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Ajmal Mughal awarded Carolyn and Franco Gianturco Graduate Scholarship to pursue a DPhil in Musicology

The Carolyn and Franco Gianturco Graduate Scholarship was established in 2012 through an innovative matched funding initiative. The scholarship, which provides full funding for a three-year DPhil in Music, is awarded to applicants who demonstrate excellent academic ability, who will contribute to the University’s ground-breaking research, and who will go on to contribute to the world as leaders in their field, pushing the frontiers of knowledge.

Ajmal told us a bit about his educational journey, his reasons for studying music, and what he aims to research in his DPhil:

“I am a first-batch student and a faculty member at the first and only Department of Musicology in Pakistan established in The National College of Arts, Lahore back in 2002. The department was established with a vision to critically examine the dying tradition of art music in Pakistan. I completed my Bachelors in Musicology in 2005 and was particularly interested in how developments in music cognition, perception and experience are beneficial for improving the quality of music. I was looking for a programme with a blend of aesthetics, history and modern scientific inquiry regarding music and the University of Oxford had this unique combination with considerable flexibility in the Masters programme. I am of the view that my exposure and training at Oxford will help me upgrade the research culture back in my country. I also hope that in future, I will become a bridge to foster a productive institutional relationship between the National College of Arts and the University of Oxford.”

“My focus for my DPhil will be to write a history of South Asian art music in Pakistan since its inception. It will be the first ever thorough engagement with the topic in my country and will help in understanding the journey of music and the factors that influenced it in the last 75 years. I hope that my work will highlight the reasons for its present decline and will contribute to a way forward. My DPhil will also help to commence the first doctoral programme in Musicology in Pakistan.”