Associate Professor of Music
New Academic Building 102
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Degrees: PHD, 2004, Univ Rome; MA, 1996, Univ Rome
Dr. Francesca Cassio
Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology and Associate Professor of Music at Hofstra University, New York.
Francesca Cassio is a scholar and singer with expertise in Indian music. Trained in both the Western and Indian music cultures, her work combines the theoretical and practical aspects of music as well as Western and Asian approaches. She has lectured, performed in concerts and made recordings in India, America and Europe.
Dr. Cassio earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Università La Sapienza di Roma (Italy), in affiliation with Benares Hindu University (India).
Since 1991, Dr. Cassio has conducted extensive research in India, where she lived and has been professionally trained in classical vocal music and in the Sikh repertoire, according to the Guru-Shishya Parampara (“teacher-student”) tradition.
Dr. Cassio is disciple of legendary masters of the 20th century: Padma Bhushan Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar, Padma Bhushan Vidushi. Girija Devi, and the Hazoori Ragi Bhai Gurcharan Singh. Dr. Cassio also received extensive training in vocal and percussion tradition by Bhai Baldeep Singh, the 13th generation exponent of Gurbānī kirtanyas. She is one of the few Westerners performing and teaching the traditional Sikh Gurus’ repertoire in India, Europe and the United States.
Prior to joining the Hofstra faculty, she served as a visiting professor in musicology at Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan, India; lecturer of ethnomusicology at the University of Trento, Italy; lecturer of anthropology of music at the Conservatory of Adria, Italy; and lecturer of ethnomusicology and Indian music at the Vicenza Conservatory of Music, Italy.
Author of a book on dhrupad (medieval genre of Indian classical music), Dr. Cassio, in more than twenty years of research, has worked extensively and written about Indian music (Gurbānī sangīt, dhrupad, Rabindra sangīt, thumrī, semi-classical, folk and devotional repertoires), the yoga of sound, music therapy, gender studies, intercultural education, ethnomusicology and music pedagogy.