Dr Philip Ciantar

Dr Philip Ciantar

Dr Philip Ciantar


Senior Lecturer

Room 125
Old Humanities Building (OH)
University of Malta
  +356 2340 2987
Philip Ciantar is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music Studies, School of Performing Arts (University of Malta) where he teaches ethnomusicology and related areas. Following his first degree from the University of Malta, he furthered his musical studies at the University of Durham (UK) where he graduated with an MA in ethnomusicology. He also holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Sheffield. His research interests lie in the areas of Andalusian music; Mediterranean music of the oral tradition; Maltese popular music; music and colonialism; the transmission of musical knowledge; and musical analysis in world music studies. His publications include articles in a variety of journals and edited volumes, as well as entries in leading music encyclopedias. Among his publications are two monographs: The Ma’lūf in Contemporary Libya: An Arab Andalusian Musical Tradition (Ashgate 2012; Routledge 2016) and Studies in Maltese Popular Music (Routledge 2021).

In addition to his research, Dr Ciantar is also active in musical composition and produced a number of works for voice, symphonic orchestras, brass ensembles, concert bands, and string orchestras. Some of these compositions are published by Universal Edition (Vienna). He is a member on the scholarly editorial board of the online encyclopedia 'Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart' (MGG) ['Music in the Past and Present'] and Liaison Officer for Malta of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM).
  • Andalusian Music
  • Mediterranean Music of the Oral Tradition
  • The Transmission of Musical Knowledge
  • Music and Colonialism
  • World Music Analysis
  • Maltese Popular Music
  • MSP1263 - World Music Theories
  • MSP2064 - Ethnomusicology
  • MSP2132 - Oral Music Traditions of the Mediterranean
  • MSP2155 - Areas of Study in Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • MSP3116 - Music and Meaning
  • MSP3121 - Maltese Popular Music
Selected Performed Compositions

2019. 'Ja Baħar' ('O Sea'). An aleatory for solo clarinet. First Performance by Luca Cipriano
at the Universita' degli Studi di Roma, Tor Vergata (May 2019). Duration: 5 minutes.
[Published by Universal Edition]

2017. 'Deformation'. A composition for concert band. First Performance by the University of
Malta Wind Ensemble at the University of Malta (October 2017). Duration: 3 minutes.

2014. 'Doqquli n-Noti Tqal'. A triptych for baritone voice and clarinet (with optional
percussion) on words by Oliver Friggieri. First Performance by Noel Camilleri (clarinet),
Miguel Rosales (baritone), and Luke Baldacchino (percussion) at the University of Malta (June
2014). Duration: 10 minutes.

2009. 'Fil-Bar tal-Kantuniera'. A classical song for soprano and piano on words by Oliver
Friggieri. First performance by Rosabelle Bianchi (soprano) and Alexei Galea Cavallazzi
(piano) at Sala Isouard, Valletta (December 2009). Recorded on CD 'Riflessi–Art Songs from
Malta'(2015)(Miriam Cauchi, Soprano; Maria Frendo, Piano). Duration: 6 minutes. [Published by
Universal Edition]

2008. 'Fanfare for Orchestra'. A free-standing composition for orchestra. First performance
by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Laus at The Palace, Valletta
(January 2009). Duration: 4 minutes [Published by Universal Edition]

2006. 'Istiftāh' ('Opening'). An aleatory for solo alto saxophone.
First performance by Joseph Vella at the University of Malta (July 2006). Duration: 3

1997. 'A Song for Sunset'. A free-standing composition for string orchestra. First
performance by the Malta Johann Strauss School of Music Orchestra conducted by Mario
Bisazza at St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral, Valletta (May 1998). Duration: 4 minutes. [Published by
Universal Edition]

1996. 'Għar Dalam'. A suite in three movements for concert band. First performance by the La
Valette Band conducted by Joseph Sammut at the Catholic Institute, Floriana (November 1997).
Recorded on CD by The University of Sheffield Wind Orchestra conducted by Anthony Houghton
(2009). Duration: 8 minutes [Published by Universal Edition]