Graduate Program

The UCR Music Department has featured a strong area focus on composition for many years, with a reputation for pushing the boundaries. With three ladder-rank composers in our Department, all with substantively different styles and pedagogies, we offer a remarkably broad approach to writing music that is deeply informed by current critical debates. Our composers create music with different aesthetics, from postmodern to free improvisation, from concert music and opera to sound design and installation, and they have consistently attracted students who are willing to expand their horizons. One of the main focuses of our composition program is electro-acoustic and digital composition. We explore the domains of music and sound art that emerge in the realm of electronic media and digitalization, as well as the connection between music and other artistic and scientific fields such as visual arts, theater, dance, engineering and computer science. However, our interdisciplinary approach to composition is not abstract but rather emphasizes the social and cultural contexts of the musical experience, reflecting on notions such as subjectivity, identity, diversity, and gender.

The objectives in composition include giving students a thorough grounding in historical and contemporary compositional practice along with a strong emphasis in digital technologies for creation (sound design, computer composition, digital interactivity, new hybrid media), documentation (recording, digital editing, etc.), and production (sequencing, acoustic-digital hybrid works, interactive digital performance and installation). The program encourages multiple modes of musical practice, including participation in ensembles, working both in both traditional composition and sound design, as well as pursuing scholarly inquiry in cultural, media, and technocultural studies.

Check out a recent UCR Music Department Graduate Student Handbook for more details.
Also, check out the Graduate Division Student Handbook.

Ethnomusicology is a core strength of the UCR Music Department and features a theoretical orientation emphasizing new approaches to ethnographic research with a focus on cultural theory/cultural studies. Faculty members’ specialties include area-studies emphases in Southeast Asia, Asian America, and Latin America. Combined with more than a dozen affiliated faculty in other departments, five world-music performance ensembles, and a new undergraduate major in Music and Culture, this makes the ethnomusicology program at UCR a leader in several areas of research and performance.

The ethnomusicology program is committed to training a new generation of music scholars to bring the insights of cutting-edge cultural theory to original research based on solidly grounded, finely detailed ethnographic fieldwork. Beyond area-studies strengths in Latin America and Asia, our ethnomusicology faculty are known for their engagement with theoretical concerns at the forefront of contemporary research in their field, including music’s relationship with popular culture, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, technology, politics, memory, and globalization. Though our program appeals particularly to graduate students who have wide-ranging curiosity about music and cultural meaning, drawing on fields ranging from anthropology to cultural studies and literary criticism, we also prepare students for the kinds of far-ranging interdisciplinary conversations that are a hallmark of the field of ethnomusicology today.

Check out a recent UCR Music Department Graduate Student Handbook for more details.
Also, check out the Graduate Division Student Handbook.

The musicology program at UCR features a major focus on the musical heritage of Iberia and Latin America; in fact, UCR offers one of the leading musicology programs in this area in the world. TheCenter for Iberian and Latin American Music is located in the department and sponsors yearlyEncuentros/Encounters, conferences and concerts exploring a particular aspect of the Hispanic musical heritage. Previous Encounters have dealt with topics as diverse as the impact of Goya on Spanish musical nationalism around 1900, and music and politics in the Andes. In 2007, the focus will be on the transnational impact of Mexican sones. The Center also publishes an online journal,Diagonal.

However, the faculty’s interests extend to a wide range of subjects, including British music, especially Elgar and Vaughan Williams, critical musicology, and early music. Of special interest to our scholars is the intersection of music, politics, and culture in the formation of national identity in the twentieth century. Musicology students benefit from working with leading scholars in several areas of research, in both their own field and in ethnomusicology. They are encouraged to maintain and develop their skills as performers through participation in the department’s many ensembles, both Western and non-Western.

Check out a recent UCR Music Department Graduate Student Handbook for more details.
Also, check out the Graduate Division Student Handbook.