What is Musicology?

Musicologists study the history, cultural contexts, and interpretation of music. While the discipline has tended, historically, to focus largely on European art-music repertories, in recent decades it has expanded to include many other traditions as well as other regions. The Department of Musicology at UCLA now leads the field nationally and internationally in offering advanced training within this broader vision of the discipline and is a recognized leader in the study of popular music, the study of music, power, and difference, and in innovative approaches to the study of traditional repertories and musical practices.

The most recent report of the National Research Council ranked UCLA Musicology as the number one musicology doctoral program in the country.  In addition to the Ph.D., the department offers both a major and a minor in Musicology, with course offerings ranging from traditional subjects spanning the history of European and American music, to more specialized courses in electronic dance music, Motown, blues, medievalism, musicals, rock & roll, punk, and film music, to theoretical explorations of sound studies, music and politics, performance studies, musical listening, music and gender, the philosophy of music, and music in postcolonial studies.  The department is also the home of the UCLA Early Music Ensemble, which engages students from across the university and UCLA community, and presents several public concerts each year.

Musicology Faculty

School of Music Mourns the Passing of Musicology Visionaries
Frank D’Accone and Marie Louise Martinez Göllner both passed away in 2022. Each had a pivotal role building the department of musicology at UCLA during their long tenures at UCLA, which spanned the 1970s to the 1990s.
Meet Herman Luis Chavez, Undergraduate Commencement Speaker 2022
A chance encounter with the music of Bolivian composer Atiliano Auza León changed the trajectory of Herman Luis Chavez’s life.
UCLA student Jack Drinker strikes a chord with authentic songwriting skills
As a musician and songwriter, Fourth-year music history and industry student Jack Drinker has created works highlighting personal growth and mental health.
National Endowment for The Arts Chair to address UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music graduates
Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, the 13th chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will deliver the keynote address at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music 2022 commencement celebration, which will be held in Dixon Court North on Friday, June 10 at 4 p.m. PT.
Naming, Understanding, and Playing with Metaphors in Music
This symposium aims to spark conversation on how metaphorical language shapes our understanding of not only music and sound but one another and the world.
Oct 18 Tue
3:30pm
Free
talks
Robert M. Stevenson Lecture with Nadine Hubbs: "Country-Loving Mexican Americans: Inevitable Fandom and Dual Patriotism among Mexican American Country Music Lovers."
Country music has been strongly associated with Anglo-white Americans, but changing racial-ethnic understandings are rapidly redefining the genre. Hubb’s fieldwork with Mexican American country music lovers in California and Texas illuminates the historical and cultural perspectives by which these fans understand not that country music offers belonging, but that it belongs to, Mexican Americans, and
Lani Hall
Oct 21 Fri
5:00pm
Free
lectures-symposia, talks
Hear + Việt + Film, a Symposium on Music in Trans-Vietnamese Film
Hear + Việt + Film: a Symposium on Trans-Vietnamese Music in Film is a two-day event bringing together scholars, filmmakers, and composers for a critical reassessment of music in Vietnamese film. Featuring lecture panels, film screenings, and Q&A sessions, the event seeks to bridge transnational as well as transdisciplinary perspectives on this global medium. It

Explore Degrees

Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
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
Musicology
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