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University of Kentucky
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University of Kentucky
Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology


Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Combined M.A./Ph.D. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (blended 3 years of coursework)

M.A. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (3 semesters of full-time coursework with thesis in 4th semester)

Our division is located within the School of Music, which is housed in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Kentucky. In the School of Music, we also offer M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in performance as well as choral and orchestral directing. We also offer advanced degrees in Music Theory, Music Education, and Music Therapy. At the undergraduate leve., we offer the B.A. in and B.M in music performance and music education. 

Program Statement

The Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology of the UK School of Music offers an integrated education in musicology and ethnomusicology with its diverse faculty of scholars, its dual emphasis on traditional research and creative explorations in the field, its focus on collaborations between scholarship and performance, and its access to the extensive collections housed in the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library and the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music. The Musicology and Ethnomusicology Division is presently made up of seven full-time faculty and one part-time instructor, whose specialties range from the Medieval period to contemporary music, from chant and opera to fiddle tunes, folk songs, and Korean drumming, employing a wide variety of methodological approaches. The expertise of several faculty members reinforces the School of Music’s designated strengths in Opera/Vocal Music and American Music.

The School of Music offers two degrees in Musicology/Ethnomusicology: an M.A. and a combined M.A./Ph.D. The UK School of Music does not offer an undergraduate degree in musicology or music history, however there is a large selection of undergraduate course for majors and non-majors. Undergraduate students who plan to study musicology at the graduate level might wish to consider the B.A. degree in music, since it offers the most opportunity for advanced study, but those with other undergraduate music degrees can also pursue graduate study in the field.

Special Resources

John Jacob Niles Center for American Music

            John Jacob Niles Papers

            Glenn C. Wilcox Collection

            John L. Lair Research Library Collection

            Charles F. Faber Recorded Sound Collection

            Woodsongs Archives

            Temple Adath Israel Choral Music Collection

            T.W. Loftin Collection

Center for Appalachian Music Studies

Jazz Ensembles

Balinese Gamelan Angklung

UK Bluegrass Ensemble

UK Korean Percussion Ensemble

UK Mbiracats

Longyear Musicology and Ethnomusicology Colloquium Series

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Erin Walker Bliss; Ph.D. Musicology/Ethnomusicology, University of Kentucky; Lecturer in World Music; Director of the Central Music Academy in Lexington, KY; School of Music; World percussion, Irish music in America.

James Revell Carr; Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, University of California, Santa Barbara; Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology; Director of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music; School of Music; sea chanteys, Anglo-American balladry, Hawaiian music, folk music revivals, and improvisational rock.

Donna Lee Kwon; Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, University of California, Berkeley; Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology; Division Coordinator of Musicology and Ethnomusicology; School of Music; music of North and South Korea, Asian American music, ecomusicology, music and issues of space and place.

Affiliated Faculty

Ronald Pen; Ph.D. Musicology, University of Kentucky; Professor emeritus; School of Music; American music.

Thomas Turino; Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, University of Texas, Austin; Professor emeritus (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana but recently taught for one year at the University of Kentucky and still resides in Lexington, KY); Andean music, Latin American music, South African Music, and music and semiotics. 

Financial Support

We currently have one dedicated world music TA guaranteed for 3 years. We also have other TAs possible in American music and musicology. Teaching assignments for these TAs vary but could include music appreciation, American music, rock, and jazz courses. We also have other forms of partial funding available from the Graduate School for underrepresented students and students who graduated from a high school in the Appalachian region (for a list of qualifying counties, please refer to the Appalachian Regional Commission website at http://www.arc.gov/counties).

Further Information

Donna Lee Kwon, Associate Professor
Division Coordinator for Musicology and Ethnomusicology
UK School of Music
105 Fine Arts Building



Related Websites

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The content for University of Kentucky was last updated November 8, 2017.

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