Boston University

Degree Programs

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ethnomusicology
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Ethnomusicology

Faculty

Marié Abe
Gregory Melchor-Barz 
Michael Birenbaum Quintero
Victor Coelho
Brita Heimarck
Miki Kaneda
Rachana Vajjhala
 
Andrew Shenton
Jeremy Yudkin
Joshua Rifkin

 

Website

http://www.bu.edu/musicology/

Contact

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Program Description

We are a prolific, diverse, supportive, and inclusive Department, dedicated to the shared purpose of innovative, engaged, and rigorous scholarship. Our graduate program provides the disciplinary grounding, critical theoretical tools, methodological breadth and sense of engagement with the world needed to produce ethnomusicologists of the highest caliber. We offer up to 5 years of full funding for graduate students (post-Bachelor or post-Masters) and a customizable curriculum, including a combined concentration in Musicology and Ethnomusicology.
 
The ten full-time faculty of BU’s Department of Musicology & Ethnomusicology include four ethnomusicologists (Marié AbeMichael Birenbaum QuinteroBrita Heimarck, and Gregory Melchor-Barz) and a musicologist-ethnomusicologist (Miki Kaneda), with two affiliated faculty members based in African Studies and African American Studies. Our area specializations include sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States. Ethnomusicologists work closely with our Musicology faculty, who have strong research interests in popular music, the global Early Modern period, jazz, the US 1960’s, and the avant-garde. Our theoretical focuses include sound studies, music and racial formations, global queer identities, medical ethnomusicology, violence, technology, ethnography, cultural and human geography, state cultural policy, grassroots cultural politics, ritual, secularization, modernity, cosmopolitanism, musical circulation, and historical ethnomusicology.
 Situated within a major research university, our department offers an integrated program that benefits from our close relationship with African StudiesAfrican American StudiesAsian StudiesAmerican and New England StudiesAnthropologyAsian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Research InitiativeCenter for the HumanitiesEditorial InstituteInstitute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, and Latin American Studies. Other resources include the Howard Gotlieb Archives (including significant collections for Cab Calloway, Charles Keil, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat Hentoff, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others) and the department’s collection of instruments from Bali, Colombia, Cuba, India, Ghana, Persia, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Senegal.
Boston University is located at an urban campus at the center of a thriving and diverse city. Boston’s concentration of colleges, universities, institutes, music institutions, tech companies, and ethnic and immigrant communities, provide a rich intellectual community and ample opportunities for local fieldwork.

 

 

Additional Resources

Undergraduate and graduate courses in ethnomusicology and world music; related anthropology, language and interdisciplinary courses.

Consortia and Cross-Registration

Students enrolled at Boston University may take courses at Boston College, Brandeis, Hebrew College and Tufts via the 1972 Inter-University Cross Registration Consortium. Check with your individual college for their particular handling of grades, registration and other errata.

Boston University's Cross Registration Consortium Guidelines for undergraduates.

 

BOSTON UNIVERSITY MASTER OF ARTS IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY 

Course of Study: 8 graduate-level courses (32 credits)

*denotes course required for degree 

4 Graduate Seminars in Ethnomusicology

4 Graduate Courses in Related Areas

Students will choose courses in areas such as Anthropology, Musicology, Music Education, Special Topics in Ethnomusicology, History or specific Area Studies  courses from the College of Arts and Sciences at BU, or BU Consortium courses.

  • *Proseminar in Musicology (MU739) – 3 Credits 

Additional Requirements

  • At least 2 semesters of World Music Ensemble (MU567), either as instructor or participant – .5 to 1 Credit
  • Knowledge of the undergraduate survey course Musical Cultures of the World (MU325), either as a Teaching Assistant, or by auditing the course.
  • Language - Candidates must give evidence of sufficient mastery of at least one foreign language to enable research in their area of study.
  • Master’s Thesis.
  • Time Limit - The program shall be completed within three years after the first registration for study leading to the M.A. degree. Coursework should be completed within the first 2 years, with one extra year to complete the thesis if necessary.  

BOSTON UNIVERSITY PH.D. PROGRAM IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

Entering Ph.D. students will already have a Master’s degree in a related field.

Course of Study: 8 graduate-level courses (32 credits)

*denotes course required for degree 

4 Graduate Seminars in Ethnomusicology

  • *Proseminar in Ethnomusicology (MU829) - 4 Credits
  • *Research Methods in Ethnomusicology (MU828) - 4 Credits
  • *Contemplating Ethnomusicology (MU830) - 4 Credits
  • *Research and Directed Study in Ethnomusicology (MU921) - 4 Credits

4 Graduate Courses in Related Areas

Students will choose courses in areas such as Anthropology, Musicology, Music Education, Special Topics in Ethnomusicology, History or specific Area Studies courses from the College of Arts and Sciences at BU, or BU Consortium courses.

  • *Proseminar in Musicology (MU739) – 3 Credits   

Additional Requirements

  • *At least 2 semesters of World Music Ensemble (MU567), either as instructor or participant – .5 to 1 Credit
  • *Knowledge of the undergraduate survey course Musical Cultures of the World (MU325), either as a Teaching Assistant, or by auditing the course. 
  • *Language Requirement - Candidates must give evidence of sufficient mastery of at least two foreign languages to conduct research in their areas of study. One language should facilitate doctoral research, and one language will be required for fieldwork in the area of specialization. 

Requirements towards Ph.D. candidacy

  • Qualifying Examinations
  • Dissertation Prospectus
  • Abstract and Final Oral Examination 
  • Dissertation - Candidates shall demonstrate their abilities for independent study in dissertations representing original research and creative scholarship.  
  • Time Limit - The post-master’s program must be completed within five years after the first registration for the doctoral program. It is expected that the candidate will need to conduct in-depth fieldwork in the country and location of their chosen dissertation topic; consequently, this time limit may be extended to a total of six years after the first registration for the doctoral program if needed to accommodate the necessary fieldwork.  

BU GRADUATE PROGRAM IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY TWO-YEAR SCENARIO

Category A. Four graduate courses in Ethnomusicology, one of which is Directed Thesis Research with the Ethnomusicology Faculty. The other required Ethnomusicology seminars include: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology, Research Methods in Ethnomusicology: Musical Ethnography, and Contemplating Ethnomusicology.

Category B. Four courses selected from CAS (especially Anthropology), Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Music Education, or the BU Consortium. One of these four courses is the required course Proseminar in Musicology.

Category C. Two semesters of World Music Ensemble.

Year One

Semester One

  • 1/4A Proseminar in Ethnomusicology (MU829) (Introduction to the history of the discipline, significant figures in the field, and Bibliography)
  • 1/4B CAS course (Recommended: Anthropology Proseminar)
  • TA for Musical Cultures of the World (MU325)      

Semester Two

  • 2/4A Research Methods in Ethnomusicology: Musical Ethnography (MU828) (Field methods, transcription and notation of non-Western music, interview techniques, technology, and a comparison of musical ethnographies)
  • 2/4B Proseminar in Musicology (MU739)    
  • 1/2C World Music Ensemble (MU567)    

Year Two

Semester One

  • 3/4A Contemplating Ethnomusicology (MU830) (In-depth reading and discussion of key areas of scholarship: music and politics, music and gender, music and religion, music and identity)
  • 3/4B Graduate seminar from the Consortium, chosen in accordance with the student's area of research
    2/2C World Music Ensemble (MU567)
  • Select Thesis Topic with Faculty Advisor 

Semester Two

  • 4/4A Directed Thesis Research in Ethnomusicology (MU921) - Begin writing Master’s Thesis or prepare Dissertation Prospectus
  • 4/4B Graduate seminar from CAS, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music Education, or the Consortium, chosen in accordance with the student’s area of research.
  • Complete Language Requirement/s