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.

alum looks at camera in home office, plays instrument

10th Anniversary Celebration

Hear alumni testimonials for our 10th Anniversary Celebration for the Ethnomusicology Certificate!

Faculty

headshot of Amy Coddington

Amy M. Coddington

Assistant Professor of Music, Amherst College. B.A. Macalester College, Ph.D University of Virginia. Influence of the music industry on musical expression. How popular musicians express their identities through music, how listeners articulate their own identities by consuming this music, and how the economic interests of the music and media industries complicates these relationships.

413-542-5967 • acoddington@amherst.edu

headshot of jeffers engelhardt

Jeffers Engelhardt

Professor of Music, Amherst College. B.M. Oberlin Conservatory, M.A., Ph.D. in Music, University of Chicago. Community-based ethnography, music and religion, voice, analytical approaches to music and sound, Europe and postsocialism.

413-542-8469 • jengelhardt@amherst.edu

headshot of jason robinson

Jason Robinson

Associate Professor of Jazz & Popular Music, Amherst College; M.A. & Ph.D., University of California, San Diego; Focus and Research: Improvised music and experimentalism in African American and African diasporic music. Teaching: Jazz, Popular Music and Urban Ethnography.

(413) 542-8208 • jrobinson@amherst.edu

headshot of rebecca miller

Rebecca Miller

Professor of Music, Hampshire College. A.B., Bryn Mawr College. M.A. Wesleyan University. Ph.D. Brown University. Music of the Caribbean; popular and traditional musics of North America; music journalism; applied ethnomusicology; Irish traditional and popular music; old time (Appalachian) string band music. Performance: old time ensembles and klezmer bands.

(413) 559-5545 • rmiller@hampshire.edu

headshot of junko oba

Junko Oba

Associate Professor of Music, Hampshire College. B.A., International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan, M.A., Ph.D, Wesleyan University. Research interests: Japanese traditional and contemporary popular musics, East Asia, Asian Diasporas (Nikkei Brazilian communities in Japan, in particular), national identity in the trans- and post-national world orders, applied ethnomusicology (sound record archiving), organology and musical instrument building.

(413) 559-6896 • joba@hampshire.edu

headshot of olabode omojola

Olabode Omojola

Five College Professor of Music, Mount Holyoke College. M.A. University of Ibadan. Ph.D. University of Leicester. Indigenous and modern musical traditions; African and world music traditions; African music and ethnomusicology.

(413) 538-2483 • bomojola@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of margaret sarkissian

Margaret Sarkissian

Professor of Music, Smith College. M.A. and Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Musics of Southeast and East Asia, especially Malaysia; popular music of the Islamic world, music and tourism. Performance: gamelan.

(413) 585-3198 • msarkiss@email.smith.edu

headshot of andrea moore

Andrea Moore

Assistant Professor of Music, Smith College. B.M. Rice University, M.A., University of Southern California, PhD, University of California Los Angeles. Music and commemoration; new music and concert culture; late capitalism; sociology of music; historiography.

413-585-3162 • amoore44@smith.edu

headshot of steve waksman

Steve Waksman

Professor of Music and American Studies, Smith College. M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ph.D. University of Minnesota. American popular music; African American music; music and race; music and sexuality; the history of musical instruments (especially the guitar).

(413) 585-3161 • swaksman@email.smith.edu

headshot of marianna ritchey

Marianna Ritchey

Associate Professor of Music, UMass Amherst. B.A. Lewis and Clark College, M.A., Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles. Research interests: nineteenth-century romanticism, Berlioz, literature, contemporary classical music, economics, neoliberalism.

(413) 545-4077• mritchey@umass.edu

headshot of faith conant

Faith Conant

Instructor of Music, Five Colleges. B.A. Wesleyan University, M.A. Tufts University. Performance: Five College West African Music Ensemble. Interests: Music, poetry and language from southern Togo, Ghana, Benin and Haiti.

fconant@acad.umass.edu

prof sumarsam with gamelan

Prof. Sumarsam

Professor, Music Department, Wesleyan University. B.A. Akademi Seni Karawitan, M.A. Wesleyan University, Ph.D. Cornell University. Director of the Smith College Gamelan Ensemble. Indonesian music and theater, focusing on the performance, history and theory of gamelan and wayang. Performance: gamelan.

(860) 685-2599 • sumarsam@wesleyan.edu

Certificate

Mission

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.

Requirements

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. Area Studies or Topics courses: at least two courses
  2. Methodology: at least two courses
  3. Performance: at least one course
  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.

Courses

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.

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

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

Javanese Gamelan
Smith College
Contact: Prof. Margaret Sarkissian

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.

Fall 2021 Area Studies or Topics Courses

01
4.00

Jeffers Engelhardt

MW 01:30PM-02:50PM

Amherst College
MUSI-244-01-2122F

ARMU 212

jengelhardt@amherst.edu

This course engages global music theories from the perspective of ethnomusicology and analytic approaches drawn from sound studies. The music we analyze will come from popular, folk, and classical traditions around the world, including West African drumming, Caribbean dance genres, East Asian court and religious traditions, American roots music, classical traditions from the Arab world and Indian subcontinent, and several global popular styles. At its core, the course addresses three questions: What do musicians working in the traditions we study hear in and think about the music they make? What methods are available to better understand these kinds of music? How does analysis develop our skills as musicians and listeners? Students will learn methods of musical transcription (notating or visually representing sound) and software-aided analysis to develop translatable ways of approaching timbre, texture, rhythm, groove, meter, harmony, mode, tuning, and musical form. Understanding the ways people theorize music in the process of performance, improvisation, composition, and teaching across musical cultures will give students new tools for creating, performing, and analyzing music. Although not a performance course, class sessions feature hands-on involvement with instruments and singing. Coursework includes weekly listening, transcription, and analysis assignments; basic projects in composition; and music-making presentations.

This is an upper-level musicianship course designed for majors or students with experience analyzing and performing music. This course may be used to fulfill the second required musicianship course (in addition to MUSI 241) for the major.

Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Engelhardt. 

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

1
4.00

Olabode Omojola

02:30PM-03:50PM TU;02:30PM-03:50PM TH

Hampshire College
333942

Music and Dance Building RECITAL;Music and Dance Building RECITAL

ofoHA@hampshire.edu
This course focuses on African popular music. It examines musical genres from different parts of the continent, investigating their relationships to the historical, political, and social dynamics of their respective national and regional origins. Musical idioms like highlife, soukous, kwaito, afrobeat, hiplife, and afrobeats will be studied to assess the significance of popular music as a creative response to social and political developments in colonial and postcolonial Africa. The course also discusses the growth of hip-hop music in selected countries by exploring how indigenous cultural tropes have provided the basis for its local adaptation. The themes explored in the class also include music and identity, music, politics, and resistance; appropriation, cosmopolitanism, neo-traditional forms, and the politics of musical nostalgia.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

1
4.00

Junko Oba

02:30PM-03:50PM M;02:30PM-03:50PM W

Hampshire College
333943

Music and Dance Building RECITAL;Music and Dance Building RECITAL

joHA@hampshire.edu
Every culture bears unique sensibilities to sounds. People cultivate distinctive ways of hearing, understanding, and relating to them. These sensibilities are also re?ected in the processes of sound- and music-making. Different instruments are devised to encapsulate distinctive cultural values not only acoustically but also visually in their material forms. This course aims to explore diverse music cultures of the world through the lens of organology (the study of musical instruments). We examine a wide range of sound-making devices in their current sociocultural and historical contexts. Our investigation encompasses subjects such as social functions and signi?cations of the instruments, e.g., ritual objects, status symbols, and exotic commodities, myths and symbolism attributed to the instruments, technology and craftsmanship involved in the fabrication, and ecological and ethical concerns for the use of certain materials, e.g., exotic wood, tortoise shells, and ivory. (keywords: musical instruments, material culture, ethnomusicology, sounds, music)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Olabode Omojola

MW 01:45PM-03:00PM

Mount Holyoke College
115349

Pratt Memorial Music Bldg 109

bomojola@mtholyoke.edu
This course is a survey of selected musical traditions from different parts of the world, including Africa, Indonesia, Indian, the Caribbean, and the United States. The course adopts an ethnomusicological approach that explains music as a cultural phenomenon, and explores the social and aesthetic significance of musical traditions within their respective historical and cultural contexts. It examines how musical traditions change over time, and how such changes reflect and relate to social and political changes within a given society. Weekly reading and listening assignments provide the basis for class discussions.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Margaret Sarkissian

M W 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
ANT-258-01-202201

Sage 215

msarkiss@smith.edu
ANT 258-01, MUS 258-01
Offered as MUS 258 and ANT 258. This course analyzes cultural performances as sites for the expression and formation of social identity. Students study various performance genres such as rituals, festivals, parades, cultural shows, music, dance and theater. Topics include expressive culture as resistance; debates around authenticity and heritage; the performance of race, class and ethnic identities; the construction of national identity; and the effects of globalization on indigenous performances. Enrollment limited to 30.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Margaret Sarkissian

M W 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
MUS-258-01-202201

Sage 215

msarkiss@smith.edu
ANT 258-01, MUS 258-01
Offered as MUS 258 and ANT 258. This course analyzes cultural performances as sites for the expression and formation of social identity. Students study various performance genres such as rituals, festivals, parades, cultural shows, music, dance and theater. Topics include expressive culture as resistance; debates around authenticity and heritage; the performance of race, class and ethnic identities; the construction of national identity; and the effects of globalization on indigenous performances. Enrollment limited to 30.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Certificate Recipients

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:

Olabode Omojola, Hammond-Douglass Five College Professor of Music, Mount Holyoke College

Five College Staff Liaison:

Rebecca Thomas, Academic Programs Coordinator