Dr Min Yen Ong

Min Yen Ong joined the Oxford Faculty of Music in 2023, after holding faculty and research positions at the University of Cambridge. She is an ethnomusicologist with regional interests in Pacific Island cultures (Hawaiʻi and Fiji) and the music of East Asia (with a focus on China). She gained her PhD in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London, and went on to lecture at the University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield and University of Liverpool. Min studied music as an undergraduate at the University of Bristol and also holds a Master’s degree from SOAS. 


Min is interested in the role that music plays in asserting identity and articulating resistance. Her research is informed by notions of belonging, nostalgia, sustainability, agency, resilience, and contestations of place. Within this context, she has examined China’s intangible cultural heritage safeguarding policies and the pivotal role that literati-amateurs have played in safeguarding Chinese kunqu opera. In the Pacific, she is interested in processes of decolonisation (reclamation of place, culture and knowledge; renaming, etc.) through music and dance, media and the use of the vernacular. Her research includes how social media and collaborative music videos work as mobilising structures in the native Hawaiian struggle for self-determination through the reclaiming of place, as well as the efficacious use of music to rebuild communities in the Pacific affected by climate change and natural disasters. Min has presented her research in many countries and published in various edited volumes. She is also co-editor of Sound Communities in the Asia Pacific: Music, Media, and Technology (Bloomsbury, 2021). 

In addition to being an educator, she is also interested in practice-based work to empower people and aid communities confronted by global structures of inequality. She has experience working within UNESCO and in various sectors of the music industry in London, as well as abroad. These experiences have included international music publishing, recording, editorial work and film composer management. She is also a classically-trained pianist and oboist. 

Min identifies as British-Chinese with Singapore and Guyanese roots. She is married to a native Hawaiian.  

No current publications to display 

Music and agency, history and memory, place-making, naming and renaming, indigeneity, intangible cultural heritage, sustainability, belonging.