Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

2-3 years
Credit Hours:

60 (with prior M.S.) 90 (with prior B.S.)
Dedicate yourself to the study of music as an integral part of culture, taking the approach that all music cultures are worthy of study.
Through fieldwork — conducting interviews; attending, participating in and observing performances; learning about local history, language and customs; and doing musical analysis — ethnomusicologists study the ways in which individuals learn, create and understand music in different cultural communities, the means by which music is transmitted via both social and media networks, the significance of music revivals and the impact of new contexts on the style and meaning of music.

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Why earn a degree in Ethnomusicology?

Courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level are open to all students regardless of major. Whether in graduate seminars or in one of the many world music ensembles, the program emphasizes doing ethnomusicology. The curriculum challenges students to engage musical experience in all of its dimensions in preparation for careers in both academia and the public sector.

The Ethnomusicology Program is home to a distinguished faculty, whose professional experience and expertise range from extensive work in the public sector to specialization in the music of Latin America, Texas and the American Southwest, Africa, India and includes internationally recognized master musicians from those traditions.

Marketable Skills
  • Pedagogical practices
  • Music editing, copying, transcribing, arranging
  • Public event management
  • Book/journal editing, creating, promoting
  • Advance data collection, analysis and interpretation

Ethnomusicology Ph.D. Highlights

Our students have published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at international conferences, and have received significant external grant support, including a 2017 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship and two nationally competitive Theodore R. Presser Foundation Graduate Music Awards (2016, 2018).
Faculty research includes music and ritual, music and nationalism, music and migration, world music analysis, popular music studies, gender studies, and sound studies.
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What Can You Do With A Degree in Ethnomusicology?

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Ethnomusicology Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Current Issues in Ethnomusicology (3 hrs)
Topics include investigative research into current issues in ethnomusicology.
Proseminar in Ethnomusicology (3 hrs)
This course is a comprehensive study of social thought about the field of ethnomusicology from 19th-century comparative musicology to contemporary studies of global and popular music.
Music Cultures of the World (3 hrs)
This course is a selected survey of music cultures of the world and is an examination of musical traditions from a perspective that emphasizes music as an integral part of society and culture.
Ethnomusicology Field and Research Methods (3 hrs)
This course is an exploration of the relationship between shifting theoretical research paradigms and how they have affected field methodology. Students will conduct close readings of representative ethnographies, several short field assignments and reports, and a field research project, resulting in a final paper.
World Music Analysis (3 hrs)
Topics include analytical approaches to world music; theoretical and practical issues in transcription; and development of new paradigms for transcription, analysis and graphic representation of music.
Anthropology of Sound (3 hrs)
This course examines sound from a cross-cultural perspective by opening up a dialogue about alternative sonic practices which challenge many taken-for-granted notions about contemporary theories of sound.

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