Margaret Kartomi

Professor Margaret Kartomi

  • Post Nominals: AM, FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 1982
  • Section(s): Asian Studies, Arts


Margaret Kartomi pioneered the teaching and research of Asian music in Australia. She trained as a pianist, composer, musicologist and ethnomusicologist at Adelaide and Humbolt Universities. She has deposited recordings from various provinces of Indonesia in the National Library in Jakarta. She has twice been elected President of the Musicological Society, is a Council member of the Society for Ethnomusicology and is an Editorial Board member of the University of Chicago Press Ethnomusicology Monograph Series.

Her research interests focus on musicological and ethnomusicological theory, organology, historiography, ethnomusicology of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and Aboriginal Australian children’s music. She is the winner of the Prix du Disque of the German Government for best ethnographic record (Sumatran Mandailing music) 1983 and co-winner in 1999. Professor Kartomi was convenor of the Symposium of the International Musicological Society in 1988 and 2004. She is a member of the National Committee of the Musicological Society of Australia, the International Musicological Society, the American Musicological Society, the International Council for Traditional Music, and the Society for Ethnomusicology.

In 1991 Professor Kartomi was inducted as a Member (AM) of The Order of Australia for services to music and in 2003 received the Centenary Medal for services to music and Southeast Asian Studies.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.