Palo Alto, California, during my father’s sabbatical leave from Cornell University, where he taught in the English Department. Alas our lease on the Stanford house expired during my third week, and I was carried cross continent by train to Ellis Hollow in Ithaca, New York, and our family home. There, in the tranquility of the Finger Lakes region, I enjoyed nature, books, and music—and suffered untimely tragedy when my father died when I was eight years old. My mother took a job at the Cornell University Press, where she was appointed managing editor in 1965.



Henry Alonzo Myers (father)

  Professor of English, Cornell University


Elsie Myers-Stainton (mother)

  Managing Editor, Cornell University Press


Ian Alister Woolford (son b10 June 1979)

Adam Robert Woolford (son b28 May 1981)

Sean Patrick Woolford (son b29 May 1981)





“If I could design my own students, that design would be very much like Helen Myers. She is a person of great charm: Intelligent, competent and thorough. She is an excellent performer, knows a great deal of music, and knows it from a performer’s, a historian’s and a theorist’s point of view. She is the best analysis student I have.”

  Professor William Poland, Theorist, The Ohio State University



I met the major portion of my university expenses through awards and my own earnings. Throughout my undergraduate years, first at the Eastman School of Music (1963–64) and at Ithaca College (1964–67), I held a New York State Regents Scholarship and gave private music lessons. In 1967, I won a graduate research assistantship in the music education program at Syracuse University and, later, an all-expenses-paid studentship at The Ohio State University. Awards covered my Ph.D. expenses at Edinburgh University.



B.Mus. (cum laude) 1967 Ithaca College

  Major in applied music (clarinet). First year of degree taken at the Eastman

  School of Music (1963–64).


M.M. (ed.) 1971 Syracuse University

  In music education and music theory; after completion of M.M. continued

  graduate studies at Syracuse University in Asian music and religion (1972–73).



Around this time I received a small inheritance from “Auntie” and in 1968 bought a round-the-world ticket. I was away from the United States for some fifteen months, with extended stays in Spain, where my brother was living, India, and Southeast Asia.

         On my trip I decided against a career as a school music teacher, applied for graduate work in historical musicology, and learned while in India that I had won a fellowship at The Ohio State University. I began studies at Columbus in fall 1969. I focused on early music, working on the medieval period under the guidance of the late Prof. Richard Hoppin and on the English Stuart masque with Prof. Herbert Livingston, the latter a topic that continues to hold my scholarly fascination as I wrote to Prof. Livingston on a recent postcard from Ludlow Castle, Shropshire.


M.A. 1975 The Ohio State University

  In historical musicology. Dissertation: “The Role of Henry Lawes in Milton’s



As is true of most ethnomusicologists of my generation, I came to the field late, only hearing of this speciality well into my graduate studies. I won a research fellowship at Columbia University, where I pursued the M.Phil. program from 1973–76 under the tutelage of Prof. Dieter Christensen. In ethnomusicology, I studied transcription and analysis with Prof. Israel J. Katz. In historical musicology, I studied music paleography with Prof. Ernest Sanders and 20th-century analysis with Profs. Joel Sachs and the composer of renown, Chou Wen-Chung. My training in Caribbean research was guided by the noted author Lambros Comitas and Prof. Morton Klass, who introduced me to East Indians of Felicity, Trinidad, and supervised my first visit there in 1974. I studied urban research with Prof. Adelaida Reyes who guided my music studies among Indian immigrants in New York City. In anthropology my class was one of the last to work with renowned students of the Boas school: Elliott P. Skinner, Conrad Arensberg, Marvin Harris, Morton H. Fried, and the madcap Alan Lomax.

          In May, 1976, I received an invitation to work in London as ethnomusicology editor at The New Grove Dictionary of Music (20 vols., 1980). Shortly thereafter I met my husband. My oldest son, Ian was born in June 1979 and twin boys, Adam and Sean, at midnight in late May 1981.

         I won a fellowship to continue my graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh and resumed doctoral research on Felicity, Trinidad, in 1977. Inasmuch as ethnomusicology is housed in the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh, I had the unique opportunity to befriend some of the great British folk song collectors of an earlier generation including Hamish Henderson, A. L. Lloyd, and the remarkable woman who provided inspiration for the folk song revival of the early years of this century, Maud Karpeles. Motivated to try my own hand at folklore, I moved to the seaside village of Musselburgh, a few miles outside Edinburgh, and did fieldwork with the fishing community as part of my graduate work (1977–79). It was my fortune that graduate work in the United States and Europe gave me a double perspective on world music studies and my research in historico- and ethno-musicology a double perspective on music itself.


“Her doctoral thesis proved to be one of the best I have known—a model of carefully planned research and a masterful and elegantly written presentation.”

Dr. Peter R. Cooke, School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh


Ph.D. 1984 The University of Edinburgh

  In ethnomusicology. Thesis: “Felicity Trinidad: The Musical Portrait of a

  Hindu Village.”


Visiting Research Fellow, 1986–88, Banaras Hindu University


Travel and Fieldwork



“Her world travels have made her the type of individual capable of getting along with anyone.”

M. Douglas Soyars, Director of Bands, Syracuse University



  London and Edinburgh, resident 1976–89, 1993–94 (Anglo- and Scottish folk



  Around the World with extended stays in India and Southeast Asia (1968–1969; 2006–2007)


  Turkey and North Africa (1968)


  Europe (1968)


  Trinidad, fieldwork (1974, 1975, 1977, 1985, 1990, 2005, 2007) (Creole and Hindu



  Urban Fieldwork, New York City, London, among various ethnic  groups (1974–89)


  India Village Fieldwork in:

     Karimganj (Mainpuri), Uttar Pradesh, India; Banpurwa (Varanasi), Uttar

     Pradesh; and Mahadewa Dube (Gorakhpur), Uttar Pradesh, India, 1986–88;

     Ballia, Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh and Chapra, Bihar, 1989;

     Azamgarh, Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, 1990;

     Mau, Uttar Pradesh, 1991;

     Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, 2007–2008.



  Sweden, Festival of India, Autumn term, 1987


  Mauritius, June–November 1996, June–November 1999.


“I’m glad you found your own special island.”



“Those who know the Gorakhpur area and the region of western Bihar where she has worked can understand why so many 19th-century residents were willing to sell their souls to leave it.  It would be quite mistaken to imagine that because what she found there was rich and textured that therefore she had an easy time of it.”

H. Daniel Smith, Professor of Religion, Syracuse University

Research Grants


“Good physical stamina”

Joseph Riposo, Liverpool Central Schools, Syracuse New York


American Institute of Indian Studies, Delhi and Chicago

            Grant no. 861140, 1986–87, “Stability and Change in Bhojpuri Folk Song of

            Eastern Uttar Pradesh: A Comparative Approach”


The British Academy, London

            Research Grant, 1988–89, “Regional Variation in Women’s Songs of Eastern

            Uttar Pradesh and Western Bihar”


American Institute of Indian Studies, Delhi and Chicago

            Grant no. 881027, 1988–89, “Regional Variation in Women’s Songs of

            Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Western Bihar”


American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia

            Research Grant 1989–90, “Regional Variation in Women’s Songs

            of Eastern Uttar Pradesh”


Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, New York

            Research Grant, 1989–90, “Regional Variation in Women’s Songs

            of Eastern Uttar Pradesh”


Yale University Visiting Research Fellow, 1996–97


Trinity College Research Fellow, 1996–97


American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia

              Franklin Grant, 2005 “Music of the Indian Diaspora: A Comparison of the Bhojpuri

              Song Repertory of Bihar to that of the Indian Ocean Island of


Ford Foundation and the Archives and Resource Center for Ethnomusicology, India.

2005, “Remembered Rhythms: Music and Diaspora in India”


National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC

            Research Fellowship, 2006, “Postcolonial Music and the South Asian

Diaspora: A Comparison of the Bhojpuri Songs of Mauritius and



The Fulbright Foundation, Washington, DC

               Research Fellowship, 2006, “Musical Postcolonialism and the Indian

Diaspora: Comparison of the Bhojpuri Women’s Songs of Mauritius and Bihar”


American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia

Research Grant, 2006, “The Indian Music of Mauritius: Postcolonial Perspectives.”



Between 1845 and 1917, East Indians emigrated from the Bhojpuri-speaking area of Uttar Pradesh, India, to the West Indies, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, and Fiji. My life’s work is the study of these traditions at home in India and in their overseas settings. I have done research in India, Trinidad, Mauritius, and Fiji.

         The forebears of the Trinidad East Indians—143,900 in number—were brought by the British from South Asia beginning in 1845. Known originally as the “Gladstone Coolies,” these workers were among the legions of indentured laborers shipped out from India to work the plantations of the Empire: sugar in Trinidad and other colonies of the Caribbean (Jamaica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Croix, and British Guiana); coffee, tea, rubber as well as sugar in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific (Ceylon, Malaya, Natal, Burma, and Fiji). This export of East Indian labor was suspended during World War I and legally abolished by Act of Parliament in 1921. The indentureship system had little to recommend it over the system of African slavery that it replaced. Greed prevailed, but Lord John Russell (Whig Secretary of State for the Colonies), opposing indenture before it began (15 February 1840), said “I should be unwilling to adopt any measure to favour the transfer of labourers from British India to Guiana. I am not prepared to encounter the responsibility of a measure which may lead to a dreadful loss of life on the one hand, or on the other, to a new system of slavery.”

    Over one-third the population of Trinidad and seventy percent of Mauritius derive from the indentured laborers. The villagers of Felicity, Trinidad, nearly all Hindus, have a musical repertory based on north Indian genres. The founders of the village came mainly from eastern Uttar Pradesh, and traditional Bhojpurï folk songs and drumming styles from this region have been passed on in oral tradition and are still performed in the village today. These include byäh ke gït and lachärï sung at weddings, sohar sung at the birth of a child, lullabies, and songs for the cultivation of rice, as well as repertories and performing practices for the dholak (double-headed barrel drum) and tässä (clay kettledrum).

     Music is performed in the three village temples to accompany the sandhyä and havan services as well as püjä services for the various Hindu deities and readings of the Rämäyan of Tulsidas. The vocal forms include bhajan, kïrtan, and dhun (all sung in Hindi), and Vedic chant (in Sanskrit). Some of the bhajan (devotional songs in strophic form) have been passed down in oral tradition since the indentureship period, but most have been newly introduced to Trinidad either by Hindu missionaries from the India-based Arya Samaj and Bharat Sevashram Sangha (from the 1920s onward) or through imported Indian films (1936 onward). Indian classical music was introduced to the island in 1966, but is not performed in Felicity.

     Musical change in Felicity since the beginning of the twentieth century has followed a pattern of revitalization whereby older Bhojpurï forms in oral tradition are gradually forgotten and newly introduced Hindi forms are adopted by the community. The spoken language in Felicity is now English (Bhojpurï is used only by the older generation); consequently, the difficulty of song texts is an important consideration in the development of the musical repertory of the village. In 1974–75, a new repertory of songs devoted to the Hindu saint, Satya Sai Baba, was introduced to the village and adopted in one of the temples. The Sai Baba songs with their simple one- or two-line Hindi texts are easy to learn; their style, characterized by accelerando and loud handclapping, makes them an effective expression for East Indian feelings of ethnic solidarity. Beginning in 1970s Hindi calypsos became popular in Felicity, particularly recordings of Sundar Popo from Monkey Town in south Trinidad. In the 1980s the popular Indian vocalist Kanchan made concert tours in Trinidad, rendering East Indian calypsos by Popo and other local artists, as well as African socas (soul plus calypso, for example “Rock..It” by Merchant) in Hindi and in the style of Indian film music. In the 1990s these various styles English- and Afro-influenced disco styles vie for popularity with chutney (“hot song”) which has leapt to the fore in social clubs around Trinidad as well as in Indo-Caribbean communities in Brooklyn, Toronto, and London.

         In 1986 and again in 1988, I was awarded the Smithsonian Institution, American Institute of Indian Studies, Senior Fellowships to trace the repertory of nineteenth-century Bhojpuri songs I had recorded in Trinidad back to their roots in eastern Uttar Pradesh. I was awarded other funds for this research by The British Academy, The American Philosophical Society, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.  Near the Nepal border, I located the ancestral home of the main informants for my thesis, the family of the eminent author, V. S. Naipaul. I have analyzed the musical repertory of this tiny Brahman village, and compared it with that of Trinidad in my book Music of Hindu Trinidad: Songs from the India Diaspora  (University of Chicago Press, 1998).

         In my research in Trinidad (ongoing since 1974), I recorded hundreds of hours of music. Under the sponsorship of the funding agencies listed above, I donated copies of this material to the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) in New Delhi, India, for the use of local scholars. I took cassettes of this material to the remote villages from whence the Trinidadians came, and played (and sang) these songs to their latter-day cousins.

         My research on Bhojpuri folk music in India led to study in the villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Western Bihar, including Chapra, Ballia, Mau, Mahadewa Dube, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, and Banpurwa, Varanasi. I worked primarily with women’s songs, especially how traditions were transmitted from one generation to the next.

         In northeastern India, the marriage system is caste endogamous and village exogamous, that is to say, a woman always marries a man of the same caste but from a different village. Hence the women of a village comprise two groups, the daughters of the village and the brides of the village. Many poignant and detailed folk songs describe this phenomenon.

         When the bride moves to her husband’s home, she carries with her the songs of her mother’s home. This custom became doubly fascinating when I learned that in each village families tend to search for husbands in a particular direction, say east, and for brides in another direction, say north. Thus it could be thought that folk songs might circulate in particular directions all around Uttar Pradesh, and I tried to map the flow of song texts and song tunes.

         But problems soon arose. Some brides told me they were too shy to introduce songs from their maica (mother’s home) into their sasural (husband’s home). Other brides, more forthright in character, felt the quality of singing in their sasural was inferior to their maica and were eager to introduce their new songs: but these bold brides were often criticized by their mothers-in-law. Having discovered an opportunity to apply a scientific theory to the study of music, my research seemed to indicate a more universal and simpler process. Had I spent thousands of dollars only to discover that the bossiest woman with the loudest voice controlled musical life in the extended family? In part, yes.

         In Mauritius, independent since 1968, a remote Indian Ocean island setting with a post-colonial French ambience has fostered a different repertory of traditional Bhojpuri song than in Trinidad. Despite 158 years of British rule, English language and culture had little impact on Franco-Mauritian plantation lords or their indentured Indian cane laborers. Today, a French-Bhojpuri Creole fascinates linguists and traditional Bhojpuri songs for life rites and religious festivals are sung throughout the year—a delight for scholars of the Indo-Caribbean, where Bhojpuri and the song repertory it supports are rapidly dying out. Music shows that the Indo-Trinidadians derive more from the western sector of the indentureship catchment area—Banaras, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh—and Mauritians more from the eastern—Arrah, Chapra, Ballia. Mauritian Indians understand Trinidad Bhojpuri songs but judge their texts to be poorly pronounced, sung to unusual tunes, and pertaining to customs akin but not identical to their own. “There are seven colors of singing,” musicians explain, “this is theirs, ours is another.”

         In recent decades, the Creole Mauritian sega song-dance form has been blended with reggae (“seggae”) and with traditional Bhojpuri forms—”Bhojpuri Hot Sega,” “Ragga-Ragga featuring the Voodoo Rapper,” “Tandoori Mix by Jungle Fever,” and “Maxi Fun Digibeat’s Made in India by Xavier” (Music of Hindu Mauritius: Songs from the India Diaspora II).



Teaching Grants


“‘She makes you want to get up for her 9 AM class’ asserts one premed about Dr. Helen Myers.”

Columbia University Student-Published Guide to Courses


Ford Foundation, New York

            1988, Grant no 860-0669, “Improving Documentation of Performing

            Arts in India”


Trinity College, Curricular Development in Ethnic Diversity and Global

            Perspectives, 1991, “Village Voice: Native Perspectives on Western



Trinity College, Curricular Development in Ethnic Diversity and Global

            Perspectives, 1993, “Popular Musics of the World”


Trinity College, St. Anthony Hall Professorship (granted for innovative

            teaching), 1994–95






“A fine clarinetist who loves to play chamber and orchestral music, she would make significant musical contributions to whatever community is fortunate to acquire her services.”

Professor Charles Bay, Clarinetist, San Fernando Valley State College



1963–64 Principal Freshman Clarinetist, Eastman School of Music


1964–67 Principal Clarinetist, Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, Ithaca College



1966–67 Clarinetist, American Wind Symphony Orchestra  Robert Austin

  Boudreau, Director


1962–67 Annual Solo Clarinet Recitals


1979–81 Recorder collegium, The University of Edinburgh


1974–96 Performing Experience in Trinidad, India, Mauritius. steelband, dholak drum,

  harmonium, vocal, dance



Archival Experience


1973–75  Columbia University, Research Fellow in the Archive of the Center for

  Studies in Ethnomusicology; job included all phases of sound archiving, and

  archiving my field recordings from Trinidad. Research on the Laura Boulton

  Pennsylvania folk-song collection from the 1930s.



1976–89  Collaborator and Contributor, National Sound Archives, London

  (formerly The British Institute of Recorded Sound) holds copies of my Trinidad

  Bhojpuri collections as well as my two smaller collections of music and interviews

  from the Indo-Caribbean communities of London and New York City.



1986–  Collaborator and Contributor, Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology,

  New Delhi, India. My entire collection comprises over 1,200

  hours of music recorded on two-track stereo analog, 1/4 inch open-reel audio

  tape and (for the Mauritius collection 1996) some 200 hours recorded on DAT.

  Additionally my collection includes over 500 hours of interview material

  recorded on Dolby B stereo C-90 compact cassettes. 


2006– Depositer, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University




Editorial Work



“She immediately grasped what the work entailed with excellent critical judgement about the larger issues of structure, relevance, and precision. One soon knows whose scholarship one can trust when working on a project such as this, and we have learnt to rely on hers”

Richard Garnett, Director, Macmillan London Ltd.


1976–77  The New Grove Dictionary of Music, 6th ed., junior editor for ethnomusicology



1981–83  Consultant Ethnomusicologist, New Oxford Companion to

  Music, Oxford University Press (1983)


“A splendid colleague, full of ideas and full of energy to execute them”

Dr. Stanley Sadie, Grove Dictionaries of Music, London


1981–89  Resident Ethnomusicologist at The New Grove Dictionaries of Music and

   chief consultant for ethnomusicology to The New Grove Dictionary of Musical

  Instruments, The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and The New

  Grove Concise Dictionary of Music. Editor in Chief, Ethnomusicology: An

  Introduction and Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Studies



The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (1983) represents two years of work in London directly with Dr. Stanley Sadie. We had the concept of covering the instruments of the world, and found that our project mushroomed until it included around ten thousand non-Western instruments and required the assistance of some thirty authorities in organology, in many instances publishing original research directly from their field notes. Many scholars refer to this set as the “ethnomusicology Grove” for its even-handed coverage of the whole world of music. Dr. Sadie and I were gratified that our publisher Macmillan, London, agreed to the much expanded project (from one volume to three) and gave equal time to the non-Western musical world.

         Work on the four-volume New Grove Dictionary of American Music (1986) was intensive and allowed me to resume my involvement in US music, dating from the 1970s and my collaboration with Bruno Nettl on the bicentennial edition of Folk Music in the United States. For Grove I was responsible for commissioning entirely new articles on the five central traditions of folk and traditional music in the United States: African- , Hispanic- , Euro- , Asian- , and Native American. Working with a team of US experts including Nettl, Charlotte Frisbie, D. K. Wilgus, Alan Jabbour, and Eileen Southern we crafted the ethnomusicology coverage for a new dictionary. A breakthrough in this work is the inclusion of individual articles on some fifty Native American groups of the United States.



1994–99 Ethnomusicologist, Managing Editor for The New Grove Dictionary

  of Music, 72h ed, 29 vols. (in London office, June–July, 1993, January–

  September 1994)


In 1992 I was invited by Dr. Stanley Sadie to assume the post of author, chief procurement editor, and editorial controller for the ethnomusicology coverage for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. (29 vols., 2001).  I spent the summer of 1993 and my 1994 sabbatical leave in London launching this initiative. One task was to determine how the new ethnomusicology material from the instrument and American dictionaries could be incorporated into the 7th edition of the main 29-volume dictionary while maintaining a rational balance between Western and non-Western material in the Grove tradition.


2000 Editor and Author, Harper-Collins Concise Encyclopedia of Classical Music (2000)






“She opened up new avenues of thought.”

“Her course was a whirlwind pleasure.”

Trinity undergrads



1967–68  Syracuse University, Graduate Music Teaching Assistant in Music

  Education (undergraduate music majors)


                        Theory and Method in Music Education


                        Instrumental Music Instruction


My experience with teaching materials goes back to my M.M. in music education from Syracuse University, which included developing expertise with the multi-media resources that were available at the time. At Syracuse, I gave a talk on Haydn at Esterháza, and it was at this point that I first heard myself called a “born teacher,” by the Director of Music Education. Then I was taken on board to assist in the reeducation of in-service teachers who in New York State were required to return for training in new techniques. I earned New York State Certification in Music for grades K–12 and taught instrumental music in Liverpool, New York, for two years. Since then I have made it my business to keep abreast of the continuing development of pedagogical resources.




“Everybody in the audience was quite surprised to hear an elementary band play so well.” 

Joseph Riposo, Liverpool Central Schools, Syracuse New York


1971–73  Liverpool, New York, Public Schools, Elementary School Instrumental

  Music Teacher



1975–76  Columbia University, Lecturer in Music History (general students)


                        Music Humanities, Introduction to Western Music


1981–89  University of London, Goldsmiths’ College, Lecturer and Examiner in

  ethnomusicology (graduate seminars)


            Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology


            The History of Ethnomusicology 


            Urban Ethnomusicology 


            The Music of India


1982–89  Guildhall School of Music, London, Regular Guest Lecturer


1988  National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay, Foreign Guest

  Lecturer in Ethnomusicology


                        Western Approaches in Ethnomusicology


                        Music Theory I


1988  S.N.D.T. Womens’ College, Bombay, Foreign Guest Lecturer


            Music of Indians in the Diaspora


In 1989 I was offered the post of Associate Professor of Music at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut, and our family emigrated to the United States.




“The Music Department’s experiment with ethnomusicology, thanks not in large part but in full part (if I may be allowed that oxymoron) to Prof. Myers, appears to be a stunning success.” 

Professor Gerald Moshell, Music Department and Secretary of the Faculty, Trinity College



1989–96  Trinity College, Hartford, CT, Associate Professor of Music

  (undergraduate courses)


1998–2002 Central Connecticut State University, Assistant Professor of Music


“This put a lot of my other courses in perspective.”

Trinity undergrad


            World Music (a survey course for music majors and general

               students; enrollment from 50 to 100 to 250)


The central course in an undergraduate ethnomusicology program, World Music offers students a sample of music from different cultures of the world and also examines more general issues relating to the essential role of music in human life in war, peace, worship, protest, pleasure, rites of passage, and self-expression. Student involvement is the key to a successful world music class. I lead the students in clapping Indian talas, singing calypso, dancing to Eastern European aksak rhythms, and trying out peasant dances from Indian villages. I enjoy varying the geographical menu from year to year but always include units on West Africa, Indonesia, India, and the United States, from Anglo to Navajo, as well as introductory sessions on the general nature of music from an ethnomusicological point of view.

         I like to vary the class sessions of the world music course. For some I give lectures packed with facts and dates, illustrated with many musical examples, slides, and video clips. These lectures move at a quick pace, and students take copious notes. Others of my classes focus on discussion and student musical participation. For the unit on Africa I have had success with interactive work with the students (clapping exercises setting out time lines, etc.). For another approach to texture and polyphony in Africa, students compare five video presentations of West African drumming. Altogether, the world music course trains students in critical listening, viewing, reading, and thinking.

         The importance of a world music course in the arts curriculum can hardly be overemphasized. Particularly for undergraduate students, it is an appropriate setting for them to challenge and compare their own values with those of foreign cultures. Because it embraces fundamental values, a world music class can provide a platform in the liberal arts for those discussions so essential to undergraduates, of truth, of good and evil, of beauty and ugliness, and even of justice and ethics. For these young people are stepping into a world where they are accountable for their own actions and where some of their most important decisions will be based, not on logic or reason, but on emotion. If we as teachers can help to educate these emotions, these feelings toward themselves, toward others, we will have accomplished much.




“She is particularly gifted in conveying to students that other peoples engage the cosmos expressively, and that their engagement as well as their cosmos are comparable in value—not inferior— to our own.”

Frederick Erringtion, Charles A. Dana Professor of Anthropology, Trinity College


            Musical Cultures of South Asia (a survey course for music

              majors and general students; enrollment from 50 to 100)



“It is always a pleasure and special experience to attend lectures with a professor who teaches what is also her life work.”

Columbia Grad student


            Music and Religious Experience (including Western and

              non-Western traditions)


“I think she’s very unique and great. She’s funny and likable and makes you want to listen.”

Trinity undergrad



            Listening to Music (music appreciation for general students;

              lecture course with enrollments ranging up to 260)


Once or twice a year I have been called on to teach our departmental survey of Western classical music. As an ethnomusicologist, my orientation includes the cultural context in which this extraordinary musical repertory developed as well as the analysis of individual masterworks. As, from term to term, we pass this course around the department, I can see much benefit from the interchange between department members as we discuss our individual approaches. Listening to Music has been a very popular course, of some twenty to thirty students (the average class size at Trinity is fifteen). But it leapt forward the semester following my arrival to an enrollment of one hundred eleven. By the following spring Listening to Music had swollen to two hundred forty-four students. Testing was particularly difficult as students occupied every seat in McCook Auditorium, Trinity’s largest lecture hall. I used a radio microphone and adopted a lecture format, but was happy enough when the Music Department decided to limit all courses to fifty students. Large courses can work well and are exciting to teach. But Trinity’s physical plant is not set up to accommodate a class of more than say seventy students.


            The History of Western Music I: Medieval through

               Baroque (seminar for second-year music majors)


Highly musical, a versatile performer, with an extremely well founded knowledge of the theoretical fields of music.”

Professor Herbert Brün, Composer, University of Illinois


            Musical Nationalism: Bartók, Ives, and Sibelius (seminar for

              upper-level music majors)



            Village Voice: Native Perspectives on Western Scholarship

              (freshman seminar in anthropology)



“Truly an expert in her field. Her understanding of the material was amazing as was her thirst for knowledge.”

Trinity undergrad


            Indian Village Life: Conversations with a Native (freshman

              seminar in anthropology; team taught with Umesh Pandey

              from Karimpur village, India)


This seminar offers me the opportunity to teach anthropology. In class the students meet and work with a real stranger—Umesh Pandey, a farmer from a well-researched Indian village, “Karimpur,” studied since 1925 by American anthropologists. Drawing up the reading list is not a problem because there has been a steady flow of books and articles from this village, beginning with Charlotte and William Wiser’s classic ethnography, Behind Mud Walls (1st ed, 1930; 5th rev. ed, 1989).

         For the first weeks Pandey and I teach about Indian village culture; then each student chooses a topic about which to interview Pandey—caste, the role of women, the agricultural cycle, and so on. Students record their interviews and transcribe them word for word. Pandey instructs them how to edit the raw interview material so as to produce a text reflecting his considered thoughts in his preferred style on the topic. This one-on-one exercise challenges students to consider the reality of another person’s world view. Students have been astonished to hear first-hand accounts of the deprivation and poverty of the village, as well as the strict social system that includes caste, the veiling of women, and arranged marriages.

         Pandey describes to students what it has been like to be a “guinea pig” for social science, and we all learned that from his point of view there are both positive and negative aspects to anthropological study.



“This course was one of the most worthwhile I’ve taken and its impact will be far longer lasting than all the other classes I’ve taken. She is fantastic and I like to feel I’ve made a new friend in her.”

Trinity undergrad




            Introduction to Ethnomusicology (seminar for upper level

              music and anthropology majors)



“Kept everyone on their toes”

Trinity undergrad




“I was taken by the warmth of her classroom manner and teaching style—engaging and completely at ease.”

Gail Hudson Woldu, Assistant Dean of the Faculty, Trinity College


            Popular Musics of the World (large lecture course for general



The appealing aspect of my teaching subject has been a mixed blessing, for neither the Music Department nor I was prepared for my huge enrollments. After four years at Trinity my department chair calculated that, judging from enrollment figures, I had possibly taught every student at the College (enrollment 1,800).



“Students came to understand that ethnographic knowledge should be based on a mutual construction, wherein it rings true to local informants yet is illuminating to an outside audience.”

Frederick Erringtion, Charles A. Dana Professor of Anthropology, Trinity College


“She has made something where there was nothing, and has infinitely enriched the Department as a result.”

Douglas Johnson, Professor of Music, Trinity College


1993  Columbia University, Visiting Associate Professor of Music


                        Music, Dance, and Ritual of India (graduate level, cross-listed under

                          music and South Asian studies)


I felt particularly free and relaxed in this ad hoc situation and gave expression to my full range of teaching ideas. It was a wonderful occasion for me. The student evaluations of my graduate course at Columbia as well as at Trinity show that in a number of instances I have achieved high goals in my classes—to make the students think, to give students a glimpse of the world that was beyond their ken, to inspire them to serious efforts toward their evolving goals. The Columbia class of 18 was the largest of their summer music program, and the student comments made me bold to press on with new ideas at Trinity in the Fall of 1993. Here are some comments from the class:

          “Good course. Learned a lot. Good reading. Good music. Good films. Good recordings.”

         “She was well prepared to teach the class. She fulfilled the task of expanding our minds on the ritual, dance, music, and culture of the Indian subcontinent. I grade her an A+.”

         “This was the best course I ever took!”

         “This course was quite informative, enlightening, and educational. Her multimedia approach is most effective.”

         “She opened up new avenues of thought.”

         “Her course was a whirlwind pleasure.”

         “Dear Professor Myers,

         “Your course was a consistent high point in a summer that was chock full of work. Your global approach to Indian music helped to clarify the larger context of ethnomusicology. One of your other students described you as an exclamation point. Indeed!!!!!”



“An innovative and dynamic thinker and teacher”

Suzanne Risley, Music Librarian, Trinity College


“Helen uses all manner of audiovisual technology: CD-ROM, overhead projections, slides, and cassette recordings, all of which combine at precisely the exact moment, to demonstrate the points of her lecture.”

Gail Hudson Woldu, Assistant Dean of the Faculty, Trinity College


1994–95  St. Anthony Hall Professor of Music, Trinity College (for innovative teaching)


I was awarded the St. Anthony Hall Professorship for innovative teaching, particularly for work with computers in the classroom (hyper-media). I am preparing a prototype CD-ROM for world music instruction, a complicated and daunting project, yet extremely promising for rewarding student participation with added information and understanding (and pleasure). Interactive media allows for discussion within the presentation and works particularly well for this generation of students programmed to think positively when sitting in front of a screen—their preferred learning style. (Perhaps sad, but true.) Computers provide a helpful supplement to traditional teaching approaches, and are especially useful in ethnomusicology.




Institutional Service



“I value her strong sense of collegiality and clear desire to foster mutually supportive working relationships.”

Suzanne Risley, Music Librarian, Trinity College



“She is also a fine, genuinely decent person—qualities which we often undervalue in academia.”

Gail Hudson Woldu, Assistant Dean of the Faculty, Trinity College


            The Dean’s Committee on Post-Graduate Student

              Grants (1989–90)

            The Anthropology Colloquium (1989–90)

            The Faculty Research Committee (1990–93)

            Curriculum Committee (1990–94)

            Departmental Committees: Music, Area Studies, Asian

              Studies, Anthropology

            Jazz Search Committee (1989–90)

            Anthropology Search Committee (1990–91)

            Faculty Representative to the Student Government

              Association (1993–94)

            Presidential Appointee to the Council on Women (1993– )

                        Freshman Adviser and Seminar Professor 1990–91, 1991–92,





Literary Prizes



            Vincent Duckles Prize of the Music Library Association for

            Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Perspectives (1993)


Academic Honors



Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society (1966– ), The Ohio State University Graduate Fellowship (1969–70), University of Edinburgh Studentship Award (1977–79), New York State Regents Scholarship (1963–76)





American Anthropological Association; International Council for Traditional Music (UK Bulletin editor, 1980–83); UK Executive Committee, 1980–88); American Musicological Society; Society for Ethnomusicology (Jaap Kunst Bibliography Committee, 1988–1990, Council, 1992–95); College Music Society; Society for Asian Music; Indian Musicological Society; Sangeet Natak Akademi; English Folk Dance and Song Society (Editorial Board, Folk Music Journal, 1987–90); Association for Asian Studies; Earthwatch








            Hindi (Bhojpuri), French, German, Spanish


                        *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *


It has been my luck that personal experiences have informed my research and teaching: the early loss of my author-father taught me that books live on; fifteen years in Great Britain as an immigrant have given insight into the abiding love villagers of Felicity feel for India; raising twin sons, as well as being a stern tutor in efficiency, has been a daily lesson in human individuality; and living with an English husband has brought the reality of cultural differences home.









Professor Bruno Nettl, University of Illinois


“I came away enchanted, engaged, and enlightened”

Frederick Erringtion, Charles A. Dana Professor of Anthropology, Trinity College


“A locus classicus for future researchers”

Donald Brenneis, Professor of Anthropology, Pitzer College



Music of Hindu Trinidad: Songs from the India Diaspora

  (University of Chicago Press, 1998).


From the readers’s reports: “a sui generis ‘portrait,'" “Myers’ ethnomusicological scholarship is impeccable, the transcriptions and textual analyses are lucid and illuminating, and her attunement to the musical experience and expressions of those with whom she lived and worked is compelling. . . . eloquent . . . affecting and interpretively revelatory.” . . . “the rhetorical strategy is compelling and the prose elegant and engaging.” . . . “There is no work quite like it.”


         “She sustains a multifold exposition about the long-term efforts of these people to define identity; and she renders her discussion complex with a fascinating, theoretically engaging consideration of how music changes yet remains importantly the same over generations in a highly pluralistic society. I found the quality of her ethnographic enquiry to be excellent. Her considerable rapport with her informants is clearly based on a mutual empathy and respect. But perhaps most extraordinary of all about this book is the quality of her writing.”


         And from series editor Bruno Nettl: “an excellent book,” “magisterial,” “literary flair with great attention to what one might call the aesthetics of scholarly writing. It seems to me to come as close as anything I have seen to a ‘complete’ musical ethnography.” . . . “Her comprehensive knowledge of Hinduism, South Asian and American cultures, literature, along with ethnomusicology give this work an aura of authority.” . . . “A ‘double-barreled’ contribution to Caribbean and East Indian musical studies . . . a work associated with the life of the towering figure of V. S Naipaul. Once it has become known, it will also find an audience of readers not principally interested in ethnomusicology because it is, more than most works in this field, ‘a good read.’”





Folk Music in the United States: An Introduction (Wayne State

  University Press, 1976) (with Bruno Nettl).


An opportunity, early in my career, to collaborate with the dean of American ethnomusicology, Bruno Nettl, and write about my research on American folk music.





General Editor and Contributor, Ethnomusicology: An Introduction

  (Macmillan, London, and W.W. Norton, Inc., New York, 1992).

   xxiii +487 pp.  




General Editor and Contributor, Ethnomusicology: Historical and

  Regional Studies (Macmillan, London, and W.W. Norton Inc., New York),

  1993 xxviii + 541 pp. Winner of the Vincent Duckles Prize of the

  Music Library Association for the Best Reference Work in Music, 1993.


The two companion volumes Ethnomusicology: An Introduction and Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Studies are both based on field work and present information not previously available, from primary sources around the world. Definitive and exhaustive, they are the first volumes to assemble material about the theories, methods, and history of ethnomusicology in its first one hundred years. The volumes include the research of forty-four scholars representing thirty-eight institutions from nineteen countries from the USA to the UK to Israel to India to New Zealand. The first volume comprises 250,000 words, of which I wrote some 55,000; the second 270,000 words of which I wrote 65,000.

         “This outstanding historiographic/bibliographic survey allows researchers to understand the historical place of their studies while guiding them to the most important writings in each subset of this broad, rich field.” (Music Library Association, Publications Awards Committee).


“Introduction” to the facsimile reprint, Alice Cunningham Fletcher,

   A Study of Omaha Indian Music, University of Nebraska Press, 1994.


An invitation in 1993 from Dr. Willis Regier, then Director of the University of Nebraska Press (now Director, University of Illinois Press) resulted in these four reprints of the pioneering work of American musicologist Alice Cunningham Fletcher and her Omaha colleague, Francis La Flesche. A particularly rewarding project as these classics are once again available to students of Native American music and of the history of ethnomusicological method for only $5.98 a volume!



“Introduction” to the facsimile reprint, Alice Cunningham Fletcher,

  Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs, University of

  Nebraska Press, 1994.


“Introduction” to the facsimile reprint, Alice Cunningham Fletcher,

  Indian Story and Song From North America, University of

  Nebraska Press, 1995.


“Introduction” to the facsimile reprint, Alice Cunningham Fletcher, The Hako:

  Song, Pipe, and Unity in a Pawnee Calumet Ceremony, University of Nebraska

  Press, Fall 1996.





Books in Progress




“There are many books about his village written by foreigners. A book about the foreigners written by a villager would be both interesting and important for the anthropological community.”

Anthony Seeger, Director, Folkways Records, Smithsonian Institution



“A pioneering project”

Krister Malm, Director, Musikmuseet, Stockholm



Umesh Pandey of Karimpur: The Autobiography of an Anthropological Subject,

  by Umesh Pandey, edited by Helen Myers.


In anthropology, I am co-researcher in the project “Umesh Pandey of Karimpur: The Autobiography of an Anthropological Subject,” in progress since 1987. The aim of this work is to add to the extensive literature on the village of Karimpur, western Uttar Pradesh, India, the missing vantage point of the “insider,” the thoughts and feelings of a human subject of anthropological study; to examine the impact of long-standing and exhaustive anthropological study on the life of a village; and to contribute to the theoretical basis of ethnographic study. This work on “the anthropology of anthropology” has proved particularly rewarding; preliminary findings were presented in my papers for the Society for Ethnomusicology (1988, 1990).



“One issue in particular has engaged her, having to do with the boundaries of working as a so-called “participant-observer.” Her evolving sense of that ambiguous role has shaped her more recent work with her subjects and, indeed, well may one day eventuate in a special effort to address the academy directly on the unforeseen consequences of otherwise meticulous field etiquette.”

H. Daniel Smith, Professor of Religion, Syracuse University



The Bhojpuri Song Atlas: An Indian Odyssey (in preparation).


I have drawn up four chapters for my book, The Bhojpuri Song Atlas: An Indian Odyssey, the story of my search for the antique Bhojpuri songs of Trinidad—marginal survivals from another age—in the living repertory of eight North Indian villages. For the future, I am applying for grants to extend this song search to the Bhojpuri communities of Guyana, Fiji, and Mauritius.





“The Role of Henry Lawes in Milton’s Comus” (M.A., The Ohio State

  University, 1975).



“Felicity, Trinidad: The Musical Portrait of a Hindu Village” (Ph.D.,

  University of Edinburgh, 1984), 580 pp.



Articles and Reviews


Review, The Music of India, Reginald and Jamila Massey, The Musical

  Times (London), cxix/1622 (April, 1978).


Review Essay, “Helen Myers on British Folk” (including The Singing

  Tradition of Child’s Popular Ballads, Bertrand Harris Bronson;

  Hebridean Folksongs, Vol. II: Waulking Songs from Barra, South

  Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula, ed. J. L. Campbell; Folksongs and Folklore

  of South Uist, Margaret Fay Shaw; Where is Saint George? Pagan

  Imagery in English Folk Song, Bob Steward), The Musical Times,

  cxix/1623 (May, 1978).


“The Process of Change in Trinidad East Indian Music,” Journal of the

  Indian Musicological Society, ix/3 (1978); reprinted in Essays in

  Musicology, ed. R. C. Mehta (Indian Musicological Society, Bombay

  and Baroda, 1983).


Review, A Ballad History of England From 1588 to the Present Day, Roy Palmer, The Musical Times (London), cxx/1641 (Nov., 1979).


Review, Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil

  War, Dena J. Epstein, The Musical Times (London), cxxi/1644 (Feb., 1980).


“Trinidad and Tobago,” “Honduras,” “Belize,” “El Salvador,” “Guyana,”

  “Nicaragua,” “Shahnai,” “Nagasvaram,” “Sarod,” “Vina,” “Hichiriki,”

  “Shakuhachi,” “Biwa,” “Sho,” “Koto,” “Cheng,” “Pi-p’a,” in

  The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 6th ed. (20 vols.

  London, 1980).


“‘Normal’ Ethnomusicology and ‘Extraordinary’ Ethnomusicology,” Journal of

  the Indian Musicological Society, xii/3&4 (1981).


Review, Greek Popular Musical Instruments, Fivos Anoyanakis, The Musical

  Times (London), cxxii/1659 (May, 1981).


“African Music,” “American Indian Music,” “Ethnomusicology,” “Folk Music,”

  “Pacific Islands,” “South-east Asian Music” in The New Oxford Companion to

  Music (2 vols., Oxford, 1983).


“Folk Music,” “Wind Instruments,” in Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed.,

  Micropædia (1983).


Review, The Hungarian Folk Song, Béla Bartók, Folk Music Journal, iv/4 (1983).


“A música popular afro-brasileria,” Gra Bretanha Hoje (Jan.–Feb., 1984).


“Embilita,” “Papa hehi,” The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments

  (3 vols., London, 1984).


Review, Folk Songs of the Catskills; Notes and Sources for Folk Songs in the

  Catskills, Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, and Norman Studer,

  Yearbook for Traditional Music, xvii (1985).


Review, Hungarian Ballads and the European Ballad Tradition, Lajos Vargyas,

  Folk Music Journal, v/i (1985).


 “Klaus P. Wachsmann,” Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional

  Music, U.K. Chapter, ix (Jan., 1985).


Review, Let the Inside Be Sweet: The Interpretation of Music Event Among the

  Kpelle of Liberia, Ruth M. Stone Bulletin of the International Council for

  Traditional Music, U.K. Chapter, xi (July, 1985).


Review, Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Music, ed. Robert Falck and Timothy Rice,

  Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music, U.K. Chapter, xi

  (July, 1985).


“Ethnomusicology,” “Salish,” “Sioux,” in The New Grove Dictionary of

  American Music (4 vols., London, 1986).


“Return Visit: Thoughts on Fieldwork Method from Felicity, Trinidad,” Bulletin

  of the International Council for Traditional Music, U.K. Chapter, xv

  (Autumn, 1986).


Record Review, Under the Coconut Tree: Music from Grand Cayman and

  Tortola, Folk Music Journal, v/2 (1986).


Review, Ghost Dance Songs and Religion of a Wind River Shoshone Woman,

  Judith Vander, Folk Music Journal, v/3 (1987).


“A Century of Ethnomusicology,” Encore (Sept., 1987).


Review, “Book Notes,” “‘A Commonsense View of All Music:’ Reflections on

  Percy Grainger's Contribution to Ethnomusicology and Music Education,”

  by John Blacking, Encore (Nov., 1988).


“African Music,” “Arab Music,” “American Indian Music,” “Chinese Music,”

  “Ethnomusicology,” “Indian Music,” “Indonesian Music,” “Japanese Music,”

  “Jewish Music,” “Latin American Music,” “Oceanian Music,” The New Grove

  Concise Dictionary of Music (Macmillan, London and W.W. Norton, New York,



“In Praise of Musical Instruments,” Proceedings of the First International

  Conference on the Biology of Music Making, Denver Colorado, July, 1984

  (F. Wilson and F. Roehmann, eds. (MMB Music, Inc., St. Louis, 1988).


“The Child’s World of Music,” Music and Child Development: Proceedings of

  the 1987 Biology of Music Making Conference, F. Wilson and F. Roehmann, eds.

  (MMB Music, Inc., St. Louis, 1990).


“Breaking 100 in Music,” Music and Child Development: Proceedings of the

  1987 Biology of Music Making Conference, F. Wilson and F. Roehmann, eds.

  (MMB Music, Inc., St. Louis, 1990).


“Indian, East Indian, and West Indian Music in Felicity, Trinidad,” Ethno-

  musicology and Modern Music History (University of Illinois Press, 1990), Ch. 13.


“Ravi Shankar,” The Times (London) (held on file).


Chapters, “Preface,” “Ethnomusicology,” “Fieldwork,” “Field Technology,”

  Ethnomusicology: An Introduction (Macmillan, and W.W. Norton, Inc.,

  New York, 1992), xxiii +487 pp.


Chapters, “Preface,” “Introduction,” “The Early History of Ethnomusicology in

  Great Britain,” “The Early History of Ethnomusicology in North America,

  Anglo-American Traditions”; Post World War II Research: “North America,”

  “The West Indies,” in Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Studies

  (Macmillan, London, and W.W. Norton Inc., New York, 1993), xxviii + 541 pp.

Review, Comparative Musicology and Anthropology of Music:  Essays on the

  History of Ethnomusicology, eds., Bruno Nettl and Philip Bohlman, Journal

  of American Folklore  (Spring, 1994).


Review, Singing with Sai Baba: The Politics of Revitalization in Trinidad,

  Morton Klass, Journal of American Ethnology  (Spring 1994).


Film Review, The Bake Study in India 1938–1984, Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and

  Amy Catlin, Ethnomusicology  (Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology)

  (Spring 1994).


Review, The Bake Restudy in India 1938–1984, Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

  Ethnomusicology  (Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology) (Spring 1994).


Review, Chant the Names of God: Music and Culture in Bhojpuri-Speaking India,

  Edward O. Henry, Journal of American Ethnology (Spring 1994).


Review, Hi-Tech Shiva and Other Apocryphal Tales, Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy,

  Asian Music (Spring 1994).


Review, The Drums of Vodou (with accompanying cassette), Lois Wilcken,

  Notes (Quarterly Journal of the Musical Library Association) (Spring 1997).


Review, The Music of Santeria: Traditional Rhythms of the Bata Drums, (with

  accompanying cassette) John Amira and Steven Cornelius, Notes (Quarterly

  Journal of the Musical Library Association) (Spring 1997).


“Trinidad and Tobago,” South Asia Volume, The Garland Encyclopædia of World Music.

  (Garland Publishers, 2001).



“Ethnomusicology,” “Trinidad and Tobago,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians,

  2nd ed., 29 vols. (2001).




Unpublished Public Lectures and Research Papers


“Indian Music in Trinidad: Social Organization of Village Music in a Plural

  Society,” International Folk Music Council, 23rd Conference, Regensburg,

  Germany, August, 1975.


“The Development of a Musical Repertory in a Hindu Temple in New York

  City,”American Musicological Society, 42nd Annual Conference, Washington,

  November, 1976.


“‘Normal’ Ethnomusicology and ‘Extraordinary’ Ethnomusicology”, Society for

  Ethnomusicology, 23rd Annual Conference, St. Louis, October, 1978.


“Revitalization or Acculturation?: The Problem in Felicity,” International

  Council for Traditional Music, Stockholm, 28th Conference, July, 1985.


“Fair Exchange: Indian, East Indian, and West Indian Music in Felicity,

  Trinidad,” Society for Ethnomusicology, 31st Annual Conference, Rochester,

  New York, October 1986.


“Village Music in Eastern Uttar Pradesh,” Seminar of the Archives and Resource

  Center in Ethnomusicology, New Delhi, December 1986.


“The Karimpur Tapestry: Umesh Pandey’s Taxonomy of Avaz (‘voice’) and

  Shanti (‘peace’),” The Queen’s University, Belfast, February, 1988;

  The University of Edinburgh, February, 1988, The School of Oriental and

  African Studies of the University of London, March, 1988; Society for

  Ethnomusicology, 33rd Annual Meeting, Tempe, Arizona, October, 1988.


“The Progress of Ethnomusicological Studies: 1890–1990,”

  Performing Arts Circle, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay,

  7 September 1988.


Lecture Series, “The History of Ethnomusicology in Europe and the United

   States: Theories and Methods,” Seminar on Documentation of the Performing

  Arts in India, National Center for the Performing Arts, Bombay, India,

  September-October, 1988.



Lecture Series, “Western Musical Notation” Seminar on Documentation of the

  Performing Arts in India, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay,

  India, September–October, 1988.


“A Century of Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology,” The Colorado College,

  19 February 1989.


“Happy Birthday Ethnomusicology,” Trinity College, Hartford, CT,

  March 1989.


“Rajini’s Wedding: Rona (‘weeping’) and Gali (‘abuse’) in Karimpur, North

  India,” Society for Ethnomusicology, 35th Annual Meeting, Oakland, California,

  November 1990.


“Music Mix: African and Asian Songs in Felicity Trinidad, or, ‘Would You Like

  to Rocket With Me Baby?’” Trinity College, Hartford, CT, 4 December 1990.


“Theoretical Issues in Ethnomusicology: A Case Study from North India.” St. Mary’s College

  of Maryland, 15 April 1996.


“Comparative Approaches to Music Theory: ‘To Modulate or Not?’” St. Mary’s

  College of Maryland, 16 April 1996.


“Imagine All Those People: Ethnomusicology in the 1990s.” Franklin & Marshall College, 23

  April 1996.


“The Second Viennese School: An Ethnomusicologist’s Interpretation.” Franklin

  & Marshall College, 24 April 1996.







V. Gokhale: “Speaking in (Musical) Tongues,” Sunday Mid-Day, Bombay,

  18 September 1988.


S. Chaudhuri: “Sohar, Kajri, and Steel Bands: Helen Myers’ Collection of Bhojpuri

  Songs from Felicity, Trinidad,” Samvadi: Newsletter, Archive and Research

  Center for Ethnomusicology, New Delhi (Summer–Fall, 1989).


“Myers, Helen,” International Who’s Who of Musicians, 13th ed. (Cambridge,



K.B. Sullivan: “Helen Myers,” Ithaca Horizon (Spring 1991).


Ernest Kay, ed.: “Myers, Helen,” International Leaders in Achievement, 2nd ed.,

  (Cambridge, 1991).


“Myers, Helen Priscilla.” International Who’s Who in Music and Musician’s

  Directory, 14th ed., 1993.


“Myers, Helen.” Who’s Who in American Education., 4th ed., 5th ed. Philadelphia,

  Marquis (1994–95, 1995–96).


“Myers, Helen.” Who’s Who in the World, 12th ed., 13th ed., Philadelphia, 

  Marquis (1995–96, 1996–97).


“Myers, Helen.” Who’s Who of American Women, 19th ed., Philadelphia,

  Marquis (1995–96).


“Myers, Helen.” Contemporary Writers, Detroit, Gale Research Inc. (1995).


“Myers, Helen.” The International Directory of Distinguished Leadership, 6th ed.

  American Biographical Institute (1995).


“Myers, Helen.” Dictionary of International Biography, 24th ed., Cambridge (1995).


“Myers, Helen.” The World’s Who’s Who of Women, 13th ed., Cambridge (1995).


“Myers, Helen.” Who’s Who in the East, 26th ed., Philadelphia, Marquis (1996–97).


“Myers, Helen.” International Authors and Writers Who’s Who, 15th ed.

  Cambridge (1997).


“Myers, Helen.” Who’s Who in America 51st ed., 52nd ed., Philadelphia, Marquis

  (1996–97, 1997–98).


“Myers, Helen.”  Who’s Who in Entertainment, 3rd ed.,  Philadelphia, Marquis



“‘J’ai vu évoluer à Maurice la vraie culture indienne’  L’Américaine Helen Myers,

  chercheur, au Sun, elle méne une étude sur le bhojpuri à Maurice.”  The Sun,

  Port Louis, Mauritius,  18 Sept. 1996, page 1.


“Bhojpuri Bahar:  A Delight of Bhojpuri Music.” Sarita Boodhoo (Director,

  Mauritius Bhojpuri Institute), Mauritius Times, 26 Sept. 1996.


“American Scholar, Helen Myers, Visits Mauritius.” The Heritage, Mauritius

  Bhojpuri Institute, Port Louis, Summer, 1996.




I have been fortunate that my research has enriched my teaching, and equally that my teaching has informed my writings, to make them readable as well as informative.  I have been the beneficiary also of the appeal of ethnomusicology to today’s students, who are drawn to a discipline that relates knowledge to life and what they are learning to their own lives.

         Good students have been caught up by my model for a life work, although I have not been presenting it per se.  And most of my students, I believe, sense that something very important is taking place and that they are a part of it, something important about music in human life across oceans and continents.

         I believe in my subject; I believe that ethnomusicology, presented with vigor and enthusiasm, can enrich the lives of our students, that study of the world’s musics set in the cultures nourishing them can give that stretch to the eyes, ears, and mind which students, perhaps unknowingly, are seeking and which colleges and universities are duty bound, one might argue, to provide.  In this fin de siècle curriculum it is essential that students get powerful and clear messages on the nature of human diversity.  This particular power of understanding can be taught through music.  I treasure my work as a teacher as an opportunity to touch for a brief moment all those young minds, promising them tough expectations and gentle understanding.


“If I were to try to summarize some of the impressions I have of her I would have to use such words as the following:  alert, vibrant, resourceful, perceptive, highly motivated, reliable, keen, well-read, quick, witty, intelligent, energetic, disciplined, honest.”

H. Daniel Smith,  Professor of Religion, Syracuse University


“This is a very special person.” 

Professor Warren Benson, Composer, Eastman School of Music


“She has the ‘gift’”

John Platoff, Professor of Music, Trinity College