Donna Buchanan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Associate Professor, School of Music

Donna A. Buchanan is Associate Professor of music and director of the music ensemble “Balkanalia” at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches courses in ethnomusicology and the musical cultures of the Balkans, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. She is the author of "Performing Democracy: Bulgarian Music and Musicians in Transition" (University of Chicago Press, 2006; with accompanying CD-ROM) and an edited collection, "Balkan Popular Music and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourse" (Scarecrow Press, 2007; with accompanying VCD).


Areas of Expertise

Musical Cultures of the Balkans (including Greece and Turkey), the Mediterranean, Russia, the Caucasus (especially Georgia), and the Arab Middle East. Primary specialization is in the music cultures of Bulgaria.


Countries Covered

Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Russia, the former Soviet Union, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Levant


Potential Lecture Topics

  • "Music and Islam"
  • "The Mevlev: (Whirling Dervishes)"
  • "Call to Prayer and Qur'anic Recitation"
  • Lectures and demos/performances on musical instruments, genres, etc., of the region
  • "Ottoman Turkey and the Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven"
  • "Bulkan Islam" (Bosnia, especially, but also Muslim minority communities in Bulgaria)
  • "Ottoman Impact on Musical and Cultural Practices Throughout the Former Empire"
  • "Bulkan Pop Music"