SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

William Rees Hofmann

BA (MSU Baroda) MMus (SOAS)
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William Rees Hofmann
William Rees Hofmann
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Life of Persianate Music in South Asia: Tracing The History of Hindustani Music ca. 1250 - 1600
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


William Rees Hofmann is a current Doctoral Researcher and Kamran Djam Fellowship scholar at SOAS, as well as a multi-instrumentalist specialising in both the Indian Sarod and the Afghan Rubab. He has been studying sarod for the past ten years under the tutelage of Satyam Rai, and has been a student of the noted rabab player and ethnomusicologist John Baily since 2013. Hofmann earned a BA in Hindustani Vocal Music from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Gujarat, and also holds an MMus degree from SOAS in Sarod and Rubab Performance. Rees has performed internationally both solo and with various ensembles, including at the Jaipur Literature Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe.

PhD Research

My research focuses on the circulation of musical and literary culture between Hindustan and the wider Persianate world which lead to the development of Hindustani classical music in its recognised modern form. By looking at the interaction between musicians and poets across these two cultural spheres, I hope to shed light on how the transmission of knowledge through musical and literary forms led to the creation of a Persianised Hindustani music and the extent to which this exchange affected local musical culture. During the 2017/18 academic year I will be conducting archival fieldwork research in Iran, India, and Pakistan.


  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology
  • British Institute of Persian Studies



  • Historical Ethnomusicology
  • Performance