Ethnomusicology Program

The Five College Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology allows students interested in studying music from a multi-disciplinary perspective to build bridges across departmental boundaries in a rigorous and structured manner.

The Five College community is home to a diverse, vibrant group of students, scholars, and performers working in ethnomusicology, the anthropology of music, and related disciplines. Through the Five College consortium, students may take courses for credit at any campus. In addition, students with a special interest in ethnomusicology may pursue the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology, a program that allows students to develop a unique, multi-disciplinary curriculum focused on their individual research interests. Please note that as of Fall 2013, students from all five campuses, including the university, are eligible to participate in the certificate program.

Opportunities abound! Join one of several performance ensembles, take courses focused on a wide variety of topics, attend concerts and other events, and learn about our faculty.

On This Page


Amy M. Coddington - Assistant Professor of Music

Jeffers Engelhardt - Professor of Music

Jason Robinson - Professor of Music 

Rebecca Miller - Professor of Music

Junko Oba - Associate Professor of Music

Olabode Omojola - Professor of Music 

Andrea Moore - Assistant Professor of Music

Margaret Sarkissian - Professor of Music

Steve Waksman - Professor of Music and American Studies 

Marianna Ritchey - Associate Professor of Music History



The Five College Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology allows students interested in studying music from a multi-disciplinary perspective to build bridges across departmental boundaries in a rigorous and structured manner, and to receive credit for their accomplishments, even while completing a major in another field. In reflecting interdisciplinary trends in Ethnomusicology, students are encouraged to combine the certificate with degrees in various overlapping fields, such as African American and African Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Cultural Studies, European Studies, Gender Studies, language studies, Latin American Studies, Religion, Sociology, as well as other courses of study in Music (Composition, Performance, Jazz Studies/Improvisation, and Musicology).

The Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology provides a framework for navigating course offerings and engaging with ethnomusicologists throughout the Five Colleges. While "music" is the centerpiece of the certificate program, the wide range of topics that appear under the rubric of "ethnomusicology" extend far beyond "music in a cultural context" to include history, political science, economics, evolution, science and technology, physiology, media studies, and popular culture studies, among others.Students working within the Certificate Program might focus on music as it relates to a number of areas of inquiry, such as:

  • relationships between music and other artistic and expressive forms (i.e. dance, theater, film);
  • relationships between singing and other forms of vocal practice;
  • relationships between the study of language and music;
  • human cognitive capacity for musical and other sonic expression;
  • listening as a culturally specific practice;
  • the social history of music and popular culture;
  • understanding national, class, gender, ethnic, sexual, and other forms of identity;
  • the relationship between music and social and political power;
  • globalization and transnationalism in music;
  • the uses of music and sound in contemporary media production;
  • roles of sonic technology and surveillance in contemporary Western society;
  • the use of music and sound in relation to social and state control, the law, and space;
  • intellectual property and copyright as it pertains to musical composition, performance, and ownership.


To earn a Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology, students must successfully complete a total of seven (7) courses distributed as indicated in the following four (4) categories. No more than five courses can be from any one department/discipline, and introductory courses in basic musicianship do not count towards the requirements; introductory courses in related disciplines may only be counted in certain circumstances determined by the research goals of the individual student. Students must earn a grade of C or better for courses counted towards the Certificate.

  1. Methodology: at least two courses
  2. Performance: at least one course
  3. Area Studies or Topics courses: at least two courses
  4. Electives: negotiated in consultation with the student's ethnomusicology advisor, including courses from related disciplines including: anthropology, sociology, history, or media studies; area studies fields such as African Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, or Middle East Studies; or others related to a particular student's ethnomusicological interests.

Since ethnomusicological research and related musical performance may require understanding of and competence in a foreign language, students are encouraged, but not required, to acquire proficiency in a language relevant to their focus. Students are also encouraged to include experiential learning, a study abroad or domestic exchange experience, in-depth study of a single musical tradition, or comparative studies of several musical traditions.

Step 1: Applying

Students interested in the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology should contact a member of the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee on their campus as soon as possible to begin planning course work. In consultation with this certificate advisor, students must complete an application form for the certificate. While this form should be submitted as early as possible so that a student can become part of the certificate community (and gain priority access to certain capped courses), it must be submitted before the end of the add/drop period in the first semester of their senior year of  study.  On the recommendation of the campus advisor, applications are reviewed and approved by the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee.

A copy of the completed application form should be emailed to your campus certificate advisor.

Step 2: Completion

Students are also required to submit a certificate approval form and an unofficial transcript before the end of the add/drop period of their final semester.  A more formal document, the approval form lists courses taken and in progress that complete the requirements for the certificate. The campus advisor will present this form to the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee for approval. After approval, the campus advisor and Five Colleges request a transcript from the student’s Registrar indicating the successful completion of in progress courses.

A copy of the completed approval form and an unofficial transcript should be emailed to your campus certificate advisor in advance of the deadline.


Many courses in addition to those listed below may be eligible towards the Five College Ethnomusicology Certificate. Students are encouraged to consult their campus Ethnomusicology advisor to identify courses that are appropriate for their interests.

Individual lessons and non-ensemble performance: Credit-bearing individual lessons and non-ensemble performance opportunities (i.e. special topics courses or thesis work) in an array of musical traditions and genres are available throughout the Five Colleges. Please consult the course catalog of your home institution and with a member of the Five College Ethnomusicology faculty to find the instructor best suited to your interests.

Five College Ethnomusicology Certificate students: Depending on your area of interest, courses can often fall within more than one of the four course categories required for the certificate. While a single course cannot be counted twice, you should work in close consultation with your campus Ethnomusicology advisor to determine the appropriate allocation of courses within the certificate requirements.

Note that if you don't see classes from all campuses currently listed, they will appear as the campuses release their course schedules for the semester. The five campuses release their schedules on different dates. Visit this page for specific dates.

Spring 2024 Ethnomusicology Courses: Methodology

Subject Course # Sect # Course Title Instructor(s) Institution Meeting Times
MUSI 344 01 Methods of Analysis Jeffers Engelhardt Amherst College TU/TH | 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM
MUSI 383 01 Researching Music and Sound Jeffers Engelhardt Amherst College TU/TH | 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM
MUS 202 01 Thinking About Music Margaret Sarkissian Smith College M 3:05 PM - 4:20 PM; W 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Spring 2024 Ethnomusicology Courses: Performance

Subject Course # Sect # Course Title Instructor(s) Institution Meeting Times
MUS 955 01 Smith Javanese Gamelan Ensembl Phil Acimovic Smith College W 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
MUS 958 01 Smith Celtic Music Ensemble Ellen Redman Smith College TU 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
MUS 960 01 Chinese Music Ensemble Chia-Yu Joy Lu Smith College W 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Spring 2024 Ethnomusicology Courses: Area Studies or Topics

Subject Course # Sect # Course Title Instructor(s) Institution Meeting Times
ASLC 324 01 South Asian Music Ravi Krishnaswami Amherst College M/W | 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
MUSI 425 01 South Asian Music Ravi Krishnaswami Amherst College M/W | 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
HACU 0237 1 Japanese Sound Cultures Junko Oba Hampshire College 06:00PM-07:20PM M;06:00PM-07:20PM W
MUS 249 01 Colq: Islamic Pop Music Margaret Sarkissian,Suleiman Ali Mourad Smith College TU TH 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Performance Courses

Numerous opportunities exist for Five College students to participate in ensembles and learn instruments and styles from various global music traditions. The list below includes several of the ongoing ensembles related to ethnomusicology in the Five Colleges. Contact the instructor for full details. In addition to those listed below, there are numerous choral groups, orchestras, jazz ensembles, and other ensembles performing within the Five Colleges.

Appalachian Old Time & Bluegrass Ensembles
Hampshire College 
Contact: Prof. Rebecca Miller

Chinese Music Ensemble
Smith College
Contact: Joy Lu

Irish/Celtic EnsembleThe Wailing Banshees
Smith College 
Contact: Ellen Redman

Javanese Gamelan
Smith College
Contact: Phil Acimovic

West African Drumming
Mount Holyoke College 
Contact: Faith Conant

Elective Courses

Elective courses are negotiated in consultation with the student's ethnomusicology advisor, including courses from related disciplines including: anthropology, sociology, history, or media studies; area studies fields such as African Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, or Middle East Studies; or others related to a particular student's ethnomusicological interests.

Certificate Recipients

Leah Howard, Mount Holyoke College
Certificate Focus: Voice, Choreomusical Interactions, Enactment of Music and Dance in Religious and Cultural Healing Practices, Phenomenology 

Kay Tsukamoto, Mount Holyoke College
Certificate Focus: The History of Chinese Music

Dean Gordon, Amherst College
Certificate Focus: Jazz & Improvised Music

Louis Quinquis, Hampshire College
Certificate Focus: Music, Ethnomusicological Research

Patrick Michael Gazda, Hampshire College
Certificate Focus: Music as a communicative medium of political realities and a catalyst of sociopolitical change

Ailey Verdelle, Hampshire College
Certificate Focus: African American Diasporic Music / Afro-Cuban Music

Georgia Beatty, Hampshire College

Cara Doherty, UMass Amherst

Erin Elizabeth Hancock, Mt. Holyoke College

Isabela Haye, Hampshire College

Antonina Hill, Hampshire College

Melissa Jordan, Hampshire College

Matthew McGowan, Hampshire College

Max Nemhauser, Hampshire College (Fall 2019 graduate)
"Ethnomusicological Methodology in Documentary Filmmaking"

Carlos Sevilla, Hampshire College

Yuchen "Angel" Xiang, Mt. Holyoke College

Samuel Croff, Amherst College
"The 9th Dimension: A Composition and Performance Thesis"

Ben Fitts, Hampshire College

Caia Lee, Mt. Holyoke College
"Soundscapes of the Human Uterus: Fetal Sensory Experience and Development"

Bingyao Liu, Mt. Holyoke College
"Yangqin, Tsimbl, Cimbalom, Salterio... : An Exploration of Hammered Dulcimer Music"

Stella Silbert, Hampshire College
"Composing and Listening in a Layered Sound World"

Lena Abraham, Hampshire College
"Intersections of Gender in Electro-Acoustic Music and Noise"

April Crowley, Hampshire College
"Irish Roses, Irish Rebels: Women in Irish Traditional Song"

Nashua Malko, Hampshire College
"Awash in Sound: Sound Meditation and Healing Discourse in the Northeastern United States"

Olivia St. Pierre-Baxter, Hampshire College
"All Join Hands: Social Dancing and Identity in French-Canadian Communities"

Maxwell Rea, Hampshire College
"Call and Response: Unity through deep conversation; interpersonal cooperation harmonizing the individual and community, and other socio-musical implications"

Lenka Saldo, Hampshire College
"Embodied Imaginations: Dancing Identities in Cuban Miami"

Emily Matz, Smith College

Maria Wood, Smith College
“New Ideas in the Air: The Birth of Hamilton: An American Musical”

Nicholas Jordan, UMass Amherst

Tatiana Hargreaves, Hampshire College
"Contemporary American Fiddle Culture and Cuban Violin History"

Tomal Hossain, Amherst College
"Gregorian Chant of St. Mary's Monastary and St. Scholastica Priory: A Radio Documentary”

Zoe Langsdale, Smith College
"Irish Music and Sean-nós Singing"

Alexis Ligon, Amherst College
"Music, Critical Blackness, and Ethnographic Documentary Film"

Owen Dempsey, Hampshire College
"Different Drummers (Vovovo υuƒolawo) - Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs"

Emma Rothman, Hampshire College
"Sound, Noise, Music and Meaning: Performing Collaborative Listening"

Sean Seid, Hampshire College
"Interpretations of Colonial American Dance Music”

Bianca Couture, Smith College

Rene Cruz, Hampshire College

Allyson Grammo, Mount Holyoke College

Nick Kane, Hampshire College

Parker McQueeney, Hampshire College

Frances Caperchi, Hampshire College
"The Making of BUSNEST: The Nuances of Cultural Appropriation"

Abigail Hobart, Hampshire College
"The Red Barn Folk Festival: A Community Exploration of New England Folklife"

Jacob Hochberger, Hampshire Colleg
"Soundin' like weself: The Trinidadian Rapso Tradition"

Traci Laichter, Hampshire College
"Klezmer: Jewish Identity in the New Country"

Caleb MacKenzie-Margulies, Hampshire College (Fall 2014 graduate)

Emily Moran, Hampshire College
"Gullah Geechee Life, History, and Culture and the Impact of Gentrification on St. Simons Island and Sapelo Island, Georgia: The Past and the Present"

Kathleen Toomey, Mount Holyoke College
"The Nagara Drum and the Struggles of Folk Musicians in Pushkar, India"

James Hartman, Hampshire College
"The Viola Caipira in Brazilian Harvest Festival Music"

Thomas Heisler, Hampshire College
"Don't Take the Mask Off the Old Lone Ranger: Captain Luke and the Drink House Blues"

Rebecca Holtz, Smith College
"Gender-Role-Free Contra Dancing at the Montague Grange (A Radio Journalism piece)"

Lydia Warren, Smith College

Anna Maria Amoroso, Mount Holyoke College
"Methods of Pedagogy in Hindustani Classical Music"

Rebekah Danielson, Mount Holyoke College
"Musical Hybridity Building a Sense of Community"

Katie Hoyer, Smith College
"The Meaning of Medieval: Lopes-Graça, Portugalidade, and the Cantiga d'Amigo"

Sasha Hsuczyk, Hampshire College
"All Things That Rise Must Converge: Julia Clifford and the Spirituality of Music Performance and Experimental Art As a Means of Ethnomusicological Research Expression"

Sara Loh, Smith College
"'Oppa Malaysia Style': The Psy effect on Malaysian Music, Media and Politics"

Phoebe Smolin, Hampshire College
"La Canción de Boyle Heights: How An East Los Angeles Neighborhood Uses Music To Resist The Silencing of Its Histories "

Jacques Robert Boudreau, Hampshire College
Division III: American Mythology: Explorations in Music Composition and Ethnomusicology

Baron Collins-Hill, Hampshire College
Division III: Modern Traditional Music

Zoe Darrow, Mount Holyoke College
Certificate focus: Scottish Style Fiddling in Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island

Andrew Alexander Feinberg, Hampshire College
Division III: Speaking and Singing: The Musical Nation

Sarah Godel, Smith College

Josh Landes, Hampshire College
Division III: Behind This Tongue: DIY Radio On The Road

Alex Mcle, Mount Holyoke College
Certificate focus: The Importance of Music in Sustaining the Culture of the Maori People of New Zealand

Amber Smith, Mount Holyoke College
Certificate focus: The Harlem Renaissance: Cultural Memory and the Discourse of Africa in Jazz

Duncan Trudeau, Hampshire College
Division III: Composition and Performance on the Classical Guitar

Katherine Beyer, Hampshire College
Division III: Music-Making and Acclimating, A Radio Documentary: Reinforcing and Reshaping Nigerian Immigrant Identities Through Music

Morgan Greenstreet, Hampshire College
Division III: What I Did and Didn't Learn about Tokoe in Ghana: Many Versions of Authenticity

Ashley Soto, Amherst College
Honors thesis: Soundscapes of Latin@ Identity: Music-Making in the Puerto Rican Community of Holyoke and Beyond

Contact Us

Program Chair:

Amy Coddington, Assistant Professor of Music, Amherst College

Five College Staff Liaison:

April Shandor, Academic Programs Coordinator