Music History Lecturer Sonia Gaind-Krishnan

Sonia Gaind-Krishnan

Assistant Professor of Practice

Sonia Gaind-Krishnan is a graduate of the New York University music program. Her dissertation "Sound Medicine: Musico-Medical Ontologies and Healing in the Era of Disbelief" sits at the intersection of medical ethnomusicology and sound studies. Her areas of research include listening practices among Chishti Sufis in North India and Pakistan; gender and voice in popular music studies of the South Asian diaspora; affect, embodiment and the philosophy of the New Materialism; and pan-cultural epistemologies of sound and well-being. 

Dr. Krishnan was the recipient of a Henry M. MacCracken fellowship for graduate study at NYU as well a Critical Language Scholarship for Urdu study in Lucknow, India. She has an abiding interest in language and writing style and has worked for a number of years as a writing consultant and editor in both academic and creative contexts. She has served as editorial assistant for the journal Asian Music and is the current editor of the SEM Newsletter, a quarterly publication of the Society for Ethnomusicology. 

Her writing and past publications explore questions of relating—in conditions of liminality and configurations variously defined as “love.” Dr. Krishnan is a recipient of the Society for Asian Music’s Martin Hatch Prize in 2019 for her paper “Material Bodies and Listening Selves: Sama’ as Healing Technology at Nizamuddin” which is currently in preparation for publication.

Her present projects include serving as co-editor of and contributor to the forthcoming edited volume "Beyond Medical Ethnomusicology." She has served as co-chair of the South Asian Performing Arts (SAPA) Section and the Medical Ethnomusicology Special Interest Group of SEM. She is an active poet, songwriter and vocalist in both Western choral and Hindustani classical and semi-classical styles.


BA 2005 University of California at Berkeley (music)

MM 2008 University of Texas at Austin (ethnomusicology)

PhD 2021 New York University (ethnomusicology and sound studies)