DrJames Félix

Dr James Félix

Lecturer, Music
James Felix
  • PhD (Music), University of Leeds, UK
  • Master of Music (Musicology), Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, UK
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, UK
  • BA (Hons) Music, University of Nottingham, UK

Dr James Félix is an ethnomusicologist, educator, classical guitarist and conductor with a particular interest in the relationship between music and identity.

Originally from Coventry, UK, he trained as a classical guitarist, pursuing undergraduate studies at the University of Nottingham. Following this, he undertook a Master of Music degree in Musicology at Birmingham Conservatoire, where his research explored the role of Hungarian folk music in the large-scale orchestral and choral works of Zoltán Kodály. He later obtained his PhD from the University of Leeds, where his research focused on the notion of authenticity in Portuguese fado music.

Since 2018, Dr Félix has been a part-time lecturer at LASALLE before receiving a full-time appointment in 2022. He teaches critical thinking and contextual studies modules at both diploma and undergraduate levels and oversees the Dissertation module in the School of Contemporary Music.

His research has addressed notions of authenticity, value, tradition and innovation in folk music. He is particularly interested in the construction and negotiation of identity and the relationship between different forms of identity and musical practices among professional musicians and students. He is currently exploring Portuguese musical traditions in postcolonial Southeast Asia, with a focus on the musical traditions of Timor Leste.

  • Review of João Silva, Entertaining Lisbon: Music, Theater & Modern Life in the Late 19th Century in Cultural History (Volume 7, Issue 1), pp. 109–111 (2018)
  • Folk or Fake: The Notion of Authenticity in Portuguese Fado PhD (Thesis: University of Leeds) (2015)
  • Paupers, Poets and Prostitutes: The Evolving Identity of the Fadista, in Assembling Identities, ed. Sam Wiseman, pp. 35–44 (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars) (2014)
  • Zoltán Kodály: The Nationalism of ‘Classical Folk Music’ (unpublished Master's Thesis, Birmingham City University [Birmingham Conservatoire]) (2009)
  • Various articles on www.worldmusic.net as editor and contributor (uncredited)
Research Papers (select)
  • Transferable Authenticity: New Perspectives on the “Inauthentic” in Folk Music, 57th RMA Annual Conference (2021)
  • Identity Interrupted: Negotiating Artistic Identities in the Time of COVID-19, Arrhythmia: Performance Pedagogy and Practice (2021)
  • Music of the People, Music of a Person: An Ethnomusicological Approach to Developing Understanding and Appreciation in Popular Music Education, scheduled to be presented at Association of Popular Music Education’s 2020 Conference [Postponed due to COVID-19] (2020)
  • Present and Past, Present and Absent: Emotional Communication and Authenticity in Portuguese Fado’, Performers(‘) Present Research Symposium (2016)
  • Paupers, Poets and Prostitutes: The Evolving Identity of the Fadista, Assembling Identities Research Conference (2013)
  • Folk or Fake: The Effects of Professionalisation on the Perception of Authenticity in Portuguese Fado, PCRN European Popular Musics Research Cluster Symposium (2011)
  • The Evolution of Fado: A New Approach to Old Fado, IASPM Postgraduate Conference (2011)
  • Fado Na Alma – Fado Autentico, RMA Postgraduate Conference (2011)
  • Psalmus Hungaricus – Where Sacred and Secular Meet, Birmingham Conservatoire Postgraduate Research Day (2009)
Research Interests
  • Portuguese fado
  • Authenticity in folk music
  • Pedagogy of ethnomusicology
  • Music of Timor Leste
  • Music and identity