Noel Lobley

Noel Lobley

Associate Professor (Critical & Comparative Studies)

Wilson 109
Office Hours: Currently on Research Leave Until Fall 2024


Noel Lobley is an ethnomusicologist, sound curator and artist who works across the disciplines of music, anthropology, sound art and composition to develop creative local economies through a series of international curatorial residencies. Through extensive fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa, much of his creative practice takes ethnographic sound and music recordings out of archives for re-purposing back among communities. Noel has collaborated with musicians, sound artists, DJs, choreographers and composers in South Africa, the UK and throughout Europe and the US to develop creative and ethical ways for recordings to be experienced in spaces ranging from art galleries, festivals and museums, to schools, rainforests and township street corners.

Noel previously worked as a sound curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, lecturing in both music and anthropology, and where he continues to serve as a Research Associate. He has served on the committee of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, is an appointed member of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Ethnomusicology and Ethnochorelogy committee, and was awarded the 2015 Curl Lectureship at the Royal Anthropological Institute. He also has twenty years’ experience working as a DJ and in radio and the music industry. 

Noel has published in a range of ethnomusicology, anthropology and sound studies journals and produced work for other public media. He is author of Sound Fragments: From Field Recording to African Electronic Stories (Wesleyan University Press, Spring 2022), a multiple award-winning monograph that explores creative responses to colonial sound archives in contemporary South Africa.


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176