Rochester, NY — To address cultural and social differences in music education, and to enrich students’ musical experiences by providing a well-grounded exposure to the world’s musics and how they are interrelated, the Eastman School of Music will begin offering a Certificate in World Music and a Diploma in Ethnomusicology in fall 2003.
Under the auspices of Eastman’s new Institute for Music Leadership, the certificate and diploma are designed to enhance students’ philosophical, political, and musical dimensions, while simultaneously developing practical, hands-on-skills needed for today’s job market. “As members of both local and global societies today, it is imperative — now more than ever — that we learn to understand each other’s cultures,” says Ellen Koskoff, professor of ethnomusicology at Eastman and director of the new programs. “What better way to do this than through the music of those cultures.”
Unlike most other programs offered in the United States and Canada, all required credits fit comfortably as electives within an Eastman student’s major departmental curricula. Open to both undergraduates and graduate students, the Certificate in World Music (8-9 credits) and the Diploma in Ethnomusicology (14-15 credits) include three basic components: research, field work and performance. Possible areas of study include music of Indonesia, India, South and West Africa, American music (classical, musical theater, popular), ethnomusicology of Western musics, and non-Western musics in Western composition. Performance opportunities at Eastman currently include two Balinese Gamelan ensembles: a Gamelan Angklung (bronze and bamboo) and a Gamelan Joged Bumbung (bamboo). Additionally, a new African mbira ensemble will be launched this fall under the leadership of musicology professor Martin Scherzinger. Students also will benefit from the School’s ongoing World Music concert series, which brings a variety of international performances to Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall.
The term “world music” describes all of the musical traditions found throughout the world today. This includes older, traditional musics, such as Indian, Persian, and European classical musics, ritual and ceremonial musics, as well as newer popular forms. Ethnomusicology is the discipline that formally studies world music traditions, and combines studies in music and anthropology.
Koskoff’s leadership in these fields is extensive. Currently the president of the Society for Ethnomusicology, she has been a member of the Eastman faculty since 1980 and has published various articles on Jewish music, gender issues in music, and music and cognition. She has served in a visiting capacity on the faculties of Syracuse University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and New York University, and is the editor of Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective (1987) and volume 3 of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: "The United States and Canada." Last year, Koskoff was named one of the 2002 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award winners for her book Music in Lubavitcher Life, published by the University of Illinois Press. These prestigious awards, presented annually by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), recognize excellence in music writing by American authors and journalists. Koskoff’s book illuminates the world of the Lubavitcher Hasidim, a community of ultra-orthodox Jews centered in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, NY.
For more information on Eastman’s new certificate and diploma, visit the Institute for Music Leadership’s web site at www.rochester.edu/Eastman/IML.