James Gabrillo

Portrait of James Gabrillo

Assistant Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology

James Gabrillo is a pop music researcher of global culture industries and digital technologies. He was previously a lecturer at The New School and a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. He earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge.

His book project Pop Convergence (under contract with Oxford University Press) examines the aesthetics and networks of musical multimedia in contemporary Manila.

Gabrillo’s research has been published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Musical Quarterly, Rock Music Studies, American Music Perspectives, and the Routledge Companion to Radio and Podcast Studies.

He has forthcoming work in the collections Articulating Media: Genealogy, Interface, Situation, the Oxford Handbook of Arrangement Studies, and Hip-Hop Archives: The Politics and Poetics of Knowledge Production.

Gabrillo previously worked as a journalist and editor for various publications including The National and Al Jazeera English. His multimedia work has also appeared on Rolling Stone Italia, Wired, and The Japan Times.

MUS 303P 
Global Pop Music

MUS 342 / FA 371
Pop Music Criticism & Journalism

MUS 342 / MUS 380 / ANS 361
Music of the Philippines

MUS 385J
Music and Digital Humanities

  “Turn to Kitsch: Eat Bulaga! and the Arrangement of Musical Humor in Philippine Television,” chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Arrangement Studies, edited by Ryan Bañagale, forthcoming.
   “The Ballad of ‘Grandmaster PH’: Contesting Narratives and Lost Archives in Philippine Hip-Hop,” chapter for Hip-Hop Archives: The Politics and Poetics of Knowledge Production, edited by Mark V. Campbell & Murray Forman, Intellect Books, forthcoming.
   “Radyo Tanudan: Sonic Collectivities in a Philippine Village,” chapter for the Routledge Companion to Radio and Podcast Studies, edited by Mia Lindgren & Jason Loviglio, 2022.
   “Stepping onto the Pop Dance Floor,” American Music Perspectives, 1/2 (Dec 2021), 201-210.
   “Rak en Rol: The Influence of Psychedelic Culture in Philippine Music,” Rock Music Studies, special issue on Global Psychedelia and Counterculture, edited by Kevin Moist, 5/3 (Sep 2018), 257-274.
   “The Sound and Spectacle of Philippine Presidential Elections, 1953-1998,” Musical Quarterly, 100/3-4 (Jul 2018), 297-339.
   “The Rapper Is Present: Sound Art, Liveness, and the Negotiation of Identity in Jay Z’s ‘Picasso Baby’,” Journal of Popular Music Studies, 29/1 (Mar 2017).

Contact Information

Campus location
MRH 3.746

Teaching Areas

Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Research Areas

Popular Music

Digital Cultures

Multimedia Technologies

Sound Studies


Doctor of Philosophy
University of Cambridge

Master of Philosophy 
University of Cambridge

Bachelor of Arts 
University of the Philippines Diliman