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.