SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Aurélie Solenne Gandour

BSc (Poitiers, France), MSc (Poitiers, France)
  • Research


Aurélie Gandour
Aurélie Solenne Gandour
Email address:
Thesis title:
Mixed-gender barbershop singing: Shifting tradition through the performative negotiations of gender (working title)
Year of Study:
2 (P/T)
Internal Supervisors


Aurélie Gandour is a doctoral researcher in SOAS' music department. Her research is concerned with mixed-gender barbershop singing, a new occurrence in an a cappella genre which is usually practiced in gender-segregated ensembles. Aurélie sings in the barbershop style with award-winning chorus London City Singers, as well as with Endeavour Chorus and Interference quartet. She is a former academic librarian and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

PhD Research

Barbershop harmony is a type of four-part a cappella close harmony made popular in the 1890s-1910s in the United States. It has survived to this day via dedicated associations and a complex global network of contests.

The most recent development in barbershop is mixed-gender singing. Seemingly innocuous, this move has profoundly unsettled this inherently conservative practice, providing an opportunity for the close examination of emerging gender performativities, manifest in particular in the attribution of the voice.

This project will use ethnomusicological and historical research methods in order to observe the musical and social transformations inherent to the emergence of mixed-gender singing in the barbershop community.


  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology
  • Society for Ethnomusicology
  • AdvanceHE (Higher Education Academy)


  • Barbershop singing
  • Popular music
  • Voice
  • Gender performance
  • Performance studies