FIVE COLLEGE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
The Five College Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology allows students interested in studying music from a multi-disciplinary perspective to build bridges across departmental boundaries in a rigorous and structured manner, and to receive credit for their accomplishments, even while completing a major in another field. In reflecting interdisciplinary trends in Ethnomusicology, students are encouraged to combine the certificate with degrees in various overlapping fields, such as African American and African Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Cultural Studies, European Studies, Gender Studies, language studies, Latin American Studies, Religion, Sociology, as well as other courses of study in Music (Composition, Performance, Jazz Studies/Improvisation, and Musicology).
The Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology provides a framework for navigating course offerings and engaging with ethnomusicologists throughout the Five Colleges. While "music" is the centerpiece of the certificate program, the wide range of topics that appear under the rubric of "ethnomusicology" extend far beyond "music in a cultural context" to include history, political science, economics, evolution, science and technology, physiology, media studies, and popular culture studies, among others.Students working within the Certificate Program might focus on music as it relates to a number of areas of inquiry, such as:
- relationships between music and other artistic and expressive forms (i.e. dance, theater, film);
- 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 Western society;
- 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 earn 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. No more than five courses can be from any one department/discipline, and introductory courses in basic musicianship do not count towards the requirements; introductory courses in related disciplines may only be counted in certain circumstances determined by the research goals of the individual student. Students must earn a grade of C or better for courses counted towards the Certificate.
- Area Studies or Topics courses: at least two courses
- Methodology: at least two courses
- Performance: at least one course
- Electives: negotiated in consultation with the student's ethnomusicology advisor, including courses from related disciplines including: anthropology, sociology, history, or media studies; area studies fields such as African Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, or Middle East Studies; or others related to a particular student's ethnomusicological interests.
Since ethnomusicological research and related musical performance may require understanding of and competence in a foreign language, students are encouraged, but not required, to acquire proficiency in a language relevant to their focus. Students are also encouraged to 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.
Students interested in the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology should contact a member of the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee on their campus as soon as possible to begin planning course work. In consultation with this certificate advisor, students must complete an application form for the certificate. While this form should be submitted as early as possible so that a student can become part of the certificate community (and gain priority access to certain capped courses), it must be submitted before the end of the add/drop period in the first semester of their senior year of study. On the recommendation of the campus advisor, applications are reviewed and approved by the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee. A copy of the completed application form should be emailed to your campus certificate advisor.
Students are also required to submit a certificate approval form and an unofficial transcript before the end of the add/drop period of their final semester. A more formal document, the approval form lists courses taken and in progress that complete the requirements for the certificate. The campus advisor will present this form to the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee for approval. After approval, the campus advisor and Five Colleges request a transcript from the student’s Registrar indicating the successful completion of in progress courses. A copy of the completed approval form and an unofficial transcript should be emailed to your campus certificate advisor in advance of the deadline.
For specific course offerings and more information about the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology, please refer to the program website: https://www.fivecolleges.edu/academics/ethnomusicology#courses. The Amherst College faculty advisor is Professor Jeffers Engelhardt of the Music Department.