Kira Weiss's doctoral research focuses on the adoption of new instruments in Egyptian al-musiqa al-'arabiyya (Arab music) ensembles in the context of nationalism, postcolonialism, class, modernity, and affect.
Her research focuses on debates over the use of new instruments in the traditional takht ensemble in Egypt, from the violin family to the electric guitar and keyboard. The shifting debates over instrumentation provide a window into broader shifts in Egyptian cultural politics and national narratives over the last century, as well as changing perceptions of identity and heritage.
Kira's work is historical, ethnographic, and practice-based. She approaches her work from the standpoint of a musician, and part of her work involves documenting the techniques and approaches developed by instrumentalists in Egyptian al-musiqa al-arabiyya ensembles.