Ethnomusicology Degree Programs

Ethnomusicology degree programs teach you about human interaction with music from cultures across the globe. Keep reading to learn about undergraduate and graduate degree programs in ethnomusicology, which include courses on music theory, ethnomusicology tools and region-specific musical styles. Schools offering Ethnomusicology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Ethnomusicology Degree Program?

Ethnomusicology is the study of human beings making music. If you enter an ethnomusicology degree program you'll study music from a variety of different modern and past cultures. You may also be able to focus your studies on a particular culture or time period that you find most interesting. If you earn a degree in ethnomusicology, your most likely career path will be an academic one, researching and teaching about the music of the world.

Depending on the level of degree that you're trying to obtain, you'll need to meet different requirements for obtaining the degree. For an undergraduate degree, you'll generally be required to pass certain classes with a minimum GPA. Obtaining a graduate degree also involves taking classes, but it generally includes such additional requirements as these:

  • Learning up to two foreign languages
  • Completing a comprehensive examination
  • Performing independent research
  • Writing a dissertation

Field Overview Ethnomusicology focuses on the study of music from various past and modern cultures
Program Requirements Graduate programs may require foreign language proficiency, comprehensive exams, independent research, dissertation
Program Levels Bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctorate degree
Common Courses Research design, transcription and analysis, cultural interactions, ethnomusicology tools, music studies theory

What Degree Levels Are Available?

A variety of degrees are available to you if you wish to study ethnomusicology. The lowest degree that you can earn is a bachelor's degree, which generally takes around four years to complete. If you earn a bachelor's degree, you can then apply to enroll in a graduate program. As a graduate student, you can either enroll in a master's degree program or move directly into a doctorate program. Many doctorate programs also offer the chance to earn a master's degree along the way.

What Classes Will I Take?

Ethnomusicology covers a range of different music topics; therefore, a variety of classes can be offered. Classes also differ, depending on which degree level you're currently studying. In general, classes aim to teach you both about the music from different cultures, about the cultures themselves and about the interaction between a culture, its people and its music. Some common core classes deal with the following subjects:

  • Popular music studies theory
  • Research design
  • Tools of ethnomusicology
  • Transcription and analysis

In addition to these basic core classes, programs allow you to choose from a wide range of elective and emphasis courses. Possible examples include these:

  • Jazz
  • Indian music
  • Caribbean music
  • African American influence

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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