University of Cambridge
Type of Program and Degrees Offered
Ethnomusicology is taught as part of the BA Music and MPhil
Musicology programs. There is currently also a separate MPhil program in
Ethnomusicology, but this is expected to become a pathway in an integrated
MPhil program in Music Studies in the near future. All students studying for
undergraduate or graduate degrees in the Faculty of Music have the option to
take courses in Ethnomusicology. Students in other Faculties may also take
courses in ethnomusicology by special arrangement.
Undergraduate courses vary from year to year. Recent courses
have included topics in many different geographical areas with special emphasis
on North Africa, Middle East, the wider Mediterranean, and Jewish music
(including European and North American). Graduate courses currently focus on
the Mediterranean. Both undergraduate and graduate students write dissertations
on a wide range of topics spanning all geographical areas. Areas of theoretical
focus include musical nationalisms, canonization, history of ethnomusicology
including music recording and archives, diasporas, music as sacred expression,
Islamic–Jewish encounters, music in conflict resolution. Faculty teaching and
research in music cognition overlaps with ethnomusicology.
The Faculty of Music possesses a
fine Javanese gamelan, which supports a thriving performing group with
opportunities for participation at all levels. The Faculty houses a 500-seat
Concert Hall and a smaller Recital Room available for student and professional
use. The Center for Music and Science comprises a fully sound-isolated
recording studio (linked to the Concert Hall and Recital Room), a computer room
and a research room with dedicated facilities for technology-based music
research and teaching. The Music Faculty’s Pendlebury Library, the Social
Anthropology Library, the University Library, and several College libraries
house strong collections of books & journals and audio & audiovisual
recordings in world music. The collection of c. 700 musical instruments
collected by Laurence Picken is housed in the University’s Museum of Archeology
and Anthropology. Dedicated College and University societies support a variety of
performing groups and concerts of world and traditional music. The famous
College chapels and other University and College performing venues provide
innumerable spaces for all types of musical activity. The music Faculty hosts
workshops in Klezmer and Middle Eastern music associated with its regular
Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology
Ruth Davis. PhD (Princeton, 1986). Faculty of Music. Area
interests in North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, the wider
Mediterranean, Islamic and Jewish traditions. For theoretical interests see
under Program Focus above.
Ian Cross. PhD (City University, London). Director, Centre
for Music and Science, Faculty of Music. Music cognition.
David Irving. PhD (University of Cambridge). Research
Fellow, Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. Globalisation and
intercultural exchange in the early modern period.
Carole Pegg. PhD (University of Cambridge). Affiliated
research scholar, Faculty of Music. Traditional musics of Inner Asia and the UK.
General Program Statement
Ethnomusicology has a rich, prestigious history at
Cambridge, dating from the end of the 19th century when psychologist Charles
Myers (founder of the Experimental Psychology Laboratory) joined the 1898
anthropological expedition to the Torres Straits. Myers went on to do
pioneering work on perception in non-Western music. In the 1940s, the eminent
ethnomusicologist Laurence Picken (also biologist and zoologist) began his
research in Chinese, then Turkish music. Picken attracted research students
from all over the world, and by the 1970s, Cambridge had become an
international centre for ethnomusicology. In 1983, Ruth Davis, then a graduate
student at Princeton, joined the Music Faculty as an Assistant Lecturer,
becoming the University’s first designated appointment in Ethnomusicology.
Since then, music outside the Western canon has formed an integral part of the
Faculty’s teaching and research. Ethnomusicology is generally taught in at
least two of the three years of the BA Music degree program, whether as a first
year foundation course or as second and third year options. Some students
choose to write dissertations based on original field work, often supported by
College and Faculty travel grants. Ethnomusicology is an option within the
MPhil degree program and a number of students proceed to the PhD.
The graduate program has attracted extremely talented research students in a
wide range of music cultural areas, with former PhD students taking up college
research fellowships and going on to teaching posts in the UK and abroad.
Although graduate student intake is limited by the fact that there is still
only one designated ethnomusicologist, students frequently benefit from
co-supervision by other Faculty members with closely related research interests
(particularly in the areas of music cognition, social and cultural history,
recording and performance studies).
Scholarships and bursaries are available from the Gates and
Cambridge Trusts (for Overseas students), UK Research Councils (for Home and EU
students), Colleges, and the Board of Graduate Studies. PhD students are
offered opportunities to assist with undergraduate teaching. For information
see "Related Websites" below for URL.
Dr. Ruth F. Davis, Corpus Christi College, University of
Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RH, UK. Tel. 44 (0)1223 335186;
For prospective graduates: Beth
Wilshin, Graduate Secretary. Faculty of Music, 11 West Road, Cambridge, CB3
9DP, UK. Tel: 44 (0)1223 767883; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For prospective undergraduates: Ruth
Hardie, Music Outreach Officer, 11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP, UK. Tel.
44-(0)1223 768927; Email: email@example.com
Faculty of Music: http://www.mus.cam.ac.uk/
University of Cambridge: http://www.cam.ac.uk
Financial information: http://www.mus.cam.ac.uk/applicants/graduate/funding-graduate-study-at-cambridge/
Faculty of Music, Applicants http://www.mus.cam.ac.uk/applicants/
The content for University of
Cambridge was last updated June 28, 2010.