Global Music

The MA/PhD in Ethnomusicology investigates music in cultural and social contexts. In preparing students for careers in studying global music communities, our program assists students in understanding music as social practice from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Students are introduced to the intellectual history of the field and its paradigmatic shifts, and research methodology in preparation for ethnographic fieldwork. Our ethnomusicology program seeks to prepare students for careers in the academy, public sector, the music industry, and/or cultural heritage policy-making. We also offer seminars in select global music cultures as well as topics, which examine music as related to gender, politics, religion, economics, philosophy, aesthetics, and musical practice.

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Student Perspectives:<br />
David Castañeda
Student Perspectives:
David Castañeda

“I enjoyed the connections that I made with my colleagues who have now become family, seeing my approach as a researcher develop substantially in such a short amount of time, and most of all the opportunity to grow as an instructor and educator.” – David Castañeda Ph.D. ’21 |  Ethnomusicology

Meet our Graduate Students

Armen Adamian
Instructor of Armenian Woodwinds; Ph.D. Student in Ethnomusicology
Lucas Avidan
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Cultural aesthetics and transmission in popular music in Tanzania
John Hyun-Jun Jang
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Migration, Aging, and Identity in South Korean Popular Music
Shahwar Kibria Maqhfi
Ethnomusicology - Research focus: Music and Muslim belonging in South Asia.
Mukesh Kulriya
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Gender, Music, South Asia, Folk Songs, Caste
Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Chicanx and Latinx Protest Music, Decolonization, Mestizaje, Immigration and Diaspora, Critical Intersectionality, DIY (do-it-yourself) Punk as Organizational Method
Alec Norkey
Ethnomusicology - Research Focus: contemporary western art music, cultural production, feminist anthropology, hermeneutics and aesthetics
Rane Prak
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Hybridization of Traditional and Contemporary Arts in Cambodia and Khmer Diaspora
Mehrenegar Rostami
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Traditional and popular musics of the Middle East and Central Asia
Wan Yeung

Ethnomusicology Faculty

Armen Adamian
Instructor of Armenian Woodwinds; Ph.D. Student in Ethnomusicology
Supeena Adler
World Music Instrument Curator and Conservator; Director, Music of Thailand Ensemble; Adjunct Associate Professor
Münir Beken
Associate Professor
Melissa Bilal
The Promise Chair in Armenian Music, Arts, and Culture; Director of Armenian Music Program
Nick DePinna
Adjunct Assistant Professor--Musicianship
Mark Kligman
Professor of Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Humanities; Mickey Katz Chair of Jewish Music; Director of Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience
Chi Li
Adjunct Professor
Steven Loza
Director of the UCLA Center for Latino Arts; Professor and Chair of Global Jazz Studies
Mohsen Mohammadi
Director of Indo-Persian Music
Rahul Neuman
Continuing Lecturer
Roger Savage
Professor and Chair of Ethnomusicology
I Nyoman Wenten
Adjunct Assoc. Professor
Guest Artists & Scholars Offer Students Unique Insights from the City of Angels

A stream of high-profile artists and scholars from around the world have energized and inspired our students, helping to transform their educational experience. Among them are J.H. Kwabena Nketia, considered Africa’s premier musicologist/ethnomusicologist; Akin Euba, a Nigerian composer, musicologist, and pianist; MacArthur Fellow Steven Feld, an American ethnomusicologist, anthropologist, and linguist, who worked for many years with the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea; Judith Becker, professor emerita of ethnomusicology, University of Michigan; Mark Slobin, the author or editor of books on Afghanistan and Central Asia, eastern European Jewish music, film music, and ethnomusicology theory; Chano Dominguez, award-winning Spanish-born pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator, and Hossein Omoumi, a scholar and teacher of Persian traditional music, among others.

Dominguez-Chano-by-Jordi-Sunol Chano Dominguez (Photo: Jordi-Sunol) Chano Dominguez (Photo: Jordi Sunol)
Bridging Divides with Music
Mukesh Kulriya, a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology under the supervision of Anna Morcom, has won a grant from the UCLA Initiative to Study Hate. His project studies the impact of a musical initiative in Rajasthan, India used to mitigate religious hate. The grant will support research, travel, and the production of a 10-episode podcast series recorded in
A Special Gift for Mother's Day
What are you getting your mother for Mother’s Day? A card, chocolates, flowers, perhaps a bottle of champagne? Well, what about endowing a scholarship in her name? This year, two alumnae of UCLA’s school of music had scholarships endowed in their names by their sons. Dana Gordon established the Diane K. Gordon Memorial Undergraduate and
Khon: Thai Masked Dance and Music
Organized by Supeena Adler, this monumental concert brought together internationally acclaimed Thai musicians and dancers with UCLA students and the greater UCLA community.
Music Alive in the Archive: An Exploration of Kulintang Music in the Danongan Kalanduyan
The Ethnomusicology Archive holds one of the world’s great collections of audio and video recordings documenting kulingang gong music and dance around the world. They are now freely accessible to the public on the California Revealed website. Archivist Maureen Russell documented the celebration of the collection’s launch for Ethnomusicology Review.
Freedom First to Feature Student Composition
On Friday, October 6, Schoenberg Hall will witness a special event. A concert for Keith LaMar will feature legendary jazz musicians Salim Washington and multi-Grammy Award winner Arturo O’Farrill. The concert benefits LaMar, currently on death row in Ohio, having been falsely convicted of murder in the aftermath of the 1993 Lucasville Prison uprising. *
Ethnomusicology Student Lauded by Kennedy Center
Isabel Folkers was only four when she unwittingly chanced upon her career trajectory. The occasion was a house party at the home of an Irish family. The band had finished for the night and they were breaking down their equipment. The young Isabel Folkers jumped up on the makeshift stage and took hold of the
May 29 Wed
Lowriding: Studying Music and the Arts at the University
Daylong event examining the following topic: "Why are there so few students of color enrolled in schools of music or the arts at the university level?"
Ensemble Room: Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center
May 30 Thu
Music of The Old Time String Band, Klezmer Music Ensemble and African American Music Ensemble 
The Old Time String Band, Klezmer Music Ensemble, and African American Music Ensemble showcase music from these traditions on the same stage. The Old-Time String Band Ensemble, formerly the Anglo-American Ensemble, performs traditional music of rural America. Old-Time is a genre of music that has roots in very old traditional music cultures. It is as
Schoenberg Hall
Jun 1 Sat
Music of India and Mexico
The Music of India Ensemble and the Music of Mexico Ensemble showcase traditional music from these regions on the same stage. The Indian Music Ensembles focus on the performance of Indian classical music on the sitar and tabla. These are group classes where students begin learning the basic techniques of sitar while learning aspects of
Schoenberg Hall

Explore Other Degrees

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Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
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Preparation for music educators leading to a BA and teaching credential in just four years
Music Industry
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The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music