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.
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.
Ceremony Held for Outdoor Courtyard Dedicated as Anti-Discrimination Haven
The Herb Alpert School of Music has designated an outdoor space between the Music Library at the Schoenberg Musical Building and the recording center in the Ostin Music Center as a haven from discrimination and marginalization.

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