The Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology allows students interested in studying music from a cross-disciplinary perspective to build bridges across departmental boundaries in a rigorous, structured manner. Students working within the program approach world musical traditions as they relate to a number of areas of inquiry, including:
- musical performance, analysis, and composition;
- relationships between music and other artistic and expressive forms (i.e., dance, theater, film);
- relationships between music and systems of value and belief;
- 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 societies;
- 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 obtain 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:
1) Area Studies or Topics courses: at least two courses;
2) Methodology: at least two courses;
3) Performance: at least one course;
4) Electives: interdisciplinary in focus and negotiated in consultation with the student’s ethnomusicology advisor, including relevant courses in area studies, theater and dance, history, and anthropology and sociology, for instance.
Since ethnomusicological research and related musical performance may require understanding of and competence in a foreign language, students are encouraged, but not required, to achieve relevant language proficiency. Other areas that students are encouraged to explore 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.
For specific course offerings within these categories and more information about the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology, please refer to the program website: http://www.fivecolleges.edu/ethnomusicology/courses. The Amherst College faculty advisors for 2015-16 are Professors Jason Robinson and Jeffers Engelhardt of the Music Department.