The Musicology Department initiated a new Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology in the fall of 2005. This degree provides an opportunity for students to enter the field for post-baccalaureate research and study, exposing them to the history and methodology of the discipline, while also preparing them for future study, teaching, and public sector opportunities. The program draws on the combined expertise of faculty in various departments of the Eastman School, as well as from the departments of anthropology, religious studies, visual and cultural studies, and others at the University of Rochester.

Required courses for this degree (36 credits over four semesters) include the Introduction to Ethnomusicology and Introduction to Musicology courses, a newly developed course, called Approaches to Ethnography, participation in one of our World Music Ensembles (gamelan and/or mbira ensemble), and three credits of a theory or other music elective. In addition, students take up to sixteen elective credits. An MA thesis based on original research and/or fieldwork is also required to complete the degree. Students may enter this program from a wide variety of undergraduate majors, including music, anthropology, cultural studies, and religion, among others. Or, students already enrolled in or considering another degree at Eastman can pursue the Ethnomusicology Master’s degree through a double-degree program. Given the strengths of our faculty, students can concentrate on the musics of India, Indonesia, Southern Africa, and the United States. Fieldwork will also be possible in many of these countries and regions.

Essentially an interdisciplinary degree, the Master’s in Ethnomusicology enhances the popular World Music Certificate and Ethnomusicology Programs already established at the School and reflects current emphasis on non-western musics in the performance and recording industries, as well as in public school curricula. Although housed and administered by the Musicology Department, the Ethnomusicology Advisory Committee consists of members from a number of departments at Eastman and the University of Rochester. The Advisory Committee includes Professors Tom Gibson (Anthropology, Southeast Asia); Ernestine McHugh (Anthropology and Religious Studies, South Asia); Martin Scherzinger (Musicology, Africa); Robert Morris (Composition, India); and Ellen Koskoff (Musicology, the United States, Bali, and Gender and Music), Director of Ethnomusicology Programs. Upon entering, each student will be assigned a faculty advisor from this committee who will monitor his/her progress.

Ethnomusicology Fieldwork Grant

This grant of up to $5000 will support a fieldwork project proposed by a current student in ethnomusicology. Preference will be given to master’s degree students. Offered every year, students will be encouraged to apply at the end of their first year in the program so that the summer between the first and second years can be used to support travel, the purchase of equipment, and other materials necessary for a successful fieldwork project. The application deadline each year is April 15. For instructions on applying, see the Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Handbook, posted under “Musicology at Eastman”.

Students wishing to apply for this degree should do so through the Musicology Department’s admissions process. Information about admissions can be found here.