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.

The MA program in music with a concentration in ethnomusicology helps students develop skills in scholarship and performance experiences. Students choose to focus on traditional or popular music of one or more of the world's musical cultures. Students have opportunities to explore performance styles through participation in ethnomusicology ensembles such as Javanese gamelan, Latin marimba, mariachi, steel pan and African drumming.

Program Offered

Ethnomusicology, MA

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


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 2020: Closed 
Fall 2020: December 1, 2019

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.

Program Requirements

Required Core (13 credit hours)
MHL 532 Music Bibliography (3)
MHL 668 Introduction to Ethnomusicology (3)
MUP 587 Ethnomusicology Ensemble (2)
music theory (5)

Electives (9 credit hours)
music electives (6-9)
open electives (0-3)

Research (2 credit hours)
MHL 592 Research (2)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
MHL 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
MHL 592 Research is taken concurrently with the second semester of MUP 587 Ethnomusicology Ensemble (1).

At least 20 credit hours for the program must be in the field of ethnomusicology or related fields approved by the student's advisor, complemented by courses in music theory, performance and cultural anthropology as listed above. Appropriate elective coursework will be reviewed and approved by the academic unit prior to inclusion on the student plan of study. No more than three credit hours of musicology may apply to the music electives requirement.

Completion of diagnostic exams in music history and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to enrollment in courses for these programs through the ASU School of Music list above. This is tracked internally within the academic unit.

A passing grade on the foreign language exam in French, German, Italian or Spanish is required for graduation.

Additional information on degree requirements for all graduate music programs may be found on the check sheets posted under each degree here: