Inner Asian Music


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Carole Pegg

ethnomusicologist, musician, singer, broadcaster

Carole Pegg can be booked for appearances, consultancy, concerts, workshops or lectures. Director of Inner Asian Music & 7-Star Records.




Carole Pegg (BA MA (Cantab) PhD) is a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she has lectured on Inner Asian music and dance (including Mongolian, Khakas, Altaian and Tyvan musics), traditional musics of the UK, the anthropology of music and performance, ethnomusicology and social anthropology for the last 20 years. She has given lectures, held seminars, run workshops and worked with experimental actors in the U.K., USA, Hong Kong, Mongolia and China. She has served as Chairperson of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, was the Ethnomusicology Editor for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, a founding Co-editor and Reviews Editor of The British Journal of Ethnomusicology and is currently on the Editorial Board of the journal in its new format, Ethnomusicology Forum (Routledge).


As well as researching into the roots music of Inner Asia, Carole performs her own roots music. In the early 1970s, she introduced to the British Folk Revival the English traditional fiddle style, using it to accompany her own singing. With her ex-husband Bob Pegg, she formed the band Mr Fox, who cross-fertilised English traditional music with a range of influences from contemporary rock.  

In recent years, Carole has begun writing songs and performing again. Her  repertoire draws on the different periods of her life: (early years in her hometown, Nottingham (1960s); the Mr Fox folk-rock years (1970s);  the Suffolk years of writing her Cambridge PhD, mainly spent playing in pub tune-ups with traditional East Suffolk music greats such as melodeon player Oscar Woods, fiddler and singer Fred ‘Pip’ Whiting, dulcimer player Reg Reeder, singers Percy and Geoff Ling, and step-dancers ‘Font’ Whatling and Kensor Diaper; and her time with Magus (the band she formed with Graham Bond).

Mr Fox: Join Us in Our Game – The Transatlantic Recordings. Castle Music CMRCD1049 (2004) assembles the two albums they recorded for Transatlantic in the early 1970s (Mr Fox and Mr Fox: the Gypsy). Influenced by sources as diverse as early 20th-century Yorkshire Dales village bands and the Velvet Underground, these albums have become folk-rock classics.    

Carole also recorded with Bob He Came from the Mountains (1971) and an album of Sydney Carter songs And Now it is So Early (1973). Her singer-songwriter album Carolanne Pegg (1973; reissued as PIERCD 503, 1998),  a rockier sound with country and traditional music influences, was recorded at Rockfield. Carole was joined by ace guitarist Albert Lee, bass player Dave Peacock (of ‘Chas and Dave’), and Mr Fox’s drummer Alan Eden.

‘All the songs are Carolanne’s, and she sings them in a quivering, sensuous voice slightly reminiscent of Buffy Saint Marie, but unquestionably her own … There are several contenders for the title of Top British Female Singer songwriter. Some stick with Sandy Denny…. My money’s on Carolanne Pegg. With this album, she’s outdistanced them all’ Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, 1973.


‘prefigures Kate Bush’ – Classic Artist Profile, 2000


‘a superb album brimming with mystical imagery and ancient lore. Without forsaking her folk credentials, Carolanne, with the notable assistance of Albert Lee, creates a rockier sound, contrasting with harmonium-led, brooding pieces like “The Sapphire”. If you like the solo work of Sonja Kristina, you’ll feel well disposed to this, their voices being very much alike. Similarly, their subject matter covers love and the supernatural, and this would sit nicely in Kate Bush’s personal LP collection!’  – Trevor King, Record Collector 237, May 1999.


Carole Pegg ’s Carolanne originally crept out in 1973 in the wake of the explosive split of mighty folk-rockers Mr Fox. …out on CD for the first time, its mix of spooky ballads, personal angst and hoarse fiddle on her only solo outing still makes for a stunning and ludicrously underrated work’. Moby, 1999.


‘a dazzling version of Lucy Wan emerges halfway through the epic Fair Fortune’s Star’, Nick Beale, fRoots.    


Carole’s Mongolian field recordings were used in the National Geographic television programme ‘Ice Tombs of Siberia’ (1994). They also provide the basis of The Mongolian Felt Tent, a CD-Rom that toured USA museums for a year as part of the exhibition ‘Mongol Renaissance: the Legacy of Chinggis Khan’ before being acquired by the New York Museum of Natural History. Her field recordings from East Suffolk, UK, are housed in the British Library National Sound Archive (Traditional Music in England project).

She has produced 2 video films:

Tune-up at the Ship, including music, step-dancing and song at the Blaxhall Ship, East Suffolk, and interviews with traditional musicians Fred ‘Pip’ Whiting and Geoff Ling.

Half a Life: a Zoologist’s Quest for Music. Carole Pegg interviews the musicologist Laurence Picken about his life and work. Produced in conjunction with the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology and the Cambridge Audio Visual Aids Unit, a copy has been deposited in the British Library’s National Sound Archive.

She has broadcast a number of times on Mongolian music (Radios 2, 3 and 4) and appeared widely on television and radio as a musician.