The University of British Columbia - Vancouver - Faculty of Graduate Studies

Ethnomusicology (MA) - Master of Arts in Music, Emphasis Ethnomusicology

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Program Information

School:The University of British Columbia - Vancouver - Faculty of Graduate Studies
Faculty:Faculty of Arts
Field of Study:Music, Other
Musicology and Ethnomusicology

The program can accommodate interests in ethnomusicology’s wide range of geographic areas and intellectual issues. We strongly encourage performance, close interaction with related disciplines (anthropology, area studies, sociology, linguistics, etc.), as well as border crossing within music (composition, theory, and historical musicology).

We balance diverse aspects of ethnomusicology by stressing performance, music transcription, theory and analysis, and social and intellectual history equally. We collaborate regularly with music theory, historical musicology, and composition divisions in the School of Music, and are linked to Area Studies and other departments across the university. Our goal for every student is to communicate our dedication to and love for the musics of the world, and to encourage original, critical, and constructive writing on music that will enable graduates to contribute actively to scholarship, education, and the cultures of world musics around us. The ethnomusicology students and faculty comprise a small community, but our time together is intense and vibrant, and excellent work is being done.
URL:Ethnomusicology (MA) - Master of Arts in Music, Emphasis Ethnomusicology at The University of British Columbia - Vancouver - Faculty of Graduate Studies
Thesis Based:Yes
Cost per year:*
International: $9,314
Careers:Musicians and Singers

Admission Requirements

Grade for Entrance Previous Year (%)*76
Prerequisites:*These courses are intended as guidelines. Speak to your guidance counsellor to see what courses are offered at your school.

    The applicant must ordinarily possess a B.Mus., B.S., or B.A. degree and demonstrate strengths in a range of musical skills, including musicianship, transcription, and analysis, as well as prose writing skills. No rigid prerequisites are specified but a music major is strongly recommended, including courses in World Music Cultures and close study of individual world areas. Solid grounding in performance and/or fieldwork is an asset. Applicants should demonstrate interest in the practice and perspectives of ethnomusicology in its broadest senses, including its place (and the place of music) in the history of ideas and cultural relations. Predetermination of a focused research topic can certainly be helpful but is not expected at this stage. Sustained interest in European Art Music may prove beneficial. It is also recognized that ethnomusicology is closely related to other disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, folklore, Asian studies (or other area studies), and linguistics. Students with Bachelor's degrees in these disciplines are encouraged to consider this program and discuss its prerequisites prior to application.

    Test Scores:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (Internet Based) [min. 93] or International English Language Testing System (academic or immigration) [min. 6.5]
    Application Notes :

    Submit a maximum of two papers dealing with a topic in music that is representative of work to date.

    Submit at answer to each of the following questions (max. 300 words per question):

  • What are your strengths as a musician?
  • What would you like to work on?
  • What kinds of musical activities do you especially enjoy and why?
  • Describe two books or articles about music you have particularly learned from or been stimulated by.
  • Name some music you particularly admire and explain why. What draws you to music scholarship?

    A transcription exercise will be required of all applicants to the program. This exercise will become available on the Ethnomusicology website the first or second weekend after the deadline for the application; applicants will be contacted by the department with further instructions. Most students will use standard Western notation, but modified Western notation or other systems are acceptable.

    Applicants whose degrees are from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission.

    All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

    All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study.
  • Additional Admission Requirements:
    • Letter(s) of Reference
    • Statement of Research Interests

    The applicant must demonstrate strength in a range of musical skills and prose writing skills.

    A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

    * The entrance grade may change from year to year. Please contact the school for further information.

    * We make every attempt to provide accurate information on prerequisites, programs, and tuition. However, this information is subject to change without notice and we highly recommend that you contact the school to confirm important information before applying.

    Modified on September 09, 2022