Ethnomusicology

Explore how people around the world use music and sound to shape their lives.

Ethnomusicology at the Conservatorium

Our students examine how culture shapes music—and how music shapes culture. By studying the practices, values and ideas related to music making in a particular culture, we seek to make broader claims about social life in the modern world.

Our program is defined by its methods, which include ethnographic fieldwork, interviewing, and participant observation, as well as its questions, which draw from approaches in anthropology, media studies and other related disciplines. Our program is closely allied with Musicology and popular music studies.

Study Ethnomusicology

We will provide you with multiple pathways into learning about traditional, popular, and art musics from around the world. Undergraduate Bachelor of Music students can apply to major in ethnomusicology, taking a guided program of specialised study. Graduate student study options include the Graduate Diploma (by coursework) and research higher degrees (MMus and PhD).


Undergraduate students from other areas of the University can learn about non-Western traditions and popular music styles through related breadth study subjects such as Musics of the World, Global Pop, and Area Studies in Ethnomusicology.

World music performance ensembles

We support a diverse world music performance program featuring five non-Western ensembles. As a student, you will have the opportunity to acquire practical skills in a range of traditions, including the Chinese silk-and-bamboo ensemble, the Central Javanese gamelan, West African drumming, Japanese shakuhachi, and world choral styles.

Ethnomusicology courses

The most enjoyable part of my study is learning about cultural diversity through the wide array of music found around the world. Everything from Japanese rap to Brazilian samba to Hindustani classical music — it is incredibly compelling

James McKinnon
Bachelor of Music, specialisation in Ethnomusicology
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Conservatorium Events

Jazz & Improvisation Small Ensemble Series

Tuesday 15 Oct 2019 at 7:00pm
Grant Street
This two-night concert series features second and third year student ensembles from the Conservatorium’s Jazz & Improvisation program, performing original compositions and arrangements in small ensemble settings. We strongly encourage booking in advance for all of our events. This guarantees your...

Jazz & Improvisation Small Ensemble Series

Tuesday 15 Oct 2019 at 7:00pm
Grant Street
This two-night concert series features second and third year student ensembles from the Conservatorium’s Jazz & Improvisation program, performing original compositions and arrangements in small ensemble settings. We strongly encourage booking in advance for all of our events. This guarantees your...

Jazz & Improvisation Large Ensemble Series

Wednesday 16 Oct 2019 at 7:00pm
Grant Street
The Conservatorium’s Jazz & Improvisation program showcase their eclectic range of large ensembles, featuring staff and emerging contemporary improvisers. We strongly encourage booking in advance for all of our events. This guarantees your seat, and allows us to communicate any unforeseen event s...

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News

Meet Krishan Meepe, Ethnomusicology student at the University of Melbourne

14 October 2019
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music student Krishan Meepe says Ethnomusicology has given him the tools to unpack some of the complex intersections of music, and politics....

Meet Tilly Webb, Interactive Composition student at the University of Melbourne

3 October 2019
Now in her third year, musician Tilly Webb explains why she chose to study Interactive Composition, and how she learned to trust her gut....

Richard Tognetti: 'Creatives should be able to test the waters and pour in as much acid as they like'

13 September 2019
Richard Tognetti is Artistic Director and leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO). Here, the violinist, composer and conductor reflects on the University of Melbourne...