Course Offerings

Jim Kippen lecturing on Bollywood, modernity and gendered voices, December 2017

For the MA and PhD, we offer a wide range of courses in the theory and method of ethnomusicology. Ethnomusicology students may also take courses in musicology and music theory towards their degrees, and a limited number of courses outside the Department, but it is expected that the majority of coursework will be in ethnomusicology.

All graduate students must have their course selections ratified by the Course & Program Advisory Committee, and any subsequent changes must be done in consultation with an ethnomusicology faculty member


Core required courses for all MA students include MUS1000 — Introduction to Music Research — which involves studies in historical, analytical and critical methods with a view to exposing different approaches to research; investigation of reference books and music editions; bibliographical and organisational problems in preparing music papers. All ethnomusicology MA students must also take MUS1002 — Fieldwork Methods and Practicum — where we debate the theory and method of fieldwork itself, exploring ways in which ethnomusicologists operate in “the field” as they construct their musical ethnographies. The course involves students in practical fieldwork studies of their own. Amongst other things we will also explore technology, documentation techniques, issues of reflexivity and collaboration, ethics, and a range of ways to present our fieldwork experiences and findings.

A core requirement for all doctoral students is MUS1250 — PhD Seminar. The course examines changes in musical scholarship vis-à-vis some major shifts in modern Western intellectual history: structuralism and its aftermath, Marxism, feminist thought, philosophical hermeneutics, theories of nationalism, postcoloniality, and others. Students read core writings in this history of ideas and music scholarship that draws on these ideas, bearing in mind that not all such theory is created outside the musicologies. The seminar is also a forum for professional development. Topics covered include funding and grant applications, preparation for exams, research design, dissertation writing, conference participation, publishing, teaching and course design. Students in the seminar workshop a conference paper, submit a proposal to a conference, and present a draft of the paper to the faculty in the Ethnomusicology / Musicology Roundtables in the spring term.


Elective courses change each year. To learn details of what is on offer for the current academic year, please consult the documents Graduate Course Descriptions and Graduate Course Timetable on the Graduate Student Page of the Faculty of Music’s website.