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Memorial University of Newfoundland
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Memorial University of Newfoundland
M.A. in Ethnomusicology, Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Undergraduate: Music and Society Minor is offered within the Bachelor of Music program. Area studies, ethnomusicology theory and method, and traditional ensemble courses are available to majors and non-majors. M.A. in Ethnomusicology: The MA program is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the School of Music and the Department of Folklore. It is administered within the School of Music and housed in the Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP). Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology: The Ph.D. program is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the School of Music and the Department of Folklore. It is administered within the School of Music and housed in the Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP).

Program Focus

Program foci include Performance Studies (including Improvisation as Social Practice), Phenomenology, Community Collaboration and Applied Ethnomusicology, Intercultural Processes, Gender Studies, Technocultures, Indigeneity, and Modernity. Geographical research specializations include Canadian music (especially Atlantic Canadian), Native American (Canada and US), Sámi, Hawaiian and other Oceanic traditions, immigrant musics of Canada, African American popular music. Ethnomusicologists and folklorists at MUN have deep teaching knowledge of a wider range of ethnocultural musical practices.

Special Resources

Performance ensembles: Fiddle and accordion music of Newfoundland, Newfoundland traditional song, Mbira (when instructor is in residence), World Music Ensemble. Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP): Undertakes and enables a wide variety of research projects, often employing graduate students; engages in collaborative research with communities and other organizations (local, national and international); produces an archival CD series; houses multi-media production studios with professional audio and video recordings/editing capabilities; includes a performance space, library/meeting room, lounge and office space for graduate students in Ethnomusicology. Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive: Holds approximately 50,000 audio recordings and a wide variety of photographic and print resources; has internships for graduate students. Centre for Newfoundland Studies: A rich archive of resources relevant to the province’s culture. International festivals, symposia and conferences: The International Sound Symposium and Festival 500 (an international choral celebration) take place in alternate years in St. John’s. Graduate courses are frequently offered in conjunction with these events. The city is a popular destination for academic conferences and other festivals. The Intangible Cultural Heritage office of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador organizes field schools and a wide array of events relevant to ethnomusicology. The MMaP Research Centre organizes an annual lecture series, as well as annual symposia, workshops or conferences. Increasingly, we are turning to video conferencing technology to enhance our ability to engage with the world. Co-operative Programs with Other Institutions: The MMaP Research Centre and other MUN scholars undertake collaborative research with many other institutions.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Beverley Diamond. Ph.D. (U of Toronto); Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology and Director, Research Centre for Music, Media and Place; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; Trudeau Fellow; joint appointment to Music and Folklore. Research interests include indigenous modernity, feminist musicology, Canadian music historiography, socially constructed meaning of audio technology; intercultural and interlocal musical processes, archives and memory, performance studies.

Holly Everett. Ph.D. (Memorial U); Assistant Professor in Folklore; cross-appointment (Folklore/Music). Research interests include North American popular music as well as belief, material culture, occupational folklife, popular culture, and tourism.

Kati Szego. Ph.D. (U of Washington); Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology; cross-appointment (Folklore/Music). Research interests include musical meaning-making and linguistics, with an emphasis on Oceanic musics, as well as East Asian, African, and North American musics.

Cory Thorne. Ph.D. (U of Pennsylvania); Assistant Professor in Folklore; cross-appointment (Folklore/Music). His work draws on theories of critical regionalism, diaspora and queer theory; research subjects are in diverse areas of popular culture, material culture, music, migration, folklore of Newfoundland and Labrador, Cuban music cultures.

Affiliated Faculty

Anna Kearney Guigné. Ph.D. (Memorial U); folklorist. Research interest include traditional music of Newfoundland; folk song collecting in Canada.

Doreen Klassen. Ph.D. ( Indiana U); Associate Professor of Folklore, Anthropology and Social/Cultural Studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. Rresearch interests include gesture in women’s storytelling (Zimbabwe and Botswana); the politics of public art; gendered identity in public and private space; Mennonite music, and applied ethnomusicology.

Peter Narváez. Ph.D. (Indiana U); Honorary Research Professor of Folklore; folklorist, ethnomusicologist. and musician. Research interests include vernacular music, traditional song, blues, jazz, African-American folklore, Newfoundland folklore, popular culture, folklore and media, folk custom and belief, and occupational folklife.

Neil Rosenberg. Ph.D. (Indiana U); Professor Emeritus of Folklore. Research interests include bluegrass, contemporary folk music traditions (particularly the ways in which popular music interacts with local and regional folk music traditions), and cultural revival.

Additionally, historical musicologists at MUN conduct research on topics that intersect with ethnomusicologists’ interests. These include Aboriginal hymn traditions (Tom Gordon) and approaches to performance practice (Jane Gosine).

General Program Statement

The M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University offer nationally distinctive and regionally unique opportunities for individuals who are interested in researching music as a cultural practice. The programs offer opportunity to study diverse traditions of local and "world” music. Graduate study in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University is interdisciplinary, with courses offered through both the School of Music and the Folklore Department.

Ethnomusicology courses have been offered in the School of Music by Dr. Kati Szego since the early 1990s. The curriculum in this area expanded with the addition of courses in local performance traditions (accordion, fiddle, and Newfoundland song) taught by some of the finest traditional musicians in St. John’s, and with the establishment of the Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, filled by Dr. Beverley Diamond in 2002. The areas of particular strength in the School of Music are Asia-Pacific studies, Native American and Saami studies, Canadian studies, urban ethnomusicology, feminist musicology, and cultural theory. Additionally, other colleagues in Music have complementary areas of expertise, for instance, in performance practice, sacred music in indigenous communities, music theatre, and world percussion.

Financial Support

Every graduate student accepted and enrolled in the program has, to date, received financial support (M.A. for two years, Ph.D. for four years), the amount of which depends on a variety of institutional factors. There are a number of Research Assistantships, Graduate Student Work Experience Program grants, Teaching Assistantships, and other paid positions that vary from year to year.

Within the School of Music there are two dedicated Ethnomusicology scholarships. Memorial University also has a variety of awards recognizing academic distinction.

We encourage Canadian students to apply for federal funding through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). One SSHRC grant program is also open to international students.

Further Information

Dr. Michelle Cheramy, Associate Director, School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, A1C 5S7 Canada. Phone: 709-737-7477; FAX: 709-737-2666; Email: mcheramy@mun.ca

Program Secretary: Maureen Houston, MMaP Research Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, A1C 5S7 Canada. Phone: 709-737-2058; FAX: 709-737-2018;

Program Website


Related Websites

Research Sentre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMaP): http://www.mun.ca/mmap

School of Music: http://www.mun.ca/music

Department of Folklore: http://www.mun.ca/folklore/

Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA): http://www.mun.ca/folklore/munfla

The content for Memorial University of Newfoundland was last updated June 23, 2010.

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