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.

New UCLA Musicology Professor Fights for Algorithmic Justice in the Music Industry
Everybody knows the game is rigged. Streaming services like Spotify and YouTube now dominate music distribution worldwide, often leaving aspiring musicians unable to make their voices heard in the din. Tom Hodgson, who will join The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as assistant professor of musicology in January 2023, angles to fix that. Hodgson
Countering Anti-Asian Stereotyping on Stage and Screen
The subject of Asian representation in popular media is a pressing question. While the historical roots of negative Asian stereotyping in America extend back for more than a century and a half, the more recent strife in American politics has been accompanied by an alarming rise of Anti-Asian violence. “We wanted to talk about why
Telling the Story of the Vietnamese Diaspora through Music
On October 21 and 22, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will host a symposium about music in trans-Vietnamese film. Hear + Việt + Film will bring a multiplicity of perspectives to bridge transnational as well as transdisciplinary perspectives on this global medium. The event is free and open to the public. “We are
The Mexican American Roots of Country Music
On Tuesday, October 18 at 3:30 p.m., Nadine Hubbs will deliver the Robert M. Stevenson Lecture in Lani Hall at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Her talk, “Country-Loving Mexican Americans: Inevitable Fandom and Dual Patriotism among Mexican American Country Music Lovers,” will present her most recent fieldwork and research. “There’s a notion I’ve
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.

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