Musicology

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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.

Leonard Bernstein at 100: Four UCLA Professors Reflect on an American Music Icon
World-wide celebrations are underway honoring American composer, conductor and educator Leonard Bernstein, who would have been 100 on August 25, 2018. Opera UCLA joins the global celebration with an evening dedicated to Bernstein’s theater music plus his late masterpiece SONGFEST, on Nov. 17.
UCLA Professor of Musicology Timothy Taylor on New Lincoln SUV Musical Alerts
“In an era where more and more people are going to yoga and taking mindfulness classes and trying to figure out how to declutter their lives, it makes perfect sense that a automaker would try to introduce some level of calm.”
Milken Fund for American Jewish Music Launches Program Year
The Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music presents more than a dozen performances this academic year. Featuring special guest artists, world-class student performers and leading scholars in the field,
Research and Scholarly Events Advance Knowledge of Field of American Jewish Music
During the summer of 2018, two graduate student researchers were kept busy by the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music. One researched composers and their interrelationships across generations. The other focused exclusively on one composer, Max Helfman. 
Musicologist Jessica Holmes explores connection between Beethoven’s deafness and Ninth Symphony
INTERVIEW: “Musicology has tended to undervalue the role of the body in the performance of western art music,” said postdoctoral musicology scholar Jessica Holmes in Artsfile.
Content for Humans About the Content of Humans
IN THE NEW YORK TIMES: "What is the sound of your DNA?” Spotify and Ancestry.com teamed up to create a tool to convert DNA sequences into Spotify playlists. Professors Tim Taylor and Gigi Johnson weighed in at the New York Times.

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
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
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