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University College Dublin, Ireland
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University College Dublin, Ireland

M.Mus., M. Litt., PhD.

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Ethnomusicology is a strong component of our BA and BMus undergraduate degrees, in our new BA Humanities degree in Music, Film and Drama, and at the postgraduate level students can concentrate in Ethnomusicology in our taught masters (MMus) and in our research degrees (M.Litt and PhD). Our programmes are affiliated with the School of Music, School of History, School of Languages and Literature, School of English, Drama and Film, the Clinton Institute for American Studies, the Humanities Institute, the “Death” research strand of the College of Arts and Humanities. Our College fosters substantial interdisciplinary exchange, and we encourage scholars with a broad-minded approach to the Humanities to apply. 

Program Statement

As the UCD School of Music enters its second century of teaching, research and service, we continue to build on the leading role it has played in musical education, musical scholarship and the musical life of Ireland since 1914. UCD is home to an internationally renowned cohort of scholars working in the areas of classical Western Music, African-American music, sacred music of India, underground popular music, the music of medieval Ireland and Europe, film music, and performance practice, to name but some of our areas of expertise. We hold a conviction that research and teaching are critically interrelated, mutually sustaining, and equally valued. We benefit enormously from being part of Ireland’s largest university, yet the School itself is a relatively small and close community in which students receive a great deal of individual attention and maintain a strong sense of camaraderie.

‌The School of Music is one of the leading centres for graduate musical study in Ethnomusicology in Ireland. Our graduate programmes give students the opportunity to work with scholars of international standing in the School's core disciplines of historical musicology and ethnomusicology. The Master of Musicology (MMus) is an innovative modular programme, which allows students to pursue a wide range of interests, and to work closely with some of the leading musical scholars in the country.

Doctoral research is a very important part of the School’s Graduate Programme and the range of dissertation topics which are recently under supervision (see below) reflects the diversity of interests present in the School. These topics include:

  • You Are The Centre of Everything: Game Music and Ideology
  • The Adaptation of the Violin in South Indian Music
  • Music and Worship in the Nigerian Pentcostal community of Dublin
  • The Role and Representation of Hip-Hop in Recent American Literature (jointly with the Clinton Institute for American Studies)
  • Country Music and Memory in Ireland
  • Migrancy and Cultural Transformation in Dublin's Cameroonian community
  • Microtonality in the Music of Ezra Sims
  • The History of Irish Brass Bands

At UCD we encourage our students to think critically about music, to reflect on how it is performed, and to imagine its creation. Ethnomusicology forms a central part of our approach to its study, and our strength in this area is reflected not just in the topics above, but in our commitment to the discipline’s growth in Ireland. Two of our faculty have served as Chair of ICTM Ireland, and both our staff and our graduate students are frequent conveners and contributors to national and international conferences. 

Special Resources

The School has a Javanese gamelan performing ensemble, and is also associated with the National Concert Hall Javanese gamelan.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Dr. Jaime Jones (Ph.D. University of Chicago, USA, 2008), School of Music, Music of India, Music and Religion/Pilgrimage, Musical ‘Undergrounds’

Professor Thérèse Smith. (Ph.D., Brown University, USA, 1988) School of Music. African American Music, Irish Traditional Music, Song, Music and Identity.

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Peter Moran, (PhD York University), School of Music, Central Javanese Gamelan, contemporary composition

Financial Support

Doctoral students now have the possibility of having their work substantially funded externally through the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The UCD School of Music has had enormous success in securing Irish Research Council funding for PhD students. At present, 80% of our PhD students are recipients of IRC funding.

Further Information

Dr. Frank Lawrence, School of Music, Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Phone: 353-1-7168177
Email: frank.lawrence@ucd.ie

Program Website


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The content for University College Dublin, Ireland was last updated September 29, 2017.

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