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University of Arizona
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University of Arizona
Ethnomusicology Studies

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

The ethnomusicology program at the University of Arizona is housed in the School of Music. While most courses in the School of Music in music emphasize music performance, composition, music history and theory, and music education, and the core programs in the School of Music emphasize western art music, there are many opportunities to link that training to serious study in ethnomusicology and to tailor study to a student's interests. We offer the following degrees for students interested in ethnomusicology.

B.A. Critical Studies in Music (School of Music) This program of study emphasizes academic inquiry. Students interested in ethnomusicology are advised to meet with the ethnomusicology coordinator in the School of Music to select courses in music, anthropology, folklore, and other areas relevant to the student’s anticipated specialty.

B.A. International Studies – Culture Emphasis (College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)

M.M. Musicology with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology (School of Music) To be admitted to this program, students must have an undergraduate degree in music.

D.M.A. Music Performance or Composition, with a minor in Ethnomusicology (School of Music) To be admitted to this program, students must have an undergraduate degree in music.

Ph.D. Music Theory, with Ethnomusicology emphasis (School of Music) To be admitted to this program, students must have an undergraduate degree in music.

Program Focus

Courses in ethnomusicology at the University of Arizona emphasize theory and methodological approaches in the discipline. Drawing from perspectives in cultural anthropology, folklore, and cultural studies, academic courses require students to investigate the relationship between music and society. Our approach to performance research explores both the study of what happens when music happens and the study of performance technique. Thematic areas of strength are: Latin America music and music of the American Southwest, indigenous studies, border studies, video and film ethnography, structural analysis of world music, and musical theatre. Students can create individualized cross-disciplinary programs that make use of resources at this major research university.

Special Resources

Performance Ensembles

Options in addition to the Arizona Symphony, Arizona Choir, and other School of Music Ensembles include:

World Music Gang, a percussion and dance ensemble focusing on the music of West Africa and Brazil.

Mariachi Arizona, a student ensemble.

UA Steel, steel band in the modern Trinidadian style; there are two groups, one for advanced players and another for new learners.

UA Asian Music Club’s Purple Bamboo Ensemble, a mixed student and community group that sings and plays traditional Chinese instruments in the silk and bamboo tradition.

UA Tuna, a contemporary approach to the university troubadour ensembles dating from medieval times in Spain; this group performs much-loved Latin American and Spanish popular songs.

Archival and Museum Collections

Jazz and Popular Music Archive

This growing archive managed by archivist Keith Pawlak includes 15 separate collections, including the Nelson Riddle bequest. The overall focus lies on the mid-twentieth century music of Hollywood (often called West Coast).

The Southwest Center

A research unit of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Southwest Center has a threefold mission: to sponsor and facilitate research on the Greater Southwest, to publish exemplary work growing from that research, and to act in service to citizens of the region through programs of teaching and outreach. In all three areas, special emphasis is given to strengthening individual and institutional ties to our colleagues at universities and cultural centers in the Republic of Mexico.

Arizona State Museum

A vast and varied collection focused primarily on the peoples of the Greater Southwest. The museum archives include a collection of musical instruments and over 1,500 linear feet of field notes, diaries, project records, research files, and manuscripts from numerous prominent archaeologists, ethnologists, and institutions.

Other Resources

Other Centers and Institutes on campus provide lectures, study programs, scholars-in-residence, and opportunities for internships, assistantships, and fellowships that can contribute significantly to a student’s education. Among those of special interest to students of ethnomusicology are:

American Indian Studies Arizona Center for Judaic Studies Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology Center for Latin American Studies Center for Middle Eastern Studies Critical Languages Program Department of Linguistics East Asian Studies Hanson Film Institute Mexican America Studies and Research Center School of Dance School of Theater Udall Center for Public Policy

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Janet Sturman. (Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, Columbia University, 1987), Professor, Ethnomusicology. Research interests: Latin American and southwestern U.S., music theater (zarzuela), ethnicity, identity, technoculture, transnational exchange and alignment, dialogic movement and gesture.

Affiliated Faculty

Ana Maria Alonso. (Ph.D., U. Chicago, 1988) Associate Professor, School of Anthropology. Sociocultural Anthropology. Historical anthropology, culture and power, gender, ethnicity and class, the state, Latin America, Mexico.

Maribel Alvarez. (Ph.D., U. Arizona, 2003), Assistant Research Social Scientist, Southwest Center. Southwest Studies. Border studies, Mexican and Cuban popular culture.

Barbara Babcock. (Ph.D., U. Chicago, 1975) Regents Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, English and Comparative, Cultural and Literary Studies. Folklore; Cultural Studies; Feminist Theories; Southwestern Indian Cultures, especially Pueblo.

William F. Beezley. (Ph.D., U. Nebraska, 1969) Professor, History and Director of Oaxaca Graduate Field School in Modern Mexican History. Popular Culture and Mexican Identity, performance and cultural memory, history and folklore of American sport.

John Brobeck. (Ph.D., U. Pennsylvania, 1991) Associate Professor of Music, Music History. Performance Practice, French Renaissance.

Wayne Decker. (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 1979) Director of International Studies and External Affairs. Digital technology, development, Africa (Malawi).

Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante. (Ph.D., U. Arizona, 2006) Assistant Professor, School of Journalism. Mexican and Brazilian Television, inequality, social justice.

Stephen Keyl. (Ph.D., Duke University, 1989) Adjunct Assistant Instructor of Music. Critical and Compositional Studies. Sixteenth-century German song, liturgical music.

Brian Moon. (Ph.D., University of Colorado, 2006) Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music. American Music, African-American Spiritual, jazz, popular music.

Jay Rosenblatt. (Ph.D., U. Chicago, 1995) Associate Professor of Music, Music History. Nineteenth-Century Music in Europe and the United States, Franz Liszt.

Beverly Seckinger. (M.F.A. Temple U., 1991). Interim director of Media Arts, Hanson Film Institute. Media production, documentary and ethnographic film.

Donald Traut. (Ph.D., Eastman School of Music, 2002) Associate Professor of Music Theory, Coordinator of the Music Theory Program. Stravinsky, Twentieth-Century music, popular music studies.

Students earning degrees with an emphasis in ethnomusicology have also taken courses with the above affiliated faculty. These professors have also served on individual graduate committees.

General Program Statement

At the University of Arizona, students may pursue training in ethnomusicology through several different degree options. For undergraduates, the Bachelors of Arts in Music, the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, or the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Culture Track) are the most common choices. On the graduate level, students may earn a Master of Music in Musicology with a concentration in ethnomusicology, combined with strong training in historical musicology; or a Doctor of Musical Arts, combining performance with a minor in ethnomusicology. A new Ph.D. option is the music theory degree with an emphasis in ethnomusicology. At all levels, students majoring in other disciplines, such as Religious studies or Anthropology, have also added ethnomusicology as a minor area or a significant component of their curricular plans.

Courses in the School of Music include: Music in World Cultures, Rock and American Popular Music, Mexican Music, Studies in Latin American Music, Research Techniques, Seminar on Publishing and the Music Industry, Recording Techniques, Independent Study in Fieldwork, Independent Study in Area Research, Graduate Seminar in the Theory and Method of Ethnomusicology, Thesis or Dissertation Research.

Students have access to the comprehensive research resources of University of Arizona, including the Fine Arts Libratory, the Southwest Archives, the Arizona State Museum, and the School of Music Library Collection. Performance ensembles offer experience in non-western music making, including: UASteel—our steel band; the World Music Gang—a percussion ensemble emphasizing West African and Brazilian practices; The Purple Bamboo Ensemble—a Chinese silk and bamboo orchestra. Curricular partnership with the Honor’s College, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Africana Studies, International Studies, and the Department of Anthropology has provided ethnomusicology students with scholarships, travel fellowships (funding for fieldwork in Spain, Ghana, Brazil, Israel, etc.), as well as visiting lecturers and classroom instruction in theoretical, methodological, area, and language studies.

Departmental scholarships are available and may be linked to an applicant’s performance abilities. Awards received by students in ethnomusicology include Medici Scholarships, the McNair Fellowship, the Library of Congress Folk Arts internship, the Fulbright Fellowship, and the Smithsonian Latino Studies Fellowship, Northern Trust/Piper Enrichment Award. Students have presented their research at regional, national, and international professional meetings, including for the Society for Ethnomusicology and the International Council for Traditional Music. Several of our graduates have earned full scholarships to Ph.D. programs in ethnomusicology, including UCLA, Columbia University, and Indiana University. Graduates are now teaching at West Virginia University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, University of Texas El Paso, Texas Southern University, and the Escuela Superior de Musica de Sinaloa.

Financial Support

Graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships are available to most incoming students. Scholarships range from $500-$6353. Tuition at the UA has risen in recent years but remains a bargain nationwide. Full GTA awards cover tuition costs plus a stipend, but rarely cover all of a student's expenses. Typically no more than 2 students in ethnomusicology will receive a full GTA in any year, although smaller awards and other scholarships, such as diversity awards or instrument specific awards, may be available to eligible students.

Further Information

Dr. Janet L. Sturman, Professor, Coordinator, Studies in Ethnomusicology, University of Arizona School of Music, 1017 N. Olive St, Tucson, AZ 85721-0004 USA; (520)621-1255; Email: sturman@u.arizona.edu

Program Website

Janet Sturman's homepage: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~sturman/

Ethnomusicology Student Group

The program of ethnomusicology at the UA is small and there is no formal student organization. Listed below are current students who are willing and happy to correspond with prospective students:

April Trinidad, B.A. viola performance, honors student, ethnomusicology minor and President of the Asian Music Club’s Purple Bamboo Ensemble.

Email: trinidad@email.arizona.edu

Mackenzie Pickard, M.M. musicology/ethnomusicology, percussion minor.

Email: pickardm@email.arizona.edu

Jaime Bofill, Ph.D. candidate and director of the UA Tuna.

Email: bofill@email.arizona.edu

Andrea Shaheen, DMA candidate, oboe performance major, ethnomusicology minor, Fulbright Fellow.

Email: ashaheen@email.arizona.edu

Related Websites

School of Music: http://www.cfa.arizona.edu/music/

Office of Admissions: https://admissions.arizona.edu/default.aspx

Application: http://grad.arizona.edu/prospective-students/apply-now

The content for University of Arizona was last updated June 24, 2010.

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