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Cornell University
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Cornell University
Department of Music: Musicology Program

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Degrees offered: Ph.D. in Musicology; D.M.A. in Composition; D.M.A. in Performance Practice; B.A. in Music. A terminal M.A. is not offered, but students who enter the doctoral program without having already earned an M.A. receive this degree in the course of their studies. The field of Ethnomusicology is fully integrated into the term Musicology at Cornell, and historical musicology students are encouraged to include and embrace ethnomusicological precepts of situated musical study. Programmatic and faculty affiliations across the campus include American Studies, Africana Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Latino Studies programs, and Comparative Literature, German Studies , Science and Technology Studies, and Psychology departments, and the Kahin Center for Advanced Research on Southeast Asia and the Society for the Humanities.

Program Focus

The curriculum at Cornell is highly flexible. Students develop their own course of study in a close relationship with a Special Committee of three or four faculty members chosen by the student. Students are encouraged to take advantage of all course offerings within the Department of Music as well as explore other disciplinary fields. All graduate students are required to choose a minor subject of study (the Graduate Minor), represented by a minor member on the Special Committee and course work in that subject area. Students may choose a minor subject within Music (theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, performance, and composition), or from another discipline, such as anthropology, art history, computer science, gender and sexuality studies, history, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, theater arts, and Western and non-Western languages and literature. Seminar offerings, symposia, and teaching assignments promote an integration and exchange among the students and faculty of all disciplines of music. As a result, the many activities of the Music Department mutually reinforce each other, and graduate students at Cornell enjoy a sense of community among themselves and with the faculty that transcends programmatic divisions. Particular concentrations and faculty area expertise include: Indonesia and Southeast Asia, jazz, popular music, the African Diaspora, gender and sexuality studies, the Mediterranean basin, and music cognition.

Special Resources

With the recent acquisition of the Johan Kugelberg and Stephen Weiss Collections, Cornell currently has the nation’s largest archive of early hip-hop materials, including a large collection of flyers and photographs, textiles, and some 7500 archival recordings. Cornell also boasts the Lab of Ornithology, one of the premier sound analysis labs in the world, as well as an in-house music analysis lab and the Cornell Electronic Music Center; additional facilities include digital music teaching classrooms and work stations in the department, and several multimedia labs (with on-loan hardware, editing stations, and consulting help) across campus affiliated with the Cornell University Library. Cornell is widely regarded as having one of the largest and most significant collections of Asian historical and literary materials in North America. The Asia Collections of Cornell University Library include the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia, the South Asia Collection, and the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia. Department faculty-led ensembles include: Gamelan Ensemble, Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, Steel Band, World Drumming and Dance Ensemble (focusing on Ewe [Ghanaian] music), and CU Jazz Ensembles I & II, and several combos within the jazz program. Student-organized and unaffiliated but faculty-led ensembles include: Deixa Sambar (Brazilian samba), CU Klezmer Ensemble, Chosen Generation Gospel Choir, and Yamatai Taiko Ensemble. Cornell’s Music Department frequently invites artists for symposia, residencies, guest performances, and workshops. Often these events and programs are produced jointly with other departments and programs across the campus. Frequent partners are Cornell’s Society for the Humanities (which also provides fellowships) and the Cornell Council for the Arts.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Martin Fellows Hatch. PhD, Cornell University, 1980. Associate Professor. Affiliations: Department of Music (home dept), Kahin Center for Advanced Research in Southeast Asia. Research interests: performing arts of Southeast Asia, both past and present.

Christopher Miller. MA, Wesleyan University, 2001 (currently ABD). Lecturer. Affiliations: Director, Cornell Gamelan Ensemble. Research interests: traditional and experimental Indonesian musics; composition and improvisation.

Steven F. Pond. PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 2000. Associate Professor. Affiliations: Department of Music (home dept), American Studies, Africana Studies, Latin American Studies, Latino Studies. Research interests: jazz, popular music, the African Diaspora, historiography.

Affiliated Faculty

Eliot Bates. PhD, University of California, 2008. Faculty Fellow, 2010-2012. Affiliations: Society for the Humanities/Department of Music (home dept); Near Eastern Studies; Science and Technology Studies. Research interests: oud; Karadeniz popular music and local musics from the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey; Alevism; contemporary Turkish music, Turkish-American communities, and Ottoman and Turkish classical musics; recording technologies, techniques, and cultures; Central Javanese gamelan; synesthesia and affect, organizational sociology in ethnomusicological research and analysis; field methods criticism; and collaborative research.

Timothy Feeney. DMA, Yale University, 2007. Lecturer.Affiliations: Director, CU Steel Band, World Drumming and Dance Ensemble, CU Percussion Ensemble. Research interests: experimental music, composition and improvisation, Ewe (Ghana) music and dance, contemporary and traditional Trinidad & Tobago steel drum.

Carol L. Krumhansl. PhD, Stanford University. Professor. Affiliations: Department of Psychology (home dept); cognitive musicology.

Judith Peraino. PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1995. Associate Professor. Affiliations: Department of Music (home dept); American Studies; Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Medieval Studies. Research interests: Queer theory, rock, medieval studies.

General Program Statement

Cornell’s Department of Music emphasizes intimate and flexible programs. Our special distinction is a dedication to excellence in the study of music that reflects a concern for the constant interaction of scholarship, performance, and composition by faculty members and students alike. As of 2009-2010, we have twenty full-time and eight part-time faculty members and two active emeritus professors, including internationally known performers, composers, and scholars, and a dozen teaching assistants. Each year, twenty-five to thirty graduate students are in residence, along with twenty or so undergraduates majoring in music. Most classes are small, and student advising is personal and extensive.

Graduate Student support is generous (5 years full support and TA-ships), and Cornell has an outstanding record of mentoring teaching skills as well as research skills.

Financial Support

Every student accepted into the Ph.D. program at Cornell receives five years of guaranteed funding, including financial support for four summers. Every student is given a fellowship for the first year; a second year of fellowship year may be taken in the fourth or fifth year, or may be deferred if outside funding is procured by the student. The remaining three years of funding are in the form of teaching assistantships. Student Health Insurance is provided under fellowship and teaching assistantships. Partners, spouses, and dependants can be included for additional charges.

Many students seek outside fellowships (such as A.M.S. 50 or Fulbright Fellowships) beginning in their fourth and fifth year. There are also a few dissertation fellowships available through various Cornell programs. Entering students are encouraged to apply for Javits, Mellon, or other outside fellowships as another means of extending their graduate support.

The studies of all graduate students are funded in part by Teaching Assistantships. In the Department of Music, most Teaching Assistantships involve helping a professor in a large undergraduate course; responsibilities may include leading discussion sections, helping grade papers and exams, assisting ensemble directors, and, in the case of music theory, teaching musicianship skills. Every effort is made to match teaching assignments with graduate student interests and to make sure that each Teaching Assistant receives a variety of teaching experiences while at Cornell.

Teaching Assistants are strongly encouraged to enhance their training by taking a seminar (Writing 7101: A Seminar on Writing and Teaching) offered by the Knight Writing Program on campus, associated with their first teaching assignment. These assignments come with a strong mentoring component, with Tas working closely with faculty on topical literature and methodologies relevant to the course, and on classroom and pedagogical techniques. Each year one or two students have the opportunity to design and teach their own First-Year Writing Seminar, an interdisciplinary program administered by the Knight Program; these students will also take Writing 7100: Teaching Writing. On occasion, graduate students take assignments offered by other departments.

The Center for Teaching Excellence provides training programs and individualized assistance for graduate Teaching Assistants as well as faculty.

Further Information

Steven F. Pond, Associate Professor, 120 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; 607-255-2916; Email: sfp8@cornell.edu

Judith A. Peraino, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, 116 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; 607-255-5059; Email: grad_music@cornell.edu

Richard Keller, Department Manager and Graduate Field Assistant, 101 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; 607-255-4097; Email: rfk46@cornell.edu

Nicole Easton, Administrative Assistant, 101 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; 607-255-4097; Email: musicinfo@cornell.edu

Program Website


Related Websites

Kroch Archive (Cornell University Library) Asia Collections: http://asia.library.cornell.edu/

Kroch Archive of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Cornell University Library) Hip-Hop Collection: http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/hiphop/index.html

Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/

Society for the Humanities: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/sochum/index.html

Cornell Southeast Asia Program (SEAP): http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/SoutheastAsia/

Other departments and programs: http://www.cornell.edu/academics/departments.cfm

Knight Writing Program (John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines): http://www.arts.cornell.edu/knight_institute/

Center for Teaching Excellence: Teaching Assistant Program: http://www.cte.cornell.edu/campus/teach/grad/grad.html

The content for Cornell University was last updated June 22, 2010.

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