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University of Toronto
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University of Toronto
Graduate Program in Ethnomusicology

Type of Program and Degrees Offered 

Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology; Ph.D. in Musicology; M.A. in Ethnomusicology; M.A. in Musicology; B.Mus. in Music History and Theory with History Specialist/Minor in Music History and Culture; B.A. with Specialist/Major/Minor Music History and Culture options.

Program Statement

Established in 1966 by SEM co-founder Mieczyslaw Kolinski, the University of Toronto’s Ethnomusicology Programme remains at the forefront of North American ethnomusicology. We train students in the intellectual history, theory, practice, and methodologies of ethnomusicology and musicology. We provide a thorough grounding in ethnographic methods and writing, offer courses in diverse musical traditions from around the world, and train students in a variety of cultural and social theoretical approaches to the study of music. We encourage interdisciplinary scholarship and professional development through regular workshops. Noted graduates include Beverley Diamond, Robin Elliott, George Sawa, Robert Simms, Margaret Walker, Mark Laver and Carolyn Ramzy. The program’s language of instruction is English.

We encourage students to engage in ethnomusicological performance through private lessons, instrumental courses, and the World Music Ensembles, such as African Drumming & Dancing, Balinese Gamelan, Iranian Music Ensemble, and Taiko. Other World Music ensembles are available on a rotating basis, including Tabla, Steel Pan, Korean SamulNori, Klezmer, and Celtic Roots.

In the fall of 2007, we welcomed the first World Music Ensembles Artist-in-Residence: the hereditary tabla virtuoso Ustad Ilmas Husain Khan, the current head of the Lucknow tradition. In the fall of 2008, we welcomed the well-known Balinese master musician I Wayan Sinti as Artist-in-Residence, and in Fall 2010, we were visited by Kim Dong-Won, Korean drummer/multi-instrumentalist and member of the Silk Road Ensemble. Our most recent World Music Artist-in-Residence was tombak virtuoso Pedram Khavarzamini, who now directs the University of Toronto Iranian Music Ensemble.

The Faculty of Music includes renowned scholars and performers, a Music Library ranked as one of the best in North America, the Institute for Canadian Music, the Toronto Ethnomusicology Archive, and the Hindustani Music Archive. Students have access to the resources and activities of a major research university – the largest university in North America, with one of the top five research libraries in North America. Students in Ethnomusicology may also take advantage of courses and faculty in other programme areas within the Faculty of Music, including Musicology, Music Theory, Music Education,  Music and Health Sciences, and Music Technology.

The University of Toronto is a top-ranked institution of research and higher education with a vast array of departments and specialized centres in which ethnomusicology graduate students are encouraged to participate. Our faculty and students have regular interaction with the Departments of Anthropology, Religious Studies, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations; South Asian Studies, and the Centre for Transnational and Diaspora Studies. We are also involved in projects with the Jackman Humanities Institute and the Ethnography Lab.  

The University of Toronto is uniquely situated in the heart of one of the most culturally vibrant and diverse cities in the world. Our downtown campus is steps away from Canada’s media and financial hubs; the city’s downtown core; and a number of distinctive neighbourhoods including Kensington Market, Chinatown, Koreatown, and The Village. Faculty and students conduct fieldwork at local urban field sites in Toronto as well as in many areas of the world.

Special Resources 

Toronto Ethnomusicology Archive, The Institute for Canadian Music, the Hindustani Music Archive, special library collections & Sniderman Recordings Archive, the Ethnography Lab, computer labs, recording studio, and video & audio equipment.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology 

Farzaneh Hemmasi. (Ph.D., Columbia University). Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology. Popular music and politics, transnationality, media, migration, celebrity studies, voice, Iran and the Middle East, dance musics, and North American popular music.

James Kippen. (Ph.D., Queen’s University of Belfast). Professor & Coordinator, Ethnomusicology. South Asia, Hindustani music, drumming, rhythm & metre, history, historiography & repertoire, vernacular texts, colonialism and postcolonialism.

Jeff Packman. (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology. Affiliated faculty with the Latin American Studies Program.  Brazilian music, popular music of the Americas, Afro-diasporic music and dance, music and technoculture, cultural politics, race, social class, and professional music making.

Joshua D. Pilzer. (Ph.D., University of Chicago). Associate Professor, Ethnomusicology. Affiliate faculty with the Centre for the Study of Korea. Sociomusicology, the social science of music, experimental ethnography, music and memory, violence, gender, marginalization, socialization, public culture and identity. Korean and Japanese musics; North American popular music.

Affiliated Faculty

Robin Elliott. (Ph.D., University of Toronto). Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology. Jean A. Chalmers Chair in Canadian Music. Senior Fellow Massey College. Canadian music, music and migration, music and gender, biography.

Pedram Khavarzamini. Iranian Music Ensemble. Master of the tombak, the Iranian goblet drum. Founder and director of Varashan percussion ensemble.

Fred Kwasi Dunyo. African Drumming and Dancing Ensemble. Master drummer, Ewe. Founder and artistic director of Kekeli Drum and Dance Ensemble.

Ken McLeod. (Ph.D., McGill.) Associate Professor in Musicology, University of Toronto, Scarborough, with graduate appointment to the Faculty of Music. Popular music, music, sport and mass culture.

Gary Kiyoshi Nagata. Taiko Ensemble. Leader of Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble, founder of the cross-cultural percussion ensemble, Humdrum.

Annette Sanger. (Ph.D., Queen's University of Belfast). Part-time Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, University of Toronto, Scarborough, with graduate appointment to the Faculty of Music. Balinese Gamelan. Cultural anthropology & ethnomusicology, Balinese music performance, theory and history, tourism.

Financial Support 

Tuition waivers and fellowship support granted to all Ph.D. students; teaching and research assistantships are available. All Master’s students receive partial funding, and many receive external funding in addition. We have had a good success rate winning additional scholarships in support of international students.

Further Information 

The Graduate Department of Music, University of Toronto, 80 Queen's Park Crescent, Toronto ON M5S 2C5 Canada. Email: grad.music@utoronto.ca

Program Website 

Faculty of Music: http://www.music.utoronto.ca

Department Website: http://individual.utoronto.ca/kippen/Ethnomusicology/About.html

The content for University of Toronto was last updated September 11, 2017.

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