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Ph.D. Program Overview

Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo
The Ph.D. in Music degree program provides students with an integrative framework for music scholarship, emphasizing the ways in which musicology and ethnomusicology interact and complement one another.

A series of required courses encourages students to discover commonalities and distinctions among the world's music cultures through an examination of cross-cutting parameters, such as pitch and rhythm systems; the relationship of music to text, dance, religion, gender, and politics; and issues of ethnography.

Students also select from a series of more specialized cross-cultural courses that draw on the particular specialties of UCSC's music faculty. An ongoing colloquium series features presentations by faculty, students, and guests, providing an opportunity for interaction and discussion of current topics in research. Students may also supplement their studies with courses from other departments on campus, such as anthropology or the history of consciousness program. In addition to cultural approaches to world musics, the program encourages the integration of scholarly research with musical performance, emphasizing the ways in which performance serves both rhetorical and symbolic ends within various cultural settings. To this end the concept of “performance practice” plays a significant role in this program, given that the concept of historically or culturally informed performances is applicable to music from the earliest times to the present day in all geographical and cultural regions, and can encompass research activities as diverse as fieldwork, historical editing, and recording, as well as publishing of books and articles on compositional and performance traditions. 

Program Learning Outcomes for the PhD program:

Ph.D. graduates will demonstrate:

1) independent research skills
2) mastery of critical thinking about music history and culture
3) mastery of oral and written communication skills about music
4) mastery of critical thinking about musical language