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  • Centre d'Etudes Himalayennes
    UPR 299 - CNRS
  • Campus Condorcet
  • 2, cours des Humanités
  • 93322 Aubervilliers Cedex
  • France
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Contact : singhini [at]

The work of Franck Bernede, a cellist and ethnomusicologist, focuses on music and ritual dances from the Himalayas. It is mainly centred on technical processes of divinisation of art in two contrasted geo-cultural areas, the Kathmandu Valley and regions of the central Himalayas (western Nepal and Indian Uttaranchal).

Founder and director of Singhini Research Centre, an association specialised in Himalayan cultures, Franck Bernede coordinated two research programmes within this organisation : the first about Gen Pyakhan, a traditional dance from the Kathmandu Valley. The second focused on a comparative study of manuscripts related to Nasahdyoh worship, the Newar god of music and dance. Franck Bernede prepared a multimedia database on musical traditions and dances in the Himalayas in the framework of a project financed by the Quai Branly museum.

Keywords : ethnomusicology ; music ; trance ; musical structures ; epics ; ritual dances ; Newars ; Nasahdyoh

Fieldwork : Himalayas ; India ; Uttaranchal ; Nepal ; Valley of Kathmandu

Main publications

– 1997, “Music and Identity among the Maharjan Farmers”, in Bernède, F. (éd.,) Himalayan Music, State of the Art, A special double issue of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, CNRS, Paris ; SOAS, London ; SAI, Heidelberg. pp 21-56.

– 1997b, Bardes de l’Himalaya, Epopées et Musique de Transe. CNR 2741080 [Le Chant du Monde, Collection du CNRS et du Musée de L’Homme].

– 2002, "Le geste divinisé : regards sur la transe ritualisée au Kumaon (Himalaya occidental)", Cahiers de Musiques Traditionnelles 14. Genève. pp. 143-66.

Site introducing the Singhini centre’s activities, ethnomusicological bibliography and discography of the Himalayan area, presentation and promotion of the Singhini ensemble’s traditional shows
Photograph gallery of the Singhini Centre’s activities
On-line videos of the Newah Nakhah show
Mini-website presenting extracts of the Newah Nakhah show