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.

Seven UCLA professors elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Among UCLA’s 2021 honorees are the School of Music’s faculty Terence Blanchard, Inaugural Kenny Burrell Chair and Professor of Global Jazz Studies, and Elisabeth Le Guin, Professor of Musicology and Special Assistant to the Inaugural Dean for Faculty Development and Gender Equity.
Shana Redmond, Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Musicology, Contributes to Award-Nominated Documentary About Harlem and Music
Redmond lent her voice to a four-part documentary series titled “By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of ‘Godfather of Harlem,’” which was recently nominated for a 2021 NAACP Image Award.
Supporting Women and Gender Non-Binary Faculty in the School of Music
In spring 2021, Professor Elisabeth Le Guin, esteemed faculty member within the Departments of Music and Musicology, will assume a critical new role as Special Assistant to the Inaugural Dean for Faculty Development and Gender Equity.
School of Music Welcomes New Faculty
This fall, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will welcome Jan Berry Baker, David Kaplan and Catherine Provenzano to its stellar roster of faculty.
Carlos Santana to address School of Music graduates, June 19
Carlos Santana said he wants the graduates “to use their music as a platform to empower and unite as we seek justice and creative solutions during these challenging times.”
Smaller Funds Make a Big Impact for Music Performance Students
Travis Cross, Chair of the Department of Music, thanks our School of Music community for their support and highlights how smaller gifts have made a big difference in students’ academic lives by funding instrument rentals.

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