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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

In the School of Music, we offer an undergraduate major, graduate minor, M.M., and Ph.D. In addition, students may specialize in ethnomusicology when taking graduate degrees through the department of Anthropology. Students enrolled in ethnomusicology generally take advantage of course offerings, faculty expertise, and grant opportunities through Russian, East European and Eurasian, East Asia and Pacific, Africa, Latin American and Caribbean, European Union, and South Asia and Middle East Area Studies centers on campus.

Program Focus

Ethnomusicology is conceived as a major constituent of Musicology as a whole and is thus integrated. The discipline is viewed as the study of the world’s musics as systems of sound whose creation and performance engender social behaviors and embody cultural meanings. Affiliated with the School of Music and Department of Anthropology. Students are encouraged to take courses across the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and to participate in ensembles, including Shona, Andean , Balkan, Balinese, Guinean, and North Indian music.

Special Resources

Library collections; musical instrument collections (a large assortment of non-western instruments, including ca. 100 Russian folk instruments; as well as the Carl Busch Collection of historical band instruments, within the Sousa Archive for Band Research: http://www.library.uiuc.edu/sousa/busch.htm); sound archive; colloquium series; annual endowed distinguished lecture. The William R. and Clarice V. Spurlock Museum of world history and culture features ca. 48,000 ethnographic artifacts from across the globe, and a wealth of related programs (http://www.spurlock.uiuc.edu). The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts regularly presents concerts by acclaimed international performers of diverse cultural traditions (http://www.krannertcenter.com). We are also home to the new Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, which includes three Balinese gamelans, and hosts international visiting artists for year- and semester-long residencies. The School of Music’s I Ketut Gede Asnawa is resident instructor in Balinese music, offering classes in an ever-increasing number of Balinese ensembles. The Center hosts visiting artists for semester-, year-long, or multi-year residencies. Since 2008 the Mande master-drummer Moussa Bolokada Conde from Guinea has been resident; for Spring 2010 he has been joined by the dancer Alseny Soumah, also from Guinea. Other instructors associated with the Center are Priscilla Tse, who teaches Chinese instruments, and the North Indian tabla player Subrata Bhattacharya. The Center also presents concerts and lectures introducing various world music traditions to lay audiences, and it is actively engaged in establishing residencies for its artists in local public schools. All Center classes are open to the entire University community. Fellowships, and Research and Teaching Assistantships are available. UIUC’s many area studies centers and programs in US-based racialized communities (African American, Asian American Latino/a, Native American) provide unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study with regional specialists, additional lecture series, and further financial support.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Donna Buchanan. (Ph.D., University of Texas 1991) Associate Professor of Music and Anthropology; Director, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (2004-07); Director, "Balkanalia." Music of Bulgaria, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Russia, and the NIS; indigenous peoples; music, politics, and identity; music and cosmology. Email: buchana1@uiuc.edu

Charles Capwell. (Ph.D., Harvard 1980) Associate Professor of Music Emeritus. Music of India; Indonesia. Email: capwell@uiuc.edu

Bruno Nettl. (Ph.D., Indiana University 1953) Professor Emeritus of Music and Anthropology. Ethnomusicology method and theory; Native American music; Czech music; music of Iran. Email: b-nettl@uiuc.edu

Gabriel Solis. (Ph.D., Washington U 2001) Associate Professor of Music. Anthropology, and African American Studies. Jazz; American music; Brazilian music; music of Australian Aborigines. Email: gpsolis@uiuc.edu

Thomas Turino. (Ph.D., University of Texas 1987) Professor of Music and Anthropology. Andean music; Latin America; southern Africa; semiotics; nationalism; participatory musics.

Isabel F.K. Wong. (M.A., Northwestern University 1970) Director of Institutional and Faculty International Collaboration; Assistant Professor of Music, Emerita. Music of China, Korea, and Japan. Email: ikfwong@uiuc.edu

Affiliated Faculty

I Ketut Gede Asnawa. (M.M., University of Maryland, Baltimore County) Visiting Professor of musicology. Gamelan.

Dana Hall. (Ph.D., University of Chicago, in progress) Assistant Professor of Music. Jazz; Soul.

Philip Yampolsky. (ABD, University of Washington) Assistant Professor and Director, Robert E. Brown Center for World Music. Music of Indonesia; History of Recordings.

General Program Statement

Within the graduate and undergraduate programs of the Division of Musicology of the University of Illinois, Ethnomusicology is not a separate discipline but an integral component of Musicology. Emphasis is placed on theory and methodology as well as the study of specific musical cultures. Teaching and research emphasize the following world areas: Africa and the African diaspora, China, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, India, Indonesia, Latin America, the Middle East, Native America, North America, and Russia. Beyond area-specific proseminars, and fundamental theory/method courses such as "Introduction to Ethnomusicology,” "Music Ethnography,” "Transcription and Analysis,” and "Ethnomusicology and Social Theory,” students may select from a roster of graduate seminars on specialized topics. In recent years these have included "Music, Sex, and Gender”; "Musics in Contact”; "Musical Iconography”; "Music and Cosmology”; "The Ethnography of Performance”; "Music and Semiotics”; "Music and Nationalism”; "History, Memory, and Music”; "Modernism and the Vernacular in Twentieth-Century American Music”; "Indigenous Music and Post Colonial Studies”; "Jazz and the World”; "Rock Studies”; and "Improvisation.” Students are exposed to approaches derived from musical study, anthropology, and other disciplines. Study in related departments is encouraged. Performance opportunities currently include an Andean ensemble, a Zimbabwean mbira ensemble, "Balkanalia” (the UIUC Balkan Music Ensemble), Balinese Gamelan Gong Kebyar, Gamelan Beleganjur, and Gamelan Angklung, North Indian classical music, and a Guinean drum ensemble. Qualified students may also audition for a Steel Band (devoted to calypso, soca, jazz, and other popular repertory) and World Percussion Ensemble (focusing on Brazilian, Cuban, and African hand percussion techniques) administered by the Percussion Division; and Big Band, Latin Jazz band, and jazz combo administered by the Jazz Division. Graduate study in ethnomusicology can also be pursued through the Department of Anthropology.

Financial Support

Students specializing in ethnomusicology may be supported while in coursework through departmental TA appointments, competitive fellowships, and Foreign Language Area Studies fellowships. The university has competitive fellowships for dissertation research and writing, including the Presser fellowship (open to all music students), Dissertation Year writing fellowships, and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities fellowship (open to all UIUC humanities graduate students).

Further Information

Application information and brochures concerning the School of Music and Musicology Division may be obtained from the Music Admissions Office, Phone: 217-244-7899; Email: musadm@music.uiuc.edu

Other inquiries may be forwarded to individual faculty members, as appropriate.

Program Website


Related Websites

Musicology Degree Requirements: http://www.music.uiuc.edu/acadGrad_musicology.php

Robert E. Brown Center for World Music: http://www.music.illinois.edu/cwm/

The content for University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was last updated July 13, 2010.

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