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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Our People

Conservatorium Events

Folio Live

Friday 15 Nov 2019 at 6:30pm
Grant Street
Collaborative sound and media works by graduating students of the Interactive Composition program. Over five evenings Interactive Composition students bring Grant Street Theatre to life in sound and vision – each presenting unique works that collectively incorporate music and sound with film, animat...

Folio Live

Friday 15 Nov 2019 at 6:30pm
Grant Street
Collaborative sound and media works by graduating students of the Interactive Composition program. Over five evenings Interactive Composition students bring Grant Street Theatre to life in sound and vision – each presenting unique works that collectively incorporate music and sound with film, animat...

Masters Recital – Stuart Brennan

Monday 25 Nov 2019 at 2:00pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Stuart Brennan presents his Masters Recital in Trombone. <br> Max Bruch - Kol Nidrei, Op. 47 <br> Juraj Filas - Sonata for Trombone & Piano, "At the End of the Century" <br> Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Suite from The Queen of Spades, Op. 68, arr C. Lindberg <br> Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Se...

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News

Homeside: music therapy for people living with dementia goes global

31 October 2019
Homeside is training family carers worldwide to use music interventions to manage behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia....

The need for truthing in language rematriation

29 October 2019
In this edited extract of her recent 2019 Lin Onus Oration at the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, Dr Lou Bennet makes a compelling case for the impor...

Dr Katy Abbott wins for Hidden Thoughts at the 2019 Paul Lowin Prizes

28 October 2019
Dr Katy Abbott, Senior Lecturer in Music (Composition) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, has been announced as one of the winners of the 2019 Paul Lowin Prizes in a ce...