In 2015, the World Music Center at UCLA was founded to harness the remarkable assets of three entities established in the 1950s-60s. The World Musical Instrument Collection, with more than 800 instruments, is one of the largest such university-based collections anywhere in the world. The Ethnomusicology Archive, founded by renowned ethnomusicologist Mantle Hood, was one of the first of its kind, and today is the joint second-largest in the United States, behind only the Library of Congress. And Ethnomusicology Publications distributes and publishes reports, CDs, songbooks, DVDs and monograph series on a range of specialized topics – from Ghost Dance songs to jazz to traditional music of Thailand.
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Münir Beken, Director
On Wednesday 7 October 2015, the Cabinet of the Herb Alpert School of Music approved the establishment of the World Music Center at UCLA, which will operate under the aegis of the Department of Ethnomusicology. The Center, first proposed by then-chair Helen Rees in 2011, brings together three outstanding assets belonging to the Department: the World Musical Instrument Collection, founded in the late 1950s; the Ethnomusicology Archive, founded in 1960; and Ethnomusicology Publications, which began operations in the 1960s. Bringing these three units together under one administrative and conceptual umbrella offers two major advantages: first, improved functionality and coordination, since all three are frequently involved in different aspects of the same events; and, second, improved visibility and development opportunities.