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University of Pennsylvania
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University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. in Music (Anthropology of Music)

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

Ph.D. in Music (Anthropology of Music). Affiliated with the Department of Music, with the Department of Anthropology, and with Penn’s area-studies programs.

Program Focus

Music and spirituality, gender studies, diaspora, and popular musics in American, African, and Caribbean contexts; global jazz studies; historical ethnomusicology; social and cultural theory.

Special Resources

Music analysis laboratory, musical instrument collection, special library collections; audio/video archives; Samba Ensemble; Jazz Ensemble. Fellowship aid is available.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Jeffrey Kallberg. (Ph.D., University of Chicago) Professor of Music. Social theory in historical methodology; romanticism; music and gender; music and sex.

Carol Muller. (Ph.D., New York University) Professor of Music. South Africa; local musics in the United States; music as expressive and popular culture; music and gender; music and the sacred; music in exile; music and media/new technologies; South African jazz.

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. (Ph.D., University of Michigan) Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music. African American music; jazz; popular music; music and film; cultural studies.

Timothy Rommen. (Ph.D., University of Chicago) Associate Professor. Caribbean music; diaspora; ethics; music and the sacred; popular music; intellectual history of ethnomusicology.

Gary Tomlinson. (Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley) Annenberg Professor of Music. Renaissance music; cultural history; historiography; Aztec song; theories of European colonialism.

Affiliated Faculty

Roger Abrahams. (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) Professor of Folklore and Folklife. Caribbean folklore; performance theory; carnival.

Allyn Miner. Lecturer in South Asia Regional Studies. North Indian classical music; sitar instruction.

General Program Statement

The program in the anthropology of music reflects the interdisciplinary nature of ethnomusicology, combining approaches from anthropology, musicology, folklore, literary theory, religious studies, linguistics, critical theory, and gender studies in order to interrogate the cultural webs of meaning within which music resonates. The diverse methodological interests of the anthropology of music faculty are reflected in the truly interdisciplinary curricular structure of the program.

Ethnomusicology seminars are often extended into practical, fieldwork-based projects in West Philadelphia and through initiatives supported by the university’s Center for Community Partnerships (projects have included exploring gospel music in several West Philadelphia churches and documentary fieldwork in a West Philadelphia mosque). Seminars dealing with ethnographic methods, the intellectual history of ethnomusicology, area studies, and topical studies are combined with a broad range of courses in music theory and musicology. Recent area and topical studies courses have included: Music and Tourism in the Caribbean, Improvisation in Cross Cultural Perspective, Women in Jazz, The Ethics of Style in Caribbean Popular Musics, Cosmopolitanism, Songwork in Early Colonial Latin America, African Musics, and Musics of Central Asia. Elective credits, moreover, afford students the opportunity to study with faculty in other departments or to craft independent studies with faculty in the department of music.

The faculty at Penn are interested in a wide range of topics and issues within ethnomusicology, but the program is particularly strong in the areas of music and spirituality, gender studies, diaspora, and popular musics in American, African, and Caribbean contexts. The overlapping interests of several faculty in the musicology and theory programs, moreover, also makes the anthropology of music program particularly strong in jazz studies and historical ethnomusicology.

Financial Support

All students who are offered admission to the anthropology of music program are awarded five years of funding. These fellowships include tuition, health insurance, and a generous annual stipend. Each student also receives summer research funds during three of the five fellowship years. These fellowships also afford each student the opportunity to teach during two of the five years (four semesters). Teaching assignments range from assistantships to stand-alone courses, depending on departmental needs in any given semester.

Further Information

Timothy Rommen, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Music, University of Pennsylvania, 201 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA. Phone: 215.898.7544; Email: trommen@sas.upenn.edu

Program Website

Department of Music: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/music/

The content for University of Pennsylvania was last updated June 29, 2010.

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