Ethnomusicology Master's Degree Program

In general, ethnomusicology is the study of world music, including its anthropological, cultural and social aspects. For information on an ethnomusicology master's degree program, including course topics in languages and arts, and admission requirements, have a look at this article. Schools offering Ethnomusicology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Ethnomusicology Master's Degree Programs Like?

Ethnomusicology master's degree programs combine various disciplines, including music studies, music performance, anthropology and history. Some ethnomusicology programs specialize in particular regions of the world, such as Asia, the Americas, Europe or Africa. Other programs cover many regions, but you can usually work with faculty members who are experts in particular types of music. Additionally, ethnomusicology programs frequently include or offer instruction in library science and bibliography.

Most ethnomusicology master's degree programs require you to complete a thesis of original, advanced work. You usually need about two years to complete the program, and you receive a Master of Arts upon successful completion. In some cases, schools look for ethnomusicology students who intend to go on to earn a doctoral degree. Online programs aren't usually offered, but many major universities around the U.S. offer ethnomusicology master's degree programs.

Degree LevelMaster's
Program RequirementsThesis project
Common ClassesMusic transcription, music analysis, study of geographical regions of music
Admissions RequirementsBachelor's degree in related field
Median Salary (2018)$62,410 (Anthropologists and Archeologists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)4% growth (Anthropologists and Archeologists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Courses Can I Take?

Core courses explore historical and theoretical concepts in world music. You learn about specific types of music through lecture and performance-based courses often studying specific geographical regions and cultures. Music transcription and analysis are also included. Ethnomusicology departments often cooperate with anthropology, art, language and religion departments.

Bibliography and library courses help you analyze and categorize information. Additionally, research courses give you skills necessary to complete your thesis. Some programs require you to participate in performance courses or ensembles and utilize local resources, such as opera houses and other concert venues.

What Do I Need to Start?

Programs accept students with bachelor's degrees in related fields, such as music, anthropology or history, but expertise in these areas isn't always required. You usually must pass an exam in at least one foreign language, and some schools require you to be proficient in two foreign languages. You might need to take placement exams in music history, ear training and musical score reading. In many cases, you can take remedial courses to make up for any academic deficiencies.

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:

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