Ethnomusicology, MA

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The MA degree with a concentration in ethnomusicology helps students develop skills in scholarship and performance, as they focus on aspects of one or more of the world's musical cultures. Students can explore performance styles outside the Western European canon through participation in world and popular music ensembles.

Faculty members include Sabine Feisst, Dave Fossum, Kay Norton, Catherine Saucier, Peter Schmelz, Ted Solis, Christopher J. Wells and faculty associate Bliss Little.

As a culminating demonstration of professional capability in the major field, the student must submit a final project that demonstrates advanced competence in research and writing in musicology or ethnomusicology. The final project may be a thesis, a series of special papers, or a written work of equivalent scope and depth.

Participate in multisensory learning experiences to explore instruments, identities and geographic locations of music from many world cultures and work closely with faculty mentors in a variety of ethnomusicology specializations, including Middle Eastern, Latin American, Southeast Asian and popular music.

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The MA program in music with a concentration in ethnomusicology helps students develop skills in scholarship and performance as they focus on aspects of one or more of the world's musical cultures.

Students can explore performance styles outside the Western European canon through participation in ensembles such as Javanese gamelan, Latin marimba, mariachi, steel pan and African drumming. As a culminating demonstration of professional capability in the major field, the student must submit a final project that demonstrates advanced competence in research and writing in musicology or ethnomusicology. The final project may be a thesis, a series of special papers or a written work of equivalent scope and depth.

At A Glance

Ethnomusicology, MA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Requirements

Application Procedures + Requirements

Application Deadlines
Spring 2021: Closed (Not Available)
Fall 2021: December 1, 2020

Curriculum Checksheet

Checksheets break down the course requirements for each degree program.

Ethnomusicology (MA) 

Affording Grad School

Music Scholarships
All applicants are automatically considered for merit based scholarships, with priority given to those who audition and/or interview on-campus.

Teaching Assistantships
Teaching assistantships are offered to graduate students who convey exceptional ability. Learn more about TA benefits, eligibility and application procedures.

Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution or from an international institution officially recognized by that country.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00="A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00="A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee: https://admission.asu.edu/graduate
  2. School of Music application (including a resume, personal statement and writing sample): https://music.asu.edu/admissions/graduate-steps-to-apply
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. official transcripts
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency: https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency.

The School of Music does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances. Although a bachelor's degree in music is not required to be eligible for admission, applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree in music are required to complete the deficiency courses listed below, which are not a part of the coursework for this graduate degree in music. These courses or their equivalents may be taken at ASU, at another accredited university or at a community college before or after admission to this program, but they must be completed prior to commencement of graduate-level course requirements in music history and music theory.

MTC 125 Basic Music Theory
MTC 221 Music Theory: 18th Century
MTC 222 Music Theory: 19th Century
MTC 223 Music Theory: 20th Century
MHL 140 Music as Culture
MHL 341 Music History I
MHL 342 Music History II

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.