Interdisciplinary work, field study, and explorations of music and culture have been hallmarks of the UW Ethnomusicology program since its beginnings in 1963.
Ethnomusicology encompasses studies of music and culture and integrates aspects of musicology and anthropology as well as music performance, history, and theory. Interdisciplinary work, field study, and explorations of music and culture have been key components of the UW Ethnomusicology program since its beginnings in 1963. Students in the program study music and musicians in various contexts and through various disciplinary lenses.
Faculty in the program include internationally known authors and scholars with deep roots and connections to their specific areas of focus. Faculty research and interests are broad-ranging, but include expertise in African, Asian, Caribbean and Latin American musical cultures, among others.
UW Ethnomusicology’s visiting artist program has been a hallmark of the program for more than 50 years, bringing highly accomplished musicians to the university to work with students in applied music courses and public performances. Students study with artists from Afghanistan, China, India, Ireland, Korea, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Tanzania, and elsewhere.
In addition to performance opportunities with visiting artists, UW Ethnomusicology students participate in a range of ensemble courses, including the UW Steelband, Zimbabwean Marimba Ensemble, Javanese Gamelan, and Gospel Choir. Graduate students regularly present at academic conferences nationally and internationally and work closely with faculty mentors on field studies worldwide.
Areas of Distinction
The UW Ethnomusicology Archives hold unique audio and video collections of the world’s musical cultures. The department also houses an instrument collection featuring high-quality instruments from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas.
The program claims a wide interdisciplinary reach across university programs ranging from anthropology, history, and health sciences to dance, sociology and international studies, and intersects with School of Music programs in music history, theory, education, and performance.
The the newly added BA in Ethnomusicology degree is intended for students who are intrigued by the diversity of the world’s musical expressions and are interested in interdisciplinary perspectives that illuminate music’s cultural contexts and meanings. Learn more about the BA in Ethnomusicology.
In addition to student support distributed by the University of Washington’s financial aid office, the School of Music distributes more than a half million dollars annually in merit- and need-based student support. Graduate teaching assistantships are competitive and are granted in all areas of study.
For more information, contact SoMadmit@uw.edu