Bookmark and Share

Musicology & Ethnomusicology Division

Graduate Programs

The Musicology & Ethnomusicology Division at the University of Maryland, School of Music comprises two distinct but closely integrated programs, both leading to the MA or PhD. Students in the division benefit from working with faculty in both areas and from coursework and performance in ensembles that allow them to explore music globally and across time. The two faculties provide expertise in historical sources, performance practice, critical theory, cultural theory, and analytical methods related to art, popular, and traditional musics. Students admitted to the musicology program can expect 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, among others. Students in the ethnomusicology program can expect courses on fieldwork, transcription, the anthropology of music, thematic issues, and the music of particular regions, with methods influenced by disciplines including cultural anthropology and cultural studies. In many cases, musicology students have undertaken projects that use the research methods,
frameworks, and tools of ethnomusicology. Ethnomusicology students have also
frequently drawn upon historical methods and archival sources in their work. (A
sampling of recent seminar topics can be found below, under Faculty Teaching and


Study in the Musicology & Ethnomusicology Division of the University of Maryland School of Music leads to the following degrees:

The Division does not include a program of study leading to a Bachelor’s degree, although individually designed majors are possible The School of Music Academic Handbook describing degree requirements can be read at

Course lists and the academic calendar can be found at

Graduate Research

Current and recent graduate students in the Musicology program have conducted research on medieval chant, anonymous masses in the Alamire manuscripts, Antonio Salieri, the early country music industry, Broadway musicals, the patronage of modern composers by the Ford Foundation, shape-note singing, musical forgeries, music in the Third Reich, nineteenth-century American vocal music, film music, pianists, the history of recordings, and the women’s suffrage movement.

Current and recent graduate students in the Ethnomusicology program have conducted research in Botswana, Brazil, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, India, Japan, Korea, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, and Turkey, and on many genres of music in North America, including jazz, Native American music, Amish hymn singing, and Appalachian folk songs.

A range of fellowships and travel grants provide funding to support graduate-student research and travel to conferences to present papers:

An Unequaled Location for Study and Research

All students benefit from opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction both within the School of Music and with other departments, schools, and centers at the University of Maryland, such as the programs of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, Film Studies, Museum Studies, American Studies, and area studies centers. Students may take courses in other departments at the University and within the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, and apply for internships at the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution.

Students have access by mass transit to the homes of two major orchestras (National Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony) and numerous cultural centers, including the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums, the National Gallery, Walters Art Museum, and the Corcoran and Kreeger Museums. World-class research facilities in the area include the Library of Congress (the world’s second-largest library in collection size), the Smithsonian Institution (which also houses Smithsonian Folkways Records), the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Archives and National Archives II. The University has recently established a partnership with the Phillips Collection of modern art, and the School of Music plays an important role in this partnership.






World Music Ensemble Directors


Peter Beicken, German, School of Languages, Literature and Culture
Karen Bradley, Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS)
Jerrold Levinson, Philosophy
Laurie Frederik, TDPS
Barry Pearson, English
Miriam Phillips, TDPS
Scott Trudell, English

Faculty Teaching and Research

Divisional faculty teach a broad range of courses on topics within the major periods of Western music history, world musics, popular music, and jazz, and offer seminars developing techniques of research in musicology and ethnomusicology. Seminar topics offered recently include, in musicology, Music Manuscripts for Mass and Office, The Mass from Machaut to Bernstein, Classic Music: Expression, Rhetoric, Form, Issues in Bach Studies, Editing and Performing Handel’s Operas, Interpreting Romanticism, Opera Today, Stravinsky, 1909-39: Between Modernity and Tradition, Ballets Russes, Readings in American Music, Charles Ives: Music and Issues, Political Music in Nineteenth-Century America, George Gershwin and American Music, Music of North America, Music History Pedagogy, and in ethnomusicology, Music and Nation-Building, Music and the Cold War, Music and Globalization, Anthropology of Music, Music and Film in Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Reading the Music Ethnography, and Popular Music. Students may also conduct independent research under faculty supervision. In addition, students can participate in musical ensembles in which they gain proficiency in Balinese gamelan, Japanese koto, and Korean percussion.

Faculty research informs teaching (see the individual faculty webpages). Our faculty have conducted research on musics from the distant past to the present; on almost every continent in the world in major libraries, cities, and cultures; on early artifacts, musical instruments, and music manuscripts, as well as modern living traditions; and on live, recorded, artificially produced, or entirely lost sound. We regularly present our research in public lectures at conferences in the Baltimore-Washington area, United States, and around the world; participate in scholarly societies to share the latest developments in our fields; review musical performances and new publications; publish articles, books, and editions of music with academic presses; and hold or have held positions of leadership in the leading international and national professional scholarly societies and as editors of scholarly journals and books.

A bibliography of recent faculty publications can be found here.

Graduate Students

Graduates of the Musicology and Ethnomusicology Programs have successful careers teaching in universities, colleges, and schools both nationwide and internationally, and working in libraries, museums, the music publishing industry, arts administration, and as conductors and performers. Their publications and professional activities advance our knowledge of music and musicians past and present.

Click here to learn about our current graduate students.


During the academic year, the Divisions of Musicology & Ethnomusicology and Theory/Composition sponsor the Music Scholars Lecture Series, which brings distinguished scholars to the campus to speak to graduate students. Students and faculty present their research at regular Friday-afternoon colloquia. Faculty and students also belong to and participate in the Capital Chapter of the American Musicological Society and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Students may submit research papers to the AMS Capital Chapter for the yearly Irving Lowens Award for Student Research and to MACSEM for the Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize.

2016/17 Colloquia

Music Scholars Lecture Series

Thursday, 12:30 p.m., Oct, 12: Anthony Seeger (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Ethnomusicology at UCLA), "The Music Industry and Us: Composers, Performers, Scholars, and Sound Technicians in the 'Real World' *Location: Gildenhorn Recital Hall

Friday, 4:00p.m., Octo. 28: Samia Ahmad, Lecture-Demonstration of Hindustani Vocal Music

Friday, 4:00 p.m., Dec. 2: J. Martin Daughtry (Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, New York University)

Click here to view upcoming guests in the Music Scholars Lecture Series.


The Division of Musicology & Ethnomusicology communicates with students, alumni, and interested colleagues through two listservs, one for current faculty and students, one for friends and alumni. Contact J. Lawrence Witzleben ( to subscribe.


  • Ethnomusicology and Musicology Lab
  • Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
  • Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center


World Music Ensembles

  • ◦UMD Gamelan Ensemble, which includes two Balinese gamelan: Saraswati (gamelan gong keybar) and Mitra Kusuma (gamelan anklung)
  • ◦UMD Koto Ensemble performs music for the Japanese zither, including classical, folk, and contemporary pieces
  • ◦UMD Korean Percussion Ensemble performs both the traditional p’ungmul farmers’ bands’ music and the more contemporary Samul Nori repertoires