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University of Minnesota
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University of Minnesota

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

The program is housed in the school of music. We offer M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Musicology/Ethnomusicology. All graduate students study both historical musicology and ethnomusicology, though many specialize in one or the other. The new Creative Studies and Media program offers a interdisciplinary, cross-cultural study of improvisational and creative practices. The doctoral degree is oriented toward preparing students for scholarly research and teaching, aiming for a breadth of disciplinary approaches and depth in one specialized area; the master’s degree is individually tailored to the student’s interests and career goals.

Program Focus

Regional strengths include India, the Middle East, Indonesia, the United States, the Black Atlantic, Western Europe, diasporic communities in the Twin Cities, and the Byzantine Empire. Other strengths include ethnography, phenomenology, gesture, gender, theories of the body and voice, dance, critical theory, religion, popular music, ecomusicology, jazz, music analysis, comparative improvisation, archival research, music technology, race and ethnicity, disability studies, performance studies, topos theory, and medical ethnomusicology.

Special Resources

Instruction is available in North Indian music, Javanese Gamelan, West African Drumming, Afro-Brazillian music, and jazz. The department also features an Electronic Music Lab, the world-class Ames Library of South Asia, and an extensive music library. In addition, many music faculty, students, and local community members have been involved in the ongoing World in Two Cities project, an ethnographic survey of the diverse musical worlds of Minneapolis and St. Paul, including Indo-Caribbean temple music, Hmong pop music, Minneapolis hip-hop, and Mexican’s children's songs.

The vibrant Music and Sound Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate group, run by graduate students and supported through the Institute of Advanced Studies, brings scholars from around the world to present on a wide range of topics, from Chindon-Ya to Guitar Hero, from Tamarin music to Jewish music in India.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Matt Rahaim. (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2009). Assistant Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology, School of Music. Music of India and the Middle East, voice production, phenomenology, gesture studies, ethical dispositions, speech melody, sonic ecology, modal theory, neumatics, critical history, tuning and temperament, devotional music.

Affiliated Faculty

Akosua Addo. (Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 1995). Associate Professor of Music Education, Department of Music. Music of Ghana, world music education.

William Beeman. (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1976). Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology. Classical Persian music, Islam, performance theory, ethnography of opera, the voice, emotion, silence.

Ananya Chatterjea. (Ph.D., Temple University). Professor of Dance, Department of Theater Arts and Dance. Odissi Dance, the bodily production of knowledge, street theater, cultural politics of dance, dance historiographies.

Gabriela Currie. (Ph.D., New York University). Assistant Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Department of Music. Early Balkan, Ottoman, and Byzantine music, musics of the silk road; iconography; music and science; medieval music theory.

Scott Currie. (Ph.D., New York University). Lecturer in Creative Studies and Media, Department of music. Ethnographic studies of jazz, comparative improvistion, Afro-Caribbean music.

Michael Gallope (Ph.D., New York University) Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. African Diaspora, improvisation, music and sound studies, continental philosophy, critical theory, visual culture, theories of modernism.

Sumanth Gopinath. (Ph.D., Yale University, 2005). Assistant Professor of Music Theory, Department of Music. Popular music, race and ethnicity, mobile music, the ringtone industry, cultural and critical theory, globalization.

Kelley Harness. (Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1996). Associate Professor of Musicology, Department of Music. Gender studies; historical anthropology of musical performance.

Diyah Larasati. (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2006). Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Javanese dance, dance and citizenship, identity, tourism, corporeality in war zones.

Richard Leppert. (Ph.D., Indiana University, 1973). Professor of Cultural Studies, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Critical theory of music, post-structuralist sociology of popular and high culture, Theodoro Adorno, discourse theory.

Alex Lubet. (Ph.D., University of Iowa). Professor of Creative Studies and Media, Department of Music. Disability studies, improvisation, Jewish music.

Guerino Mazzola. (Ph.D., Zurich University). Professor of Creative Studies and Media, Department of Music. Free jazz, gesture, topos theory.

Sowah Mensah. Teaching Specialist, Department of Music. West African Drumming Ensemble.

Peter Mercer-Taylor. (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1995). Associate Professor of Musicology, Department of Music. Popular music studies, rock analysis, protestant hymnody.

Mark Pedelty. (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1993). Associate Professor of Anthropology, Journalism, and Communication Studies, department of Communication Studies. Music of Mexico, ecomusicology, ritual studies.

Elliott Powell. (Ph.D., New York University). Assistant Professor of American Studies, Department of American Studies. Hip-hop, sampling, Afro-South Asian musical intersections, world music, queer theory.

Gloria Raheja. (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1985). Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology. The blues, music in Appalachia, labor, memory, cultural production in India.

Arun Saldanha (Ph.D., Open University, 2004). Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Geography. Rave culture, music in the city, race, tourism, globalization.

Michael Silverman. (Ph.D., Florida State University). Director of Music Therapy, Department of Music. Music therapy, music and memory.

Matthew Sumera. (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin). Instructor in Ethnomusicology. Music and violence, war's audiovisions, video game music, sound studies, punk rock.

Joko Sutrisno. (B.A., National Academy of Performing Arts, Surakarta, Java, Indonesia, 1985.) Teaching specialist, Department of Music. Javanese Gamelan.

Program Statement

The Musicology/Ethnomusicology program at the University of Minnesota trains PhD students in a wide range of musical disciplines. All students receive a grounding in ethnographic, historical, and interpretive methods. A set of flexible program requirements allow students to design a customized course of study and research. Regional strengths include India, the Middle East, the United States, the Black Atlantic, Indonesia, Western Europe, diasporic communities in the Twin Cities, and the Silk Road. Thematic strengths include sound studies, phenomenology, critical theory, music technology, gesture, ecomusicology, gender, theories of the body and voice, dance, religion, popular music, comparative improvisation, race and ethnicity, and disability studies. Fieldwork and archival research are supported by a wide range of area studies and language programs at the University of Minnesota, including Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, Somali, and Hmong.  

Financial Support

More than 100 assistantships are awarded annually to graduate music students. Assistantships are available to graduate students in areas including theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, music education, private lesson instruction, conducting, and various professional service areas. Assistantships provide a stipend and enable students with at least a 25% appointment to pay resident tuition and receive a tuition benefit equal to twice the percentage of the appointment.

There also are a number of fellowships available through the Graduate School. Applicants with strong academic records (GPA of 3.8 or higher and high GRE test scores) are eligible to be nominated for Graduate School Fellowships. The purpose of the Graduate School Fellowship (GSF) is to assist directly in the recruitment of outstanding students by providing the incentive of an academic-year merit fellowship. The School of Music may nominate prospective students entering the University of Minnesota Graduate School for the first time in the upcoming academic year. Fellowship recipients receive a stipend for the academic year plus full tuition. Eligible recipients are also covered by comprehensive health insurance, including subsidized dependent and dental care.

Also, Educational Opportunity Fellowships are awarded annually by the Graduate School to first-year underrepresented graduate students. Students must be nominated by the School of Music. Applicants normally have a GPA of at least 3.2 and strong GRE scores.

Further Information

Jean M. Jorissen Kucera, Administrative Manager 1/Chief of Staff, 200D, Ferguson Hall, School of Music, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. Phone: 612-625-4870; Email: jkucera@umn.edu

Program Website


Related Websites

Music and Sound Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group: https://wiki.umn.edu/MusicAndSoundStudies/

A World in Two Cities: http://twocities.umn.edu/

The content for University of Minnesota was last updated January 29, 2018.


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