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University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
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University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Aligning the university’s Departments of Ethnomusicology, Music, and Musicology, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is devoted to the performance and study of music in all of its global diversity, including world music, popular music, jazz, and classical music. The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is located within the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, which also includes the departments of Art, Architecture, Design | Media Arts, and World Arts and Cultures. The Department of Ethnomusicology offers degree programs (B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.) of great depth and breadth. Our graduate program in ethnomusicology includes a specialization in systematic musicology. Our undergraduate program has concentrations in both world music and jazz studies.

Program Focus

Instruction in ethnomusicology tries to achieve a balance between understanding the important intellectual issues in ethnomusicology and depth of specialization in one or more of the world's music-culture areas including Africa, Europe, the Americas, west, east, south, and southeast Asia. The sounds and structure of music and musical performance are central features of faculty research and teaching, along with interpretations of the complexities of musical sound in social and cultural terms. Underlying the curriculum is a commitment to the theoretical and analytical study of music as well as to the performance of the music and involvement in its cultural context. In systematic musicology, laboratory research in acoustics, psychoacoustics, and psychology of music has focused on musical communication and expression; music, film, and animation; natural and synthetic instrument timbres; gamelan acoustics and tuning; music perception and cognition; and computer applications in music research. Philosophical work in the program is applying the insights of continental philosophers such as Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martin Heidegger, and Paul Ricoeur to music and to concepts of musical culture and tradition. The undergraduate major is offered with two concentrations: one in jazz studies and one in world music with emphases in general world music, performance/composition, public ethnomusicology, and scholarly research. Students in the world music undergraduate concentration may, through elective courses, prepare for a variety of career goals, including the study of ethnomusicology in graduate school, composing and performing music, working in the music industry, serving society in the nonprofit sector, or becoming a K-12 music teacher. Students in the jazz studies undergraduate concentration develop skills in performing and interpreting a wide variety of music. They learn the art of improvisation and are helped to discover their own musical styles. Students also study the styles of other performers and composers and how they developed them. Classes include jazz theory, history, composition and arranging, keyboard harmony, and a variety of combos.

Special Resources

The department houses the Ethnomusicology Archive, one of the largest archives of its kind in North America, with over 100,000 audiovisual recordings; a large collection of unique instruments from different parts of the world; a research laboratory with audiovisual, computing and electronic equipment that enables faculty and students to conduct psycho-acoustical research as well as edit and create audiovisual recordings; and a publications program that publishes an occasional journal and audiovisual materials on topics of importance in the field of music. In-residence performance faculty provide the opportunity for students to participate in ensembles from some eleven different cultures. Since 2006 the department has sponsored the World Music Summer Institute, a one-week residential program designed to immerse high school or community college students, or interested community members, in the repertoire and musical styles of one of four performance traditions.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Münir Beken. Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology. Ph.D., Ethnomusicology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; M.A. Music Theory, The Technical University of Istanbul. World music theory; composition; modal theory; musical globalization; phenomenology of music; melodic modal systems of the Middle East and Central Asia; Turkish music; music of the Ottoman Empire.

Tara Browner. Professor of Ethnomusicology. Ph.D. Music History: Musicology, The University of Michigan; M.M. Percussion Performance, The University of Colorado, Boulder; B.A. California State University, Sacramento. Native North American music and dance; Native North American contemporary music; musical imagery of Indians in popular culture; indigenous concepts of music theory; American music.

Kenny Burrell. Professor of Ethnomusicology, Director of Jazz Studies. Honorary Doctorate, William Paterson College; B.M., Wayne State University. Jazz performance; Jazz history; Director, Contemporary Jazz Ensemble; Director, Jazz Combos.

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje. Professor of Ethnomusicology, Department Chair. Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, UCLA; M.A. Ethnomusicology, UCLA; B.A. Music, Fisk University. African and African American music; West African fiddle music; gospel music; music historiography; urbanism; cross-cultural issues; identity; change and transformation; the musician.

Roger Kendall. Professor of Systematic Musicology, Director of the Systematic Musicology Lab, Director of Graduate Studies (2008-2010). Ph.D. Psychomusicology, University of Connecticut; M.M.E., University of Kansas; B.M.E., University of Kansas. Music perception and cognition; musical timbre and the process of musical communication; perceptual relationships among natural and synthetic orchestral instruments; musical meaning in film; experimental research design; computer applications.

Cheryl L. Keyes. Professor of Ethnomusicology. Ph.D., Indiana University; M.M.E., Indiana University; B.M.E., Xavier University. American music with a specialty in African American music; popular music; rap/hip-hop music; popular music theory; gender; performance theory.

Steven Loza. Professor of Ethnomusicology, Director of Undergraduate Studies (2009-2011). Ph.D. Music, UCLA; M.A. Latin American Studies, UCLA; B.A. Music, Cal Poly Pomona. Music of Latin America, Mexico, the Caribbean; identity and marginality; Chicano/Mexican music in Los Angeles.

Daniel Neuman. Professor of Ethnomusicology. Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Illinois; B.A. Anthropology, University of Illinois. Music of India, especially Hindustani and Rajasthan regional traditions; social organization of musical specialists; anthropology of music; multimedia applications in ethnomusicology; geographical approaches to the study of music traditions.

James Newton. Professor of Ethnomusicology. Doctor of the Arts Honoris Causa, California Institute of the Arts; B.M. California State University, Los Angeles. Jazz composition, analysis, jazz history; Contemporary Jazz Ensemble.

A. J. Racy. Professor of Ethnomusicology. Ph.D. Musicology (specialization in Ethnomusicology), University of Illinois; M.M. University of Illinois. Music of the Middle East; music of the Arab world including Egypt, Lebanon, and the Gulf region; theory of ethnomusicology; organology; music, mysticism, and trance rituals; .Near East Ensemble

Helen Rees. Professor of Ethnomusicology. Ph.D. Music, University of Pittsburgh; M.A., Oxford University, England; B.A. Chinese, Oxford University, England; diplomas in flute teaching (Royal College of Music, London), baroque flute performance (Trinity College, London), and recorder teaching and performance (Trinity College, London). Music of China; music and politics in East Asia; ritual music in Yunnan Province, China.

Timothy Rice. Professor of Ethnomusicology, and Director, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Ph.D. Music, University of Washington; M.A. Music, University of Washington; B.A. History, Yale University. Bulgarian and Macedonian folk and traditional music; music cognition, politics and economics of music, musical symbolism, ethnoaesthetics, individual agency in culture; music education.

Roger Savage. Associate Professor of Systematic Musicology. D.Phil., University of Sussex, England; M.M., McGill University; B.M., University of Saskatchewan. Twentieth century musical aesthetics; the philosophy of music; hermeneutics; critical theory.

Anthony Seeger. Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director, Ethnomusicology Archive. Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Chicago; M.A. Social Sciences, University of Chicago; B.A. Social Relations, Harvard University. Amerindian music of Latin America; Anglo-American folk music; music of protest and struggle in the U.S.; archives; the recording industry; music and ethnicity; music and politics; music education.

Timothy Taylor. Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology. Ph.D. Musicology, University of Michigan; M.A., 20th Century Music, Queen’s University of Belfast; M.M., Clarinet, Yale School of Music; B.A., Music and Northern Studies, Middlebury College. Popular musics, world music, cultural theory.

Affiliated Faculty

Justo Almario. Lecturer. B.A. Berklee College of Music. Jazz performance, saxophone.

George Bohanon. Adjunct Assistant Professor. Jazz performance, trombone; Director, Jazz Combo.

Kirk Brundage. Lecturer. M.A. Fine Arts, California Institute of the Arts. Director, Music of Brazil Ensemble.

Clayton Cameron. Lecturer. B.M. Cal State Northridge. Jazz performance, percussion; Director, Jazz Combo.

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy. Visiting Associate Professor. Ph.D. Brown University; M. Mus. Yale University; B.A. Vassar College. Classical and non-classical musics of South and Southeast Asians and Asian-Americans; field methodology; ethnographic film in ethnomusicology; music and the sacred; applied and public sector ethnomusicology.

Jesus Guzman. Lecturer. Director, Music of Mexico Ensemble.

Charley Harrison. Lecturer. M.M., Composition, Northwestern University. Director, Jazz Orchestra; Director, Jazz Combo; Jazz History.

Tamir Hendelman. Lecturer. B.M. Composition, Eastman School of Music. Jazz performance, piano; Jazz Keyboard Harmony, Jazz Theory and Improvisation; Composition.

Abhiman Kaushal. Adjunct Assistant Professor. North Indian tabla; Co-Director, Music of India Ensemble.

Shujaat Khan. Lecturer. North Indian sitar; Co-Director, Music of India Ensemble.

DongSuk Kim. Adjunct Assistant Professor. Ph.D. Ethno-church music, ChongShin University, Los Angeles. Director, Music of Korea Ensemble.

Kobla Ladzekpo. Adjunct Assistant Professor. M.A. Anthropology, Cal State Northridge. Director, Music of West Africa Ensemble.

Chi LI. Adjunct Assistant Professor. B.A. Chinese music (erhu), The Conservatory of Chinese Music, Beijing. Director, Music of China Ensemble.

Wolf Marshall. Lecturer. B.A. Music, University of California, Los Angeles. Jazz performance, guitar.

Roberto Miranda. Adjunct Associate Professor. M.M. University of Southern California. Jazz performance, bass.

Barbara Morrison. Adjunct Assistant Professor. Jazz performance, vocals.

Charles Owens. Lecturer. Director, Jazz Combo.

Ankica Petrovic. Adjunct Professor. Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, Social Anthropology, Queen's University of Belfast. Folk music of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean; field methods; Bosnian music; anthropology of music; music in the world’s religions.

Ruth Price. Adjunct Assistant Professor. Jazz performance, vocals.

James Roberson. Adjunct Assistant Professor. M.B.A. University of California, Los Angeles. Director, Music of African Americans Ensemble.

Bobby Rodriguez. Adjunct Assistant Professor. D.M.A., University of California, Los Angeles. Jazz performance, trumpet; Director, LatinJazz Ensemble.

Ivan Varimezov. Adjunct Assistant Professor. B.A., Folk instrument performance and ensemble conducting, Academy of Music and Dance, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Co-Director, Music of the Balkans Ensemble.

Tsvetanka Varimezova. Adjunct Assistant Professor. B.A., Choral conducting and folk instrument pedagogy, Academy of Music and Dance, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Co-Director, Music of the Balkans Ensemble.

Michele Weir. Adjunct Associate Professor. M.M. University of Southern California. Jazz performance, vocals; Director, Jazz Combo.

I Nyoman Wenten. Adjunct Assistant Professor. Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles. Director, Music of Bali Ensemble.

General Program Statement

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology grew out of the former Institute of Ethnomusicology, established by Mantle Hood at UCLA in 1960. In its early years, many distinguished scholars, including Charles Seeger and J. H. Kwabena Nketia, collaborated in advancing the vision of the Institute. From the 1960s to 1989 Ethnomusicology was a program within the Department of Music. In 1989 it became an independent department, called the Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology. In 1995 it was renamed the Department of Ethnomusicology. In 2007 Ethnomusicology became one of three departments, with Music and Musicology, to comprise The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Made possible through the generosity of the renowned, performer, producer, and philanthropist Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall Alpert, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is devoted to the performance and study of music in all of its global diversity, including world music, popular music, jazz, and classical music.

UCLA has granted more Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in ethnomusicology than any other university in the world. Graduates in ethnomusicology from UCLA have founded many of the most important ethnomusicology graduate programs in the United States, including those at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Brown University, Wesleyan University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida State University, and UC Berkeley.

The graduate program includes a specialization in systematic musicology, which is currently the only one of its kind in the United States. Since its inception under the leadership of Charles Seeger, systematic musicology has created a distinguished record of scholarship, noted for its scholastic depth and innovation.

In 1991 the department established a full undergraduate curriculum in ethnomusicology. In 1996 Jazz Studies was instituted as a concentration within the undergraduate major. The renowned guitarist Kenny Burrell is the director of the jazz studies concentration.

In 2010 The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology, will celebrate 50 years of ethnomusicology at UCLA through a variety of activities, including symposia, concerts, and exhibitions.

Financial Support

For first-year graduate students, a limited number of scholarships are provided. In the second through fourth years of study, the Department supports students with a combination of teaching or graduate student research assistantships and fellowships that pay registration fees and provide students with a living stipend. Funding is conditional upon the availability of funds, the continued excellent performance in the program, and acceptance into our Ph.D. program after completion of the M.A. degree, normally after the second year of study. In lieu of a teaching assistantship in the fourth year, we encourage students to apply for the Graduate Division's Research Mentorship, which provides a stipend and covers registration fees. In the fifth year, students are expected to find their own extramural funding for doctoral research (fieldwork). In the sixth year (or the year before filing the dissertation), students compete for a Graduate Division dissertation-year fellowship, which our students have been successful in obtaining.

Further Information

Alfred Bradley, Undergraduate Advisor, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology, Box 951657, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1657 USA. Phone: (310) 825-4768; (310) 825-4768; Email: abradley@arts.ucla.edu

Sandra McKerroll, Graduate Advisor, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology, Box 951657, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1657 USA. Phone: (310) 825-4769; Email: sandram@arts.ucla.edu

Program Website

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology: http://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu

Ethnomusicology Student Group

Ethnomusicology Undergraduate Student Organization (EUSO): http://www.studentgroups.ucla.edu/euso/Home.html

Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Organization (EGSO): http://www.studentgroups.ucla.edu/egso/

The content for University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) was last updated June 25, 2010.

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