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University of Leeds
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University of Leeds
BA (Hons) Popular and World Musics

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Ethnomusicology topics available to all music undergraduates (BA Popular and World Musics, BA Music, BMus, Joint Honours Music), and one University-wide Elective in ethnomusicology, plus some music teaching on the University-wide elective "Contemporary Africas” module (Centre for African Politics and International Studies).

Program Focus

BA Popular and World Musics: staff and students have interests at the interface of the fields of ethnomusicology and popular musicology, exploring ethnomusicological issues/paradigms/theory and method alongside work in popular music, technology, performance, composition, music psychology, and theory and analysis. Teaching in ethnomusicology is combined with popular musicology teaching in core Popular and World Musics modules at levels 1 and 2. These are: Understanding Popular Styles (new working title: Global Perspective on Popular Music) and Approaches to the Analysis of Popular and World Musics. BA Music, BMus, Joint Honours Music: Some introduction to ethnomusicology at level 1. Ethnomusicology Level 2 and 3 modules available to all Music undergraduates (capped at 35 level 2, 25 level 3, courses always full): "Ethnomusicology: Theory, Method and Practice”; "African Musics”; "Ethnomusicology and the Mediterranean.” From 2011, a new module will replace the last two area modules. It will be called: "Case Studies in Musical Anthropology.” Javanese gamelan is taught at all levels. Cuban music is taught at levels one and two. All undergraduates and postgraduates have opportunities to perform as part of the Javanese gamelan ensemble and, at present, the Cuban music ensemble. An introduction to African drumming is also taught at level 1. All students have the opportunity to avail themselves of one-to-one tuition in Indian music through the School of Music’s contacts with the local South Asian community.

Special Resources

Javanese gamelan, Cuban music ensemble, collection of West African musical instruments, collection of Latin American musical instruments, University anthropology collections, regular workshops and concerts by local musicians (especially from the South Asian community, English folk music fraternity). Regular conferences with the potential to involve ethnomusicologists (for example, a film music conference in 2009 with its section on World Cinema and a guitar conference in 2004).

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Kevin Dawe. Full time, MSc (London, 1987) PhD (QUB, 1994), School of Music. Ethnomusicology and organology (especially of the Mediterranean area), worldwide and contemporary study of the guitar (music, culture, technology), popular music (especially progressive rock), acoustic ecology, bioacoustics, environmentalism and music.

Affiliated Faculty

David Cooper. Full time, PhD (York), Dean of the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communication. Irish traditional music, music of Bela Bartok, film music, professor of music and technology, composer.

Derek Scott. Full time, PhD (Hull), Head of the School of Music. Interests in popular music which encompass the world.

General Program Statement

BA Popular and World Musics (PWM) focuses on a wide range of popular and traditional music forms from around the globe, utilising methods and perspectives developed in the fields of popular music studies and ethnomusicology in recent decades. First-level study includes an introduction to popular styles and their contexts, and explorations of culture and genre, global soundscapes and the role of technology. In later years, further analytical approaches are developed – ranging from the musicological to the socio-cultural, considering subcultures and scenes, gender and identity, for example – and tailored modules support deeper study on subjects from the Sixties to political pop, from jazz to African, Indian and Mediterranean musics. The move from the general to the specific allows you to establish a strong foundation before testing your skills in more refined areas. Specialised routes in performance, composition and technology and practical projects with a strong World slant – African drumming, gamelan and Latin – are also currently available.

Graduate destinations. Aside from offering an enjoyable and fulfilling academic experience, this degree offers a natural pathway to a career as a music teacher or performer, and offers skills that will be valued by prospective employers in other fields. The study and performance of music develops independent thinking, and a range of analytical and communication skills that are highly valued in the professional world you will enter after university. Many of our graduates work as teachers, composers, arts administrators, performers or go on to further study, whilst others work in a range of other careers which value the skills provided by a music degree. A degree from the University of Leeds is highly respected and will provide you with an excellent foundation for your professional life.

Financial Support

A limited number of competitive undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships are available every year.

Further Information

Undergraduate: Mrs. Nicki Sapiro, Student Support Manager. Email: n.r.sapiro@leeds.ac.uk

Postgraduate: Dr. Byran White, Postgraduate Research Tutor. Email: b.white@leeds.ac.uk

Program Website


Related Websites

School of Music: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/

BA Music Undergraduate Programme: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/ug/undergrad_ba_music.shtml

BMus (Abroad) Undergraduate Programme: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/ug/undergrad_bmus.shtml

BA Music (Industry) and BA Popular and World Musics (Industry): http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/ug/undergrad_ba_industry.shtml

The content for University of Leeds was last updated June 28, 2010.

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