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.
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. Undergraduate students from other areas of the University can learn about ethnomusicology through breadth studies.
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.