Brian Schrag, PhD

Brian Schrag

Contact Info

Phone: (972) 708-7517

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Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Ethnomusicology, 2005
  • M.A., Wheaton College (IL), MA Intercultural Communications, Summa Cum Laude, 1987
  • B.S., Brown University, Cognitive Science, Magna Cum Laude, 1984

Current Positions

  • International Coordinator for Ethnomusicology and the Arts, SIL International (2006– )
  • Adjunct Professor, Dallas International University (2006– )

Other Experience

  • Ethnomusicology consultant, Cameroon, 2002–2006
  • Linguist/Ethnomusicologist, DR Congo, 1992–1998
  • Editor, Catalyst & Research Library, 1996–2000
  • Editor, EMNews, 1995–1997
  • Course developer, “Music and Cross-Cultural Communication,” 1990–1992


  • Society for Ethnomusicology
  • International Society for Traditional Musics
  • International Council of Ethnodoxologists

Language Proficiency

  • English native speaker
  • French Level 3
  • Lingala (DR Congo) Level 2.5
  • Mono (DR Congo) Level 2

Research Interests

  • Indigenous hymnody
  • Communication theory
  • Revitalization movements
  • Cognition
  • Applied ethnomusicology
  • Africa

Selected Publications 

Publications in SIL International Bibliography

2016. “Music in the Newer Churches.” In The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Christianity, edited by Lamin Sanneh and Michael McClymond, 359-367. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell.

2015. “A Triple Insider’s Take on Arts Therapy, Arts-based Community Development, and Huntington’s Disease.” Voices 15(3).

2015. “Motivations and Methods for Encouraging Artists in Longer Traditions.” In Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology, edited by Jeff Todd Titon and Svanibor Pettan, 317-347. Oxford University Press.

2013. “How Artists Create Enduring Traditions.” In Resiliency and Distinction: Beliefs, Endurance and Creativity in the Musical Arts of Continental and Diasporic Africa. A Festschrift in Honor of Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, edited by Kimasi L. Browne and Jean N. Kidula, 415–444. Richmond, CA: MRI Press.

2013. Krabill, James R., managing ed.; Frank Fortunato, Robin Harris, and Brian Schrag, eds. Worship and Mission for the Global Church: An Ethnodoxology Handbook. Pasadena: William Carey Library.

2013. Creating Local Arts Together: A Manual to Help Communities Reach Their Kingdom Goals. General editor, James R. Krabill. Pasadena: William Carey Library.

2010. With Kenneth S. Olson, Barbara Schrag, Ama Geangozo Mbanza, Kilio Tembenekuzu, Roger E. Olson, Marjorie Liedtke, Judy Kuntz & Lars Huttar. “Mono 2000-item digital wordlist: Presentation form. SIL Language and Culture Documentation and Description 6. 2000. “Grooving at the Nexus: The Intersection of African Music and Euro-American Ethnomusicology at UCLA.” UCLA Ethnomusicology Department. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles.

2007a. Review of Journey of Song: Public Life and Morality in Cameroon by Clare A. Ignatowski. 2006. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. African Music 8(1):114-115.

2007b. “Why Local Arts are Central to Mission.” International Journal of Frontier Missiology 24(4): 199-202.

2005. How Bamiléké Music-Makers Create Culture in Cameroon. Ph.D. dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles.

2003. With Neil Coulter. “Response to ‘Ethnomusicology as Tool for the Christian Missionary’.” In European Meetings in Ethnomusicology 10: 98-108.

2000. With Kenneth S. Olson. “An overview of Mono phonology.” In Proceedings from the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics, Leipzig 1997, ed. by H. Ekkehard Wolff and Orin Gensler, 393-409. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.

1998. “Mono Creativity: The Commissioning and Composition of Three Songs.” Research Review (Legon, Ghana) Supplementary Issue No. 10.

1996. “Toward a Generative Analysis of Rhythm: A Review of African Polyphony and Polyrhythm [Simha Arom].” EMNews 5(1).

1994. “Toward a Model for the Evaluation of the Cultural Strength of Various Musics.” Notes on Anthropology and Intercultural Community Work 16:3-14.

1992. “Translating Song Texts as Oral Compositions. ”Notes on Translation 6 (1):44-62.

1989. “Becoming Bi-musical: The Importance And Possibility Of Missionary Involvement In Music.” Missiology 17:311-320.

Selected Papers Presented

2015. “Ethnoarts Community Therapy: Local Artistry, Imagination, and Appreciative Inquiry in the Service of Justice and Health.” Paper presented at the SEM-ICTM Forum, Limerick, Ireland.

2015. “Teaching Worship, Engaging Worshippers.” Panel member at the National Worship Leaders Conference “Pre-Conference Symposium: Studying and Teaching Worship.”

2015. “Why are Mission and Arts Inseparable?” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society, Dallas, Texas.

2013. “A Method to Integrate Bible Translation into Holistic Community Development.” Paper presented at the Bible Translation 2013 conference, Dallas, Texas.

2013. “Participation, Autogenesis, Ethnoarts, and Practicality: Ideas and Tools that Minority Communities Can Use to Improve their Futures.” Panel organized for the biannual meeting of the International Council for Traditional Music, Shanghai, China.

2010. “Training for Advocacy in Minority Arts.” Paper presented at the second meeting of the International Council for Traditional Music’s Applied Ethnomusicology study group, Hanoi, Vietnam.

2009a. “Research, Co-Creation, and Love in Local Arts Advocacy.”  Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Southern Plains chapter, University of North Texas.

2009b. “Musical Invigoration of Cultural Dynamism in a Bamiléké Dance Association.” Paper presented at the biannual Meeting of the International Council for Traditional Music, Durban, South Africa.

2008. “Art, Missions, & the Cross-Cultural Incarnation of the Gospel.” On panel at the “Transforming Culture: A Vision for the Church and the Arts” symposium, Austin, Texas.

2007a. “How Musicians Create Culture and Why They’re Not God.” Paper presented at the “Celebrate Africa/Jabulani Afrika! Project” symposium, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

2007b. “Performing the Truth: Why Local Arts are Central to Mission.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Orality Network, Orlando, Florida.

2006. With Dan Fitzgerald. “Yeah, but is it any good? The role of criticism in Christian song composition and performance.” Presented at the Global Consultation on Music and Missions, St. Paul, Minnesota.

2003. “What Right Have We to Interfere? Rigor, Integrity, and Grace in the Context of Criticism.” Presented at the Global Consultation on Music and Missions, Fort Worth, Texas.

1999. “Situated Musical Competence: Insights from the Composition of Three Songs in Northwestern Congo.” Presented at the annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Austin, Texas.

1996. “Catalyzing Creativity: Nurturing a Dying Music Through Apprenticeship.” Presented at the Meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Selected Recordings and Videos

2015. Arts Consultants at Work: La Chorale Ayo. Video. Center for Excellence in World Arts. Producer.

2009. Izibongo. Nice Threads. One CD. Various vocals and instruments.2007a. Kachamba, Donald and friends. Donald Kachamba at UCLA: Fall 1999. One CD. UCLA Ethnomusicology Publications. ASIN: B000Q36EGK. Vocals, kwela flute, and babatoni (one string bass).

2007b. Tidiane-Seck, Cheick, with the UCLA Griot Society and Friends. 2007. West African Music Meets Jazz. One CD. UCLA Ethnomusicology Publications. ASIN B00014SGHO. Vocals.

2007c. DAKASTUM Dance Association, Cameroon. Arts Consultant: Understanding SIL Ethnomusicology & Arts Group. Producer.

2006. Various Ngiemboon Musicians. Morceaux Bibliques Choisis I. SIL and PROMOCUL, Yaounde, Cameroon. Recordist, producer.

Selected artistic engagement

Community arts therapy for people affected by Huntington’s Disease: MakeLife | HDHDBlues.

Community musical theater, vocals and keys (black gospel, jazz standards), stand up comedy, songwriting for life events, Christian praise and worship.