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.

“Mariachi music is such a lively type of music. When you play in person, you really feel the emotions. You really feel all the energy.” - Saveena Patel (@saveenapatel) Ethnomusicology 23’ and member of @UCLAAlpert’s Mariachi de Uclatlán ensemble.  After months of online rehearsals, the student performers of the Mariachi de Uclatlán (@uclatlan) are excited to be returning to in-person learning. In an article by the Daily Bruin (@dailybruin), students described their experience learning in a remote setting and what they are looking forward to in-person. Members of the group are preparing to focus on smaller details of a performance in a physical space and are ready to take their performances to the next level. 🎺🎻  “A pandemic like COVID, it’s not going to stamp (mariachi) out,” Skye Hoffman, violinist in the ensemble and design media arts student said. “Because it’s folk music, it speaks to the soul. And as long as people have souls, there’s going to be mariachi.”  We are thrilled to have the UCLA Mariachi de Uclatlán ensemble back on campus as part of our musical community! 🎵  To read the full article and learn more, click the link in our bio ⬆️.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Music #Mariachi #Ethnomusicology
Join us as we honor Distinguished Professor of Ethnomusicology A.J. Racy as he retires from @UCLAAlpert following a 40+ year career of teaching, performance and research in a special virtual reception celebrating his many accomplishments on Wednesday, June 30 at 5 p.m. PT. ⠀
“The things I will miss most after retirement include the peaceful ambiance of the UCLA campus, the guest lectures on various related topics and world music performances at university venues,” said Professor Racy. “I will also miss many colleagues and staff, as well as the undergraduate and graduate students with whom I have worked.⠀
We will miss Professor Racy and thank him for being an integral part of our UCLA community! 💛 💙 ⠀
In honor of his expansive career and dedication to student success, the School of Music has established the A.J. Racy Scholarship in Ethnomusicology to support graduate and undergraduate scholars in their studies. ⠀
To learn more and to attend his upcoming reception, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology
At @UCLAalpert’s 2021 virtual commencement celebration 🎉 students from the departments of music, ethnomusicology and global jazz studies joined forces for a breathtaking performance of “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free” by Nina Simone and “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder.  We hope you enjoy this inspiring rendition of both tracks by our School of Music students.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #GlobalJazz #Music #MusicIndustry #Musicology #Graduation2021
Join us Wednesday, June 2 at 12 p.m. PT for the third installment of the Musics from Around the World: Southern California Composers in Concert series, which is part of UCLA World Music Center‘s yearlong celebration of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive‘s 60th anniversary.  @UCLAalpert is proud to highlight Daniel Ho (@daniel_ho_creations), a six-time GRAMMY Award winner, eleven-time GRAMMY Award nominee, six-time Taiwanese Golden Melody Award winner, and recipient of multiple Hawaiian Music awards as he presents a virtual concert of his compositions.  Ho is a ‘ukulele virtuoso, slack key guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter, producer, audio engineer and record company owner. As an artist and clinician, Ho performs throughout the U.S. and internationally. In pursuit of new musical adventures, he is the designer of the Romero Creations (@romerocreations) Tiny Tenor ‘ukulele, and the Ohana Bongolele and Shakerlele and his custom-designed six-string ‘ukulele is on exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum (@grammymuseum) in Los Angeles.  Learn more and RSVP via the link in our bio ⬆️.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #GrammyMuseum #UCLALibrary
Explore the music that is inside of you this summer with Professor of Ethnomusicology, Dr. Diane White-Clayton (@dianewhiteclayton), in her course “African American Music,” offered in Summer Session A from June 21-July 30.  Students will study and perform the music of African American sacred traditions, including gospel, spirituals and hymns.  Summer Courses are open to high school students as well as musicians and scholars of any skill level. Study with expert instructors as you expand upon your current skill set or follow your curiosity to explore something new.  To learn more, click the link in our bio ⬆️.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #BlackMusic
We are pleased to announce that Ethnomusicology faculty member, Supeena Adler (@supeenainseedler) and Music Education faculty member, Lily Chen-Hafteck at @UCLAalpert, will receive research grants from the UCLA Chancellor’s Council on the Arts and the university’s Office of Research and Creative Activities. 🎉 This year, funding was awarded to 12 faculty members to advance relevant arts and humanities research.⠀
Adler will research a unique folk tradition of Northeast Thailand 🇹🇭 and acquire related instruments and costumes to incorporate into her Music of Thailand Ensemble course. Exploring music education and prejudice, Chen-Hafteck will investigate how Los Angeles elementary school students may benefit from learning the music and cultures of their fellow classmates, allowing for the appreciation of differences while reducing racial biases. 🎵⠀
Additionally, the Ethnomusicology Archive and UCLA Library (@uclalibrary) have received funding to co-host a large-scale exhibition of Black music in Los Angeles that will feature familiar names and stories of musicians who have been excluded from the narrative of Los Angeles music making. 📚⠀
“These research grants recognize the arts as essential to our lives,” said Eileen Strempel (@uclamusicdean), inaugural dean and chair of the UCLA Chancellor’s Council on the Arts. “The arts inspire innovation and creativity as they break down barriers to build empathy and understanding.”⠀
We look forward to seeing how this funding will contribute to advancing the role of the arts as a vital part of the UCLA experience.💙⠀
To read the full UCLA Newsroom article, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #Giving
Join the UCLA Film & TV archive (@uclaftvarchive) Thursday, May 6, at 4 PM PT for a free virtual screening of the Los Angeles-based TV 📺 music program “Frankly Jazz” from 1962 hosted and co-produced by noted disc jockey Frank Evans🎷, who was known for his laid-back cool and trademark sign-off, “later.” The Archive presents three episodes of this obscure local music TV series, as preserved from recently acquired, original master videotapes featuring legendary artists such as Gerald Wilson, the Jazz Crusaders and Sammy Davis Jr.⠀
Introducing the performances will be jazz musician, educator, and @UCLAalpert Ethnomusicology alumnus, Ray Briggs Ph.D., ‘02, Jazz Studies Department Chair for the Pasadena Conservatory of Music (@pasadenaconservatoryofmusic), and Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at California State University, Long Beach (@csulb_bccm), where he teaches courses in jazz history and ethnomusicology.📚⠀
To learn more and RSVP for this event, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #Alumni
@UCLAalpert is proud to announce Professor Farzad Amoozegar (@farzad.amoozegar) as the new Director of the Iranian Music Program 🇮🇷. In this role, he is leading the creation of the Iranian Music Minor as well as organizing a series of conferences and workshops on aspects of Iranian music performance, aesthetics and ethics.  His appointment represents the continued partnership between the School of Music and the Farhang Foundation (@farhangfoundation), an organization dedicated to celebrating Iranian art and culture in the community.  Professor Amoozegar holds dual doctorate degrees in ethnomusicology and anthropology, and is an experienced performer of the Iranian musical instruments tār—a double-bowl-shaped, six-stringed instrument—and setār—a pear-shaped, four-stringed instrument.  The Farhang Foundation’s Executive Director, Alireza Ardekani (@rezakhan), connected with Professor Amoozegar for a Q&A to discuss Amoozegar’s passion for Iranian music, his teaching philosophy, his future plans for the Iranian Music Program and more.  “I could not have asked for more with my current position at UCLA,” said Amoozegar. “As the director of Iranian music, I have the chance to bring my academic and artistic background in conversation with my daily tasks and future goals.”  We are thrilled to welcome Amoozegar in his new role, contributing to the growth of diverse music to the Bruin community! 💙  To read the full article, click the link in our bio ⬆️.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #IranianMusic
Join us Wednesday, 4/7 at 11 AM PT for the first concert in the brand new series, “Musics from Around the World: Southern California Composers in Concert”, launched by The World Music Center at @UCLAAlpert, spotlighting contemporary global music makers throughout the region. Kicking it off will be composer, performer and improviser Christopher Adler (@christopheradlerdotcom).⠀
Adler will present his work with the khaen, the bamboo free-reed mouth organ of Laos and Northeast Thailand, an instrument he has championed for over 25 years. He will perform traditional and contemporary solos, as well as two duos with violinist Batya MacAdam-Somer (@lesterbangslives), including the world premiere of a new adaptation of a piece originally for Chinese instruments.⠀
“Musics from Around the World: Southern California Composers in Concert” is part of the yearlong celebration of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive's 60th anniversary.⠀
To register for this event, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #WorldMusic
Join us tonight, 3/19 at 7 p.m. for the “End of the Quarter Showcase” organized by the Alpert Student Advisory Board! ⠀
Tonight’s concert features performers from all departments at the School of Music, including the UCLA Percussion Ensemble, the Music of China Ensemble, Irina Bazik, Kelsey Ma (@melseyka), Valerie Stern, Professor Inna Faliks, and original works from Kian Ravaei (@kianraveei), Robby Good (@robbygood702), Shirunyu Li among many more. ⠀
To watch the concert, click the link in our bio ⬆️. ⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #music #Ethnomusicology #GlobalJazz
In recognition of Women’s History Month, @UCLAalpert is proud to spotlight fourth year Ethnomusicology major and composer Kenedea Lee (@kenedea_music). ⠀
Lee started classical training when she was 9 years old and only immersed herself in that style of music until her late teen years. During her senior year of high school, she realized that she wanted to learn music outside of Western classical music, which led her to pursue Ethnomusicology. Having fond memories performing at UCLA Alpert’s Schoenberg Hall during high school was a huge reason why she chose to attend the School of Music.⠀
She began writing music after she was given an assignment to write and perform a short blues piece from her music theory professor. After hearing herself and other musicians play a simple melodic line with supporting harmonies, that nearly knocked her off her feet. ⠀
“I was inspired to compose music ever since,” said Lee. “As I genuinely write from my heart, I aspire to bring a sense of joy and warmth to those who listen to my compositions.” ⠀
One woman musician she looks up to is Lynette Williams (@hammondgal), the keyboardist for @ChildishGambino. ⠀
“I am not only inspired by her talent, but also by her kindness and character,” said Lee. “She inspires me to be a better musician and a good person at the same time. The two should always be hand and hand!” ⠀
Lee encourages other women wanting to pursue a profession in music to wholeheartedly believe in yourself. Acknowledging that the industry is heavily dominated by men, she wants women not to be discouraged by what looks like the "odds,” but to keep your eyes on your goals. ⠀
Staying focused on her goals, Lee is releasing a short jazz album called "Warm Colors” in the coming months, which will be available on most music platforms. ⠀
We are truly inspired and look forward to hearing Lee’s new music. 🎵💙⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #WomenInMusic #WomensHistoryMonth #Ethnomusicology
Lupita Infante ‘17 (@luinfante), Ethnomusicology alumna and GRAMMY nominee for her first studio album, “La Serenata,” in the Best Regional Mexican Music Album category will kick off the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony event with a tribute performance celebrating the 50th anniversary of the timeless classic Marvin Gaye track “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology).” Joining her will be several nominees, including former Bruin Kamasi Washington (@kamasiwashington). ⠀
Infante will also have the honor of presenting the first GRAMMY Awards of the day, alongside Bill Burr (@wilfredburr), Chika (@chikalogy) and former Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam (@flytetymejam).⠀
The Premiere Ceremony will be livestreamed internationally on Sunday, 3/14 at 12 p.m. PT via the @recordingacademy website before the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show. 💙 ⠀
To learn more, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #GRAMMYs #Ethnomusicology #Alumni
During a recent @uclawbb game against Oregon State, Ethnomusicology major Yeremiya “Yerry” Wright ‘23 (@itsyerry) and Psychology major Foluke Oduntan ‘21 (@rachealfolu) were invited to perform the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “The Star Spangled Banner” in honor of Black History Month.  Wright and Oduntan are members of the Leadership Team in the Department of Ethnomusicology’s Music of African Americans Ensemble at @UCLAalpert, which is directed by Dr. Diane White-Clayton (@dianewhiteclayton). We are beyond proud of our talented students. 💙  Happy Black History Month! 💛  #ThisisUCLAMusic #BlackHistoryMonth #BHM #Ethnomusicology
Share the love with 💙 Mariachi de Uclatlán 💛 this Valentine’s Day!⠀
Donate to Uclatlán by 12 PM PT on Saturday, 2/13, and they will thank you with a personalized serenade on Valentine’s Day for you or your special someone!⠀
Mariachi de Uclatlán will also close out Valentine's Day with a serenata of “Amor de mis amores" on their social media channels - @Uclatlan.⠀
To donate, click the link in our bio ⬆️ and email or DM @Uclatlan your confirmation to choose your songs and special message you would like them to include in your serenade.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #SerenatasDeAmor #Uclatlan #ValentinesDay #Giving #Ethnomusicology
In 2014, classical Thai musician and instrument repairer Supeena Adler joined the @UCLAalpert Department of Ethnomusicology to oversee an extensive restoration of its collection of rare Thai instruments.  After hours of hard work, the exquisite collection was brought back to life and ready to be enjoyed by students for the first time in 35 years, reviving the UCLA Music of Thailand Ensemble under Adler’s direction. 🇹🇭  Discover how this important effort created unique opportunities for students and connected them to a global Thai community in this short video.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #WorldMusic #ThaiMusic #Ethnomusicology #Giving
Congratulations to @UCLAalpert’s Ethnomusicology alumna, Lupita Infante (‘17) on receiving a Grammy nomination for her first studio album, “La Serenata,” in the “Best Regional Mexican Music Album” category. ⠀
Infante, who was recently profiled by @abc7la, shared that studying at the School of Music was integral to her journey. ⠀
“UCLA holds a special place in my heart in so many ways,” said Infante. “Studying at UCLA opened my mind to new worlds.”⠀
After graduating from the SOM, Infante set her sights on a singing career. While making herself available for opportunities, she decided to drive for Lyft and Uber.⠀
Her hard work eventually paid off as she now follows in the footsteps of her grandfather, Pedro Infante, an icon in the world of mariachi. ⠀
We are in awe of her accomplishment 👏🏼 and so proud! Tune in to the GRAMMY Awards on March 14 on CBS.⠀
To watch Infante’s interview with ABC7 Los Angeles, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Mariachi #Grammys2021 #Ethnomusicology #Alumni
Shabnam Fasa (’09) and Julius Reder Carlson (Ph.D. ’11, Ph.D. ’15) met as students at @UCLAalpert and shared their appreciation of ethnomusicology and world music. They also shared the desire to live in a society where socioeconomic and cultural differences are not barriers to acceptance and personal growth.⠀
Wanting to create an inclusive space where youth from all backgrounds connect through music is how the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra (SMYO) started.⠀
“We wanted to create a program where all kids could come, regardless of racial background, economic background, and it had to remain tuition-free for all kids,” said Fasa. “And not just limit it to Western classical music, but have all these other world music ensembles at the same level.”⠀
Carlson recalls that many of the foundational concepts of the orchestra came from discussions with graduate students in the ethnomusicology program, particularly the modeling of Anthony Seeger, who was his adviser and mentor. Additionally, 90% of faculty, staff and board members are connected to UCLA. ⠀
Fasa and Carlson have big plans for SMYO. “In 2028, we would like to open the Olympics with our world music ensembles representing all of Los Angeles,” said Carlson.⠀
We look forward to SMYO continuing its mission. GoBruins! 💙⠀
To read the full article, click the link in our bio ⬆️.⠀
#ThisIsUCLAMusic #UCLAAlumni #Ethnomusicology ⠀
In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, @UCLAalpert is proud to spotlight Herman Chavez, a third-year transfer student majoring in Ethnomusicology and Comparative Literature. Herman is a first-generation American who shared how his identity has shaped his sense of place and belonging.  “As a Bolivian-American, my specific country often goes underrepresented in both the United States and in international conversations about art and culture,” said Herman. “I am a proud Boliviano and I carry my culture with me as a student and advocate at the School of Music.”  As the son of immigrants, his experience made him keen to the dissonance between his household and the majority of the U.S., guiding his curiosity on how aspects of migration and movement impact Latinx identity formation. His areas of research include: critical race studies, folkloric and Indigenous music, diaspora and migration, poetics and queerness in music, decolonial and post-colonial theory, and Latin American, Bolivian and Andean music.  Herman also sits on the Changing the Culture Subcommittee as part of the school’s Anti-Racism Action Committee, which strives to improve the academic atmosphere at the school for racialized students. He has also been admitted to the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program where he is conducting research on Bolivian music with faculty mentor and musicology professor, Cesar Favila.  “In my time here, I hope to share the Bolivian and Andean identity in and out of musical spaces.”  #ThisisUCLAMusic #HispanicHeritageMonth #Ethnomusicology
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 Music Ensemble
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
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
Max Nikol
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: music and language; semiotic anthropology; analogical reasoning; media practice/infrastructure, cities, and Englishes in the Balkans
Alec Norkey
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: contemporary Western art music, cultural anthropology, hermeneutics, cultural production, aesthetics and musical ontologies
Delaney Ross
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Indigenous ethnomusicology, music as resistance, Pacific Islands, gender, multiculturalism
Mehrenegar Rostami
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Traditional and popular musics of the Middle East and Central Asia
Otto Stuparitz
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Traditional and popular musics of Indonesia
Tyler Yamin
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Acoustemology of environmental conservation, gibbon song, multispecies ethnomusicology
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)
The View from the Front Row - A Profile of Cheryl Keyes
Dr. Cheryl Keyes has authored a prize-winning book on the ethnography of hip hop and rap, produced two award-winning albums on her own record label, is a Professor of Ethnomusicology, Global Jazz Studies at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and is currently chairing UCLA’s Department of African American Studies. And earlier this past year, she made headlines as one of ten members of an executive committee that selected music for the Smithsonian Museum’s long-awaited Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap.
The Indo-Persian Musical Confluence Welcomes Attendees From Across the Globe
The School of Music’s Department of Ethnomusicology held eight virtual panels and performances as part of “The Indo-Persian Musical Confluence” series November 2020 – May 2021. This attracted participants from across the globe, including Europe, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Canada and numerous regions within the United States.
School of Music Celebrates Distinguished Ethnomusicology Professor A.J. Racy
This spring, distinguished professor of ethnomusicology A.J. Racy will retire from the School of Music following a 40+ year career of teaching, performance and research with the nation’s premier and only freestanding Department of Ethnomusicology.
Six-time GRAMMY Winning 'Ukulele Virtuoso, Daniel Ho, Performs for Archive's 60th Anniversary
Daniel Ho, a six-time GRAMMY Award winner, eleven-time GRAMMY Award nominee, six-time Taiwanese Golden Melody Award winner, and recipient of multiple Hawaiian Music awards will present a virtual concert of his compositions as the third installment of the Musics from Around the World: Southern California Composers in Concert series, part of UCLA World Music Center‘s
From Broadway’s “Grease” to Studying Ethnomusicology
Allie Schulz is a first-year transfer student from Los Angeles City College (LACC), majoring in Ethnomusicology at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Before transferring to UCLA, Schulz spent her time performing musical theater on Broadway in New York City, touring the country and was even cast in a reality TV show in Los
Original Student Song Featured in New Film “Mighty Oak”
Second year ethnomusicology student, Sophia Bacino is honored to have her original song “Indigo” featured in the new film “Mighty Oak.”
Mar 2 Wed
Ancestral Voices: The Musical and Spiritual Technologies of Sidi Dhammal/Goma
This presentation examines the devotional song lyrics, musical instruments, and ritual practices of Sidis, Indians of African ancestry, as they forge intergenerational connections between African Muslim ancestor-saints and ‘descendant’-devotees in western India.

Explore Other Degrees

Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music History & Industry
Combining Musicology and the Music Industry minor for practical hands-on training with the study of music within the context of different societies, cultures, and theories
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
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