Elizabeth Jane Markham

Elizabeth Jane Markham


J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-7955

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Elizabeth Markham (Ph.D. University of Cambridge, England) is an historical ethnomusicologist working on music and culture in East Asia with a focus on the court and temple arts in medieval Japan. She is particularly interested in prosody and melody in poetry, chant and song, and in the oral and the written in performance and transmission.

Wider interests and her teaching emphases include historical ethnomusicology, cross-cultural musical encounters and musical thought in 19th-century Europe, aesthetic concepts in Japanese performing arts, analytical approaches to world musics, and comparative music theory. 

  • Heian Japan (794–1192)
  • Reading Japanese Noh as Cultural History
  • Edo Japan (1600-1868): Music and the Arts
  • The Recluse in Early East Asia
  • Texts and Transmission: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Ph.D., University of Cambridge, England

B.A.(Hons), University of Otago, New Zealand

  • What the Doctor Overheard: Dr Leopold Müller's Account of Music in Early Meiji Japan. Translated, edited with prefaces and a postface by Elizabeth Markham, Naoko Terauchi, and Rembrandt Wolpert. Ithaca, NY: Cornell East Asia Series 185, 2017.
  • Saibara - Japanese Court Songs of the Heian Period. 2 vols. 1983. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Music from the Tang Court: Transcribed from the original unpublished Sino-Japanese manuscripts together with a survey of relevant historical sources (both Chinese and Japanese) and with editorial comments. 7 vols; continuing series. Edited by Laurence E. R. Picken and Rembrandt F. Wolpert, Allan J. Marett, Jonathan Condit, Elizabeth J. Markham, Yôko Mitani, Steven Jones, Noël Nickson; and with (for vol. 7) N. Gray, M. Okamoto, and R. Walker. 
    Vol. 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981 
    Vol. 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985/2009 (reprint) 
    Vol. 3, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985/2009 (reprint) 
    Vol. 4, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987/2009 (reprint) 
    Vol. 5, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990/2009 (reprint) 
    Vol. 6, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997/2007 (reprint) 
    Vol. 7, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000/2007 (reprint)
  • "Medieval Chinese hymns in Japanese Buddhist liturgy: Structure and ornament". In Medieval Sacred Chant: from Japan to Portugal-Canto sacro medieval: do Japão a Portugal, edited by Manuel P. Ferreira, 11-44. Lisbon: Edições Colibri, 2008
  • “Developing a NeumeScribe for Sino-Japanese Buddhist musical notations'”. In Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 23 (2010), pp. 167--182. (With Rembrandt F. Wolpert)
  • "Delighting in an Art of Sino-Japanese Musical ‘Doubleness’ in Premodern Japan”,  The Journal of Rhythms, Official Journal of the Japan Institute of Rhythm, pp. 4–24 (2014)
  • Critical Forum review essay: D. R. Widdess: Dapha: Sacred Singing in a South Asia City: Music, Meaning and Performance in Bhaptapur, Nepal, (Farnham, Surry and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing)}}, Music Analysis 36.2 (2017), pp. 296–309.
  • “A Remark on Müller’s Interactive Gagaku Study Score”. In What the Doctor Overhead (see above) (2017), pp. 291–301. (With Rembrandt F. Wolpert)
  • “A Schematic Musical Form for Singing Buddhist Hymns in the ‘Bilingual’ Literary Culture of Early Japan”, in Cantus Planus, edited by James Borders, Venice. (Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi) (in press)
  • The Songs of Chinese Poet and Musician Jiang Kui (1155-1221). (With Rembrandt F. Wolpert and Yang Yuanzheng) (in preparation)

Before coming to the University of Arkansas in 2000 she held research positions as Research Fellow at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge (England), Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Würzburg (Germany), and Leverhulme Fellow at the Queen's University of Belfast (Ireland). She spent a year of fieldwork as a novice in the gagaku orchestra of Kasuga Taisha in Nara (Japan), and she was twice a longer term guest (as a reader and invited professor) of the Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University (Japan). She undertakes ethnomusicological field work and archival research in Japan, China, and Europe. Recently she was back in Cambridge as Visiting Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College (2014-2015)

Department of History Faculty Research Stipend Award (2017)

Harvard-Yenching Library Travel Grant Program Award (2015-2016)

Fulbright College Master Researcher Award (2014)

Fulbright College Faculty Fellowship (2014-2015)

Outstanding Mentor Award (Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, Unversity of Arkansas, 2011, 2012 and 2015)

Mentor Recognition Award, University of San Diego (2007)