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Graduate Program


The Department of Music offers Ph.D. degrees in ethnomusicology, musicology, and composition. We are committed to training a new generation of music scholars who bring insights into cultural theory and cultural studies to original research based on solidly grounded, finely detailed ethnographic and archival work. Our composition program offers a broad approach to writing music that is deeply informed by current critical debates and emphasizes the social and cultural contexts of the musical experience. Our program has strong emphases on Southeast Asia, new media, and indigenous studies across the American continent, and the greatest concentration of scholars on Latin American and Spanish music in the United States. Communication between the intradisciplinary areas is built into the program. 

We offer a combination of stipends, teaching assistantships, and campus-wide fellowships to support doctoral students from their beginning years to their dissertation writing.

  • Paulo Chagas: music technologies, semiotics, new media, interactivity, Brazilian music.
  • Ian Dicke: theory, interactivity, new media, socio-political culture, technology
  • Dana Kaufman: voice, opera, popular culture, trans-gender performance, social justice through music.
  • Xóchitl C. Chávez: expressive culture and performance, transnational migration, indigenous studies, Mexico.
  • Liz Przybylski: popular music, hip-hop practices in Canada and the United States, indigenous studies, gender, ethnography.
  • Jonathan Ritter: Music in the Andes, memory, violence, performance, Afro-Hispanic and Indigenous cultures.
  • Deborah Wong: Asian American music, issues, and activities, critical race studies, performance and improvisation, Asia, Thailand.
  • Rogério Budasz: Brazil, Portugal, plucked instruments, opera, Atlantic circulation of musicians and repertories, power, ethnicity, and cultural reconfiguration
  • Walter Clark: Latin America, Spain, nationalism, music and dictatorship, biography, zarzuela, flamenco, guitar.
  • Leonora Saavedra: Mexico, US-Mexico power relations, post-coloniality, strategic self-representation, constructions of the indigenous, theories of nationalism, Marxism.

Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles, our 1,200-acre campus is equidistant from the desert, mountains, and ocean, and is within easy driving distance to most of the major cultural and recreational offerings of Southern California.