The Five College Ethnomusicology Certificate 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, 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. 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.

Click HERE for a list of recommended Area Studies and Methodology courses.

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.

Applications forms may be downloaded HERE.

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.

Approval forms may be downloaded HERE.

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

Contact Information

The Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology is administered by The Five College Ethnomusicology Committee which consists of the ethnomusicology faculty at each campus. Students are urged to contact the appropriate faculty member at their home campus for further information and advising:

AC: Amy Coddington, Assistant Professor of Music
Jeffers Engelhardt, Associate Professor of Music
Jason Robinson, Associate Professor of Music

HCRebecca Miller, Professor of Music
Junko Oba, Associate Professor of Music

MHCBode Omojola, Five College Professor of Music

SCAndrea Moore, Assistant Professor of Music
Margaret Sarkissian, Professor of Music
Steve Waksman, Professor of Music

UM: Marianna Ritchey, Assistant Professor of Music

Certificate Recipients

Spring 2020

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

Spring 2019

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"

Spring 2018

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

Spring 2017

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”

Spring 2016

Bianca Couture, Smith College

Rene Cruz, Hampshire College

Allyson Grammo, Mount Holyoke College

Nick Kane, Hampshire College

Parker McQueeney, Hampshire College

Spring 2015

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 College
"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"

Spring 2014

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

Spring 2013

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

Spring 2012

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

Spring 2011

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