Musicology

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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.

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music receives $3 million to renovate theater
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has renovated the 133-seat theater in the Schoenberg Music Building thanks to a $3 million gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation. The theater was renamed Lani Hall, in honor of Alpert’s wife, the singer Lani Hall.
Wadada Leo Smith, musician and composer, receives UCLA Medal
The genre-defying artist whose career has highlighted a commitment to breaking barriers was awarded the campus’s highest honor.
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Announces Fall 2019 Season
Grammy-nominated saxophonist Chris Potter, and jazz vocalist Fay Victor, are just two of the artists who will be part of the music school’s Fall 2019 season.
Chancellor's Residence recital series completes another successful year
This year, the Chancellor’s Residence Recital Program featured 19 recitals presented by students from Music, Ethnomusicology, Global Jazz Studies, and Musicology. The series, created in the fall of 2007 by the Associate of the Chancellor, Mrs. Carol Block, ran from March through May.
'A song is never just a song': The complicated history behind the controversy over Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' | USA Today
Shana L. Redmond, associate professor of musicology and African American studies at UCLA, discusses the controversy over Kate Smith's 'God Bless America.' More than three decades after her death, Smith became a controversial figure in the world of sports, almost overnight, when her popular rendition of "God Bless America" was cast aside by the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers in April after the organizations discovered that she had performed songs with racist lyrics in the early 1930s.

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 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
Music Performance Jazz
A highly selective M.M. program in partnership with the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz