Learning about musics of the world involves understanding how people from hundreds of different musical traditions imagine, talk about and make music. 

Ethnomusicology at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

Ethnomusicologists are interested in the people, the social processes and the wider context involved in music-making, and in the musical product itself. Through studying individuals and societies all around the world, ethnomusicologists aim to discover the meaning of music to particular groups of people – what part it plays in their lives, and why it is meaningful to them. We examine and relate cultural and context-specific discoveries about music-making to the broader human experience both historically and in the present.

Find Ethnomusicology programs

Study Ethnomusicology

Undergraduate students can pursue their interest in ethnomusicology from the first year of study, taking a guided program that develops knowledge, skills and practices that provide a basis for independent critical inquiry and research-based writing, as well as the ability and self-confidence to understand and present complex concepts about the diversity of the world’s music.

Graduate students can choose from a range of specialised coursework and research programs in ethnomusicology.

Graduates with an ethnomusicology major have gone into exciting careers in the academic world, in arts administration, Indigenous advocacy, museums, multicultural and ethnic arts organisations, in digital archives, and in cultural policy development agencies in many countries.

Ethnomusicology courses

Ethnomusicology Ensembles and Breadth courses

Learning to perform music outside the Western tradition is an important part of the process of becoming an ethnomusicologist. Practical subjects offered include:

  • Gamelan
  • World Music Choir
  • Shakuhachi
  • African Music and Dance
  • Chinese Classical Music Ensemble

Visit Breadth at the MCM to learn more about Ensemble subjects.

Find ensemble courses

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