The Wizard of Oud - A Case Study of Sydney-Based Oud Player Joseph Tawadros


  • Dr. Brent Keogh Macquarie University


world music, agency, market positioning, identity


This article is a case study of Sydney based oud player Joseph Tawadros. The discussion centres on the strategic market positioning of this musician and the use of identity as a tool for navigating patronage within the local and international music economies. This study observes the ways in which Tawadros embraces multiple identity positions, reinscribing himself and his instrument within the dominant narratives of art music in Australia, and considers how this may have helped him gain access to different forms of patronage. By reference to media interviews and interviews conducted with the author, this case study presents him as a musician who skilfully adopts and invokes various musical identities and identities tied to nationalism. These have helped Tawadros navigate diverse musical categories and mainstream media. This paper uses the Tawadros case study to explore the strategies used by musicians associated with World Music, Multicultural arts and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse arts in Australia.

Author Biography

Dr. Brent Keogh, Macquarie University

In 2008 Keogh completed his honours thesis in the application of the right hand techniques of North Indian lutes and their application to contemporary guitar playing, and received a First-Class Honours for this thesis. Keogh has lectured in the subjects PSY250 and Mus 851 (Masters of Improvisation) and at the Australian Institute of Music on the topic of Improvisation in Arabic music. In 2009, Keogh began studying the oud and Egyptian maqam system with Sydney based oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros, and have since performed with percussionist Tony Lewis, violinist Anna McDonald and multi-instrumentalist Samir Maarbani. At age 26, Keogh is currently in the final year of the thesis studying the political economy of World Music in Australia. Keogh has presented research papers at the MSA Symposium held at UWS, the 2010 IASPM Conference held at Monash University, 2011 IASPM at Victoria University in Wellington, and the In and Out of Place Postgraduate Conference held at UTS.




How to Cite

Keogh, B. (2022). The Wizard of Oud - A Case Study of Sydney-Based Oud Player Joseph Tawadros. Journal of Music Research Online, 6. Retrieved from