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MUSICOLOGY & ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

Our musicology and ethnomusicology division comprises two distinct but closely integrated programs, both leading to the M.A. or Ph.D. Our students reap the benefits of working with faculty in both areas, who provide expertise in historical sources, performance practice, critical theory, cultural theory and analytical methods related to art, popular and traditional musics. As part of a major research university, our students have access to a wide range of library materials and affiliate scholars.

The Programs

Our musicology students take courses that examine Western music, both art and popular, within a historical and critical framework that includes approaches drawn from source studies, performance studies and journalism. Students in the ethnomusicology program can expect courses on fieldwork, the anthropology of music, thematic issues and the music of particular regions, with methods influenced by disciplines including cultural anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. Since the two programs are closely intertwined, musicology students often undertake projects that use the research methods and frameworks of ethnomusicology and ethnomusicology students frequently draw upon historical methods and archival sources in their work. 

Unlike many peer institutions, we offer separate M.A. and Ph.D. programs. This enables students with a bachelor’s degree to attend a two-year M.A. program before they commit to a Ph.D., and also enables students who already hold an M.A. degree to begin Ph.D. coursework upon enrollment. Students who attend UMD for the M.A. program must reapply for our Ph.D., and many of our top M.A. students choose to stay for their doctorate.

Resources of a Research Institution

As part of both a world-class music school and Maryland’s flagship university, our students have access to a wide range of library materials and affiliate scholars right here on campus. Our School of Music is located in The Clarice, a state-of-the-art performing arts building that places our classrooms, concert halls, offices and the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, including its Special Collections in the Performing Arts, all under one roof. Our students frequently collaborate with performers, perform themselves in one of our top-tier ensembles, write program notes and deliver pre-concert talks.  

All students benefit from opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction at UMD. Students may take courses in other departments at the university and within the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, and pursue valuable interdisciplinary graduate certificate programs including Digital Studies in the Arts and Humanities and Museum Scholarship and Material Culture.

Location Advantage

With campus only a short metro ride from Washington, D.C., our graduate students greatly benefit from being able to easily conduct ethnographic field research nearby. They complete internships with and utilize the resources of the Library of Congress, National Archives, Folger Shakespeare Library, the Kennedy Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Folklife Center.

Public Scholarship

Our faculty and students are currently engaged in numerous outreach efforts beyond the university, including pursuing internships for credit, writing essays for the New York Times, curating for RomArchive, blogging for Smithsonian Folkways, teaching music criticism at the Bang on a Can summer institute, reviewing local opera performances and curating concerts with the United States Marine Band.

Performance Opportunities

Our three Asian music ensembles specializing in music from Bali, Japan and Korea enable our students to explore music globally and across time. These are the UMD Gamelan Ensemble, the UMD Koto Ensemble and the UMD Korean Percussion Ensemble.

Funding and Teaching Assistantships

Applicants to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs may be awarded teaching assistantships that fully fund tuition and provide a stipend, enabling our students to dedicate themselves to coursework and research while gaining invaluable experience teaching in the classroom. Graduate students assist for courses on topics such as music appreciation, history of rock and global music and identity, as well as courses in the recently redesigned undergraduate music history sequence. Since our program strongly values teaching as a core tenet of scholarship, we regularly offer a graduate course in music history pedagogy, and we encourage students to take advantage of Maryland’s stellar Teaching and Learning Transformation Center. Summer research grants are also available and our graduate students have an excellent track record for obtaining fellowships for dissertation research and writing.

Music Scholar Lecture Series

Each semester, the School of Music invites several distinguished scholars to give lectures and meet with graduate students on Friday afternoons.

Our Students & Alumni

Recent graduate student thesis and dissertation projects have focused on gender and the reception of Courtney Love, plainchant and public music-making in medieval London, musical meaning in the Tokyo jazz scene and music and linguistics in Kiowa War Mother songs. Our graduates have successful careers teaching in universities, colleges and schools both nationwide and internationally. They work in libraries, museums, the music publishing industry, arts administration and as conductors and performers. Visit our division’s current student page to learn about their research.

Our Faculty

Academics and scholars, our faculty are hands-on and dedicated to student success. They have conducted research on musics from the distant past to the present on almost every continent in the world from major libraries, cities and cultures. Their fieldwork has included studying early artifacts, musical instruments and music manuscripts, as well as modern living traditions. Our faculty are experts on live, recorded, artificially produced and entirely lost sound.

Barbara Haggh-Huglo

Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

3110F The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-3247

Olga Haldey

Associate Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

3110D The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-4389

Siv Lie

Assistant Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

3110B The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 314-2007

Kyoko Okamoto

Lecturer, Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Director, UMD Japanese Koto Ensemble

2110 The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-5549

Fernando Rios

Division Coordinator & Associate Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

3110E The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-8585

William Robin

Assistant Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

3110C The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-8953

I Suadin

Lecturer, Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Director, UMD Gamelan Saraswati Ensemble

(301) 405-8272

Sebastian Wang

Lecturer, Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Director, UMD Korean Percussion Ensemble

3110H The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-5549

Patrick Warfield

Associate Director for Faculty Affairs & Graduate Studies, School of Music
Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

2110C The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-1274

J. Lawrence Witzleben

Professor, Musicology & Ethnomusicology
World Music Ensembles Coordinator, Asian Music

3110H The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-5502

Curriculum

M.A. (Musicology)

Course Duration Credits
Introduction to Musicology 1 course 3
Introduction to Ethnomusicology 1 course 3
Seminars 2 courses 6
Electives 4 courses 12 
Thesis Research - May be replaced with two additional seminars 2 semesters 6

M.A. (Ethnomusicology)

Course Duration Credits
Introduction to Ethnomusicology 1 course
Introduction to Musicology 1 course 3
Seminars 2 courses 6
Area Studies in Ethnomusicology 1 course
Electives 4 courses 12
Asian Music Ensembles 2 semesters 2
Thesis Research - May be replaced with two additional seminars 2 courses 6

Ph.D. (Musicology)

Course Duration Credits
Introduction to Musicology 1 course 3
Ethnomusicology Seminar 1 course 3
Seminars 7 courses 21
Dissertation Research 2 courses 12

Ph.D. (Ethnomusicology)

Course Duration Credits
Seminars 3 courses 9
Electives 5 courses 15
Dissertation Research 2 courses 12