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.

Through a combination of archival research, musical analysis, and ethnographic fieldwork, his work develops alternative, interpretative, and multimedia lenses that complicate pop music narratives and histories.

Gabrillo’s research has been published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Musical Quarterly, and Rock Music Studies. He has forthcoming work for the Oxford Handbook of Arrangement Studies, the Routledge Companion to Radio Studies, the edited collection Articulating Media: Genealogy, Interface, Situation, the book Hip-Hop Archives: The Politics and Poetics of Knowledge Production, and the International Journal of Communication. His current book project, Pop Convergence, examines musical flows in contemporary Manila.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Gabrillo worked as a journalist and editor for various publications, including The National, Al Jazeera English, 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

Articulating Media: Genealogy, Interface, Situation, book collection co-edited with Nathaniel Zetter, for the Technographies series of Open Humanities Press, forthcoming.

“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, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“Radyo Tanudan: Sonic Collectivities in a Philippine Village,” chapter for the Routledge Companion to Radio and Podcast Studies, edited by Mia Lindgren and Jason Loviglio, Routledge, 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 and Murray Forman, Intellect Books, forthcoming.

“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).

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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