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University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
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University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

M.A. and Ph.D. in Music; B.A. in Music with emphasis in Hawaiian Music. Affiliated with the Department of Music.

Program Focus

Asia and the Pacific with particular focus on ethnic groups represented in the Hawai‘i State population. The focus at Hawai‘i is primarily geo-cultural, with an emphasis upon the "living cultures" present in the ethnic mix of the state. It is the only U.S. program with a Pacific focus and the only one whose setting is culturally and geographically part of the Pacific–it is quite literally "in the field.” In addition to department facilities, a specially designed ethnomusicology wing includes a laboratory, an archive, instrument collection, designated classrooms (Asian music, gamelan, Pacific dance, Asian dance), outdoor amphitheater, and other performance spaces. The theoretical interests of the ethnomusicology faculty include world music in education, dynamics of musical change, ethnic enclaves, ritual and theatre traditions, music and dance transmission, and problems of cross-cultural presentation. They are also performing artists, a perspective reflected in the curricula. Performance instruction provides insight into a culture and is regarded as an aspect of research method. Although the ethnomusicology program contributes to the artistic life of the community, it does not seek to develop performing artists. Its staff (15 teachers) is long-term and resident and includes both indigenous performers and specialists trained in the relevant country. The department collaborates with Theatre and Dance to produce Japanese kabuki and noh, Beijing opera, Philippine sarswela, Sumatra randai dance theater, Okinawan kumidui, and Javanese dance drama and wayang kulit.

Special Resources

The Music Department maintains excellent collections that serve as important research and instructional resources for ethnomusicology. These include two complete sets of gamelan instruments, one from Java and one from Bali, and an Ethnomusicology Instrument Collection of over 4,500 musical instruments from around the world, one of the largest teaching collections of non-Western instruments in the United States. The department also supports an Ethnomusicology Archive that contains written documents, theses, and sound and visual recordings related to Asian and Pacific music. The Barbara B. Smith Amphitheater and Ethnomusicology Wing houses an outdoor performance space, instrument collection, gamelan room, transcription lab, seminar room, faculty offices, designated studio and rehearsal space for Asian music, and two excellent dance studios. Hamilton Library is an on-campus resource known worldwide for its Hawai‘i-Pacific Collection and its Asia Collection. Sinclair Library houses the music collection and the Harry C. and Nee-Chang Wong Audiovisual Center which has an excellent collection of audio and audio-visual resources from Pacific Basin countries. Various centers in the School for Pacific and Asian Studies sponsor conferences, lecture series, and interdisciplinary courses that bring well-known Asian and Pacific scholars to the university. The East-West Center (located on the UH campus) is a major research institution for Asian and Pacific affairs, and its Arts Program brings performing artists from these regions to present concerts and lecture-demonstrations. All of these centers also serve as meeting places for the large number of international scholars and government officials who pass through Honolulu and are important resources for information about current events in the region. The Bernice P. Bishop Museum and the Mission Houses Museum are community resources of importance for Pacific Studies; the Honolulu Academy of Art and the Doris Duke Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art are international centers for Asia Studies. There is a wide variety of on-going community events within Honolulu’s extensive Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Frederick Lau. (D.M.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1990) Professor. China; Southeast Asia; identity; politics; diaspora; avant-garde music.

Byongwon Lee. (Ph.D., University of Washington 1974) Professor. Korea; Buddhism; migration.

Jane Freeman Moulin. (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara 1991) Professor. Polynesia; multi-dimensional performance; dance; artistic transmission.

Barbara B. Smith. (M.Mus., Eastman 1943, D. Mus. (Hon.) Pomona College 2001) Professor Emerita. Micronesia; China; identity; music education.

Hardja Susilo. (M.A., UCLA 1967) Associate Professor (Retired). Indonesia; dance; theatre.

Ricardo D. Trimillos. (Ph.D., UCLA 1972) Professor. Southeast Asia; Japan; Hawai‘i; ethnicity; gender education.

Affiliated Faculty

Robert Herr. (Mus. Ed., University of Hawai‘i) Japanese shakuhachi.

Jay W. Junker. (B.A., University of Hawai‘i) American & popular music.

Norman Kaneshiro. (B.A., University of Hawai‘i, Master (Shihan) Certificate, Nomura-Ryu Ongaku Kyo Kai) Okinawan Ensemble.

Sunhee Koo. World Music (Ph.D., University of Hawai‘i) Korean & Chinese Music, Identity.

Takeo Kudo. (Ph.D., Northwestern University 1978) Japan shakuhachi.

Peter Medeiros. (B.A., University of Colorado) Hawaiian slack key guitar.

Darin Miyashiro. (B.A., Redland University, Sawai Koto Academy) Japanese koto.

Byron Moon. (B.A., University of Hawai‘i) Javanese gamelan.

Nola A. Nahulu. (M.A., University of Hawai‘i) Hawaiian Chorus.

Chadwick Pang. (M.A., University of Hawai‘i) Hawaiian Ensemble.

Reverend Masatoshi Shamoto. Japanese gagaku.

Amy Ku’ulei Stillman. (Ph.D., Harvard) Hawaiian and Polynesian music.

Victoria Holt Takamine. (M.A., University of Hawai‘i) Hawaiian hula & chant.

Elizabeth Tatar. (Ph.D., UCLA 1980) Hawai‘i.

Noenoelani Zuttermeister. (Kumu hula) Hawaiian hula & chant.

General Program Statement

The Ethnomusicology Program at the University of Hawai‘i has a long-standing reputation for excellence in the study of world music, especially the music of Asian and Pacific cultures. The program is distinctive for a number of reasons. In contrast to other institutions, it is situated in a unique geo-cultural environment that affords direct contact with music as a dynamic process and defines the kinds of studies available at UHM. Honolulu is known for its multi-cultural population and large number of ethnic groups that actively participate in a wide variety of traditional and contemporary musics. Its proximity to Pacific Basin countries and its mid-Pacific location insure frequent contact with musicians, scholars, and institutions from the region. The program is committed to close mentoring of students and helping students to develop a broad network of contacts.

Participant activity, learning music in a manner approaching indigenous transmission procedures, is an integral part of the University of Hawai‘i program, as is the study of theoretical problems such as the relation of music to social change, globalization, identity, diaspora, politics, commerce, dance, and theater. The focus on socio-cultural formation and on musical practice is encouraged by the "living laboratory” conditions. At the University of Hawai‘i, the performance of world musics is a relevant esthetic experience, rather than a museum piece or a bit of exotica.

Another distinctive feature of the University of Hawai‘i is that ethnomusicology is an integral part – both in organization, and in spirit – of the Music Department. The department has a long record of promoting musical pluralism throughout the college music experience and at all levels of music education, as a basis for music composition, and as part of choral and instrumental performance.

Financial Support

Fellowships for Graduate Study in Ethnomusicology for Students from Pacific and Asian Countries:

This fellowship is intended to aid in developing ethnomusicological expertise in Asian and Pacific Islands countries by providing support for two years of graduate study to qualified students entering the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Renewal of the fellowship after the first year is contingent upon satisfactory progress in the program.

The fellowship covers living allowance, tuition, student fees, book purchase allowance, and health insurance for one calendar year. Applicant is responsible for round-trip transportation to Honolulu. NO TRAVEL FUNDS ARE INCLUDED. The award will be made when funds are available and when applicants meet the highly competitive standards of this Fellowship.

Other fellowship opportunities for Graduate Study in Ethnomusicology for students specializing in Pacific Island, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Southeast Asian music.

Ethnomusicology is one of the disciplines supported by fellowship programs at the Centers for Pacific Island, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian Studies, Philippine Studies and the East-West Center. For information about these fellowships, please consult the Center websites under "Related Websites" below.

Further Information

Music Department, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2411 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Phone: 808-956-7756 (department office), 808-956-2177 (private office); Fax: 808-956-9657; Email: fredlau@hawaii.edu

Ms Kathy Kamiya, Music Department, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2411 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Phone: 808-956-7756 (department office); Fax: 808-956-9657; Email: kkamiya@hawaii.edu

Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/music/about-us/degrees-programs/ma/ethno/

Ph.D. in Music: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/music/about-us/degrees-programs/phd/

Related Websites

Center for Pacific Islands Studies: http://www.hawaii.edu/cpis/

Center for Chinese Studies: http://chinesestudies.hawaii.edu/

Center for Japanese Studies: http://www.hawaii.edu/cjs/

Center for Korean Studies: http://www.hawaii.edu/korea/

Center for Philippine Studies: http://www.hawaii.edu/cps/

Center for Southeast Asian Studies: http://www.cseashawaii.com/wordpress/

East-West Center: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/

The content for University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa was last updated June 28, 2010.

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