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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.

Musicology Faculty
See All Musicology Faculty
Elisabeth Le Guin
Chair of Musicology; Professor
Nina Eidsheim
Professor
Shana Redmond
Associate Professor
Sukha Gildart
Lecturer, Body as Instrument
Robert Fink
Chair of Music Industry Minor; Professor
Tamara Levitz
Professor
Elizabeth Randell Upton
Associate Professor
Mark Kligman
Chair of Ethnomusicology; Professor
Jessica A. Holmes
Postdoctoral Scholar
César Favila
Assistant Professor
Raymond Knapp
Academic Associate Dean; Professor
Jessica Schwartz
Assistant Professor
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César Favila is an expert in Latin American musics, Mexican music, early modern music, sacred music, and women’s music.
Professor Nina Eidsheim in the NYT's - A Playlist for Commutes
"If a commuter’s goal is to de-stress or to have a productive workday using music, I’d encourage them to think about what music puts them in which mood and to create their own highly personalized commuting playlist with that purpose in mind."
Robert Fink on Inequality in Music
“I can’t think of a single hip-hop song about people getting subprime mortgages or that kind of thing,” Fink says.
CAP UCLA's 2018-19 season features UCLA Musicology guest artist Vijay Iyer and more
Upcoming performances from CAP UCLA’s 2018-19 season feature Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Guest Artist Terri Lyne Carrington, UCLA Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series visiting artist Vijay Iyer, as well
Explore Degrees
Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
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
BA
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
BA
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 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
MM