Musicology & Ethnomusicology

The Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology offers the MA and PhD in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Musicology and Ethnomusicology. Our department dedicates itself to interdisciplinary, disciplinary, historical, translational, analytical, and cross-cultural thinking. The faculty in the Department consists of a cohort of five musicologists and five ethnomusicologists, and houses research centers in Early Music and Beethoven studies. We are a vibrant, active, diverse, supportive, and inclusive Department, dedicated to a shared purpose and a field without walls between scholarship and performance. Faculty expertise runs the gamut from the Middle Ages to popular music, from Indonesia to Japan, Africa, and the Americas, and from manuscript studies to oral traditions. Students are encouraged to search new vistas of inquiry and stretch themselves intellectually in a supportive and cooperative environment.  For doctoral students, we offer up to 5 years of full funding  (post-BA or post-MA), and a customizable curriculum.

Request More Information

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music with concentration in Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Musicology with specializations in Musicology or Ethnomusicology
  • PhD in Musicology with specializations in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, or Musicology and Ethnomusicology

Unique Opportunities

As a unit within the School of Music has links to a large performing school as well as to a wide range of other academic departments. In addition, BU is a member of the Boston Consortium, a group of universities where students can cross-register for courses. The Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University (CEMS) is dedicated to the cultivation and dissemination of performance, scholarship, and new pedagogical practices involving music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. For more information and the upcoming lecture schedule, please visit the CEMS website.  The Beethoven Center for Research promotes scholarship in a wide spectrum of Beethoven studies, with a focus on analysis and criticism, sketch and autograph studies, biography, and historical and cultural contexts. For more information and the upcoming events schedule, please visit the Research Center website.

Faculty Members, 2020-2021

Marié Abe (Berkeley), Associate Professor: Japan, sound studies, music and social justice.

Michael Birenbaum Quintero (NYU), Associate Professor and Department Chair: Latin American music, Hip Hop, cultural politics and race.

Victor Coelho (UCLA), Professor: early music and performance; popular music; Director, Early Music Studies.

Brita Heimarck (Cornell), Associate Professor: Bali, sacred music of India, politics, mysticism.

Miki Kaneda (Berkeley), Assistant Professor:  transcultural music, the avant garde, sonic arts, race & gender.

Gregory Melchor-Barz (Brown), Professor and Director of the School of Music: Africa, gender and sexuality, music and medicine.

Joshua Rifkin (Juilliard, Princeton), Professor: Renaissance, Bach, 20th-Century, ragtime, performance.

Andrew Shenton (Harvard), Professor: Pärt, Messiaen, music & theology.

Rachana Vajjhala (Berkeley), Assistant Professor: 19th– 20th-c. Paris, dance, music & gesture.

Jeremy Yudkin (Stanford), Professor: Jazz, Beethoven, Middle Ages.


  • HC Robbins Landon, American musicologist, journalist, historian and broadcaster (deceased)
  • Bonnie Wade, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Anna Maria Busse Berger, Professor, University of California, Davis
  • Frank D’Accone (Professor Emeritus, UCLA)
  • Ellen Koskoff, Professor Emerita of Ethnomusicology, Eastman School of Music
  • Rebecca Anne Baltzer, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin
  • Thomas Christensen, Professor, Chair – Department of Music, University of Chicago
  • John Joseph Daverio, Professor, Boston University (deceased)
  • Mark Sumner Harvey, Senior Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Nelly Maude Case, Professor, SUNY Potsdam
  • Richard Marc Friedman, Film Composer
  • Matthew John Ruggiero, Faculty, Boston University (deceased)
  • Elizabeth Anne Seitz, Faculty, Boston Conservatory
  • Simon Keefe, Professor, The University of Sheffield (UK)
  • James Andrew Davis, Professor, Chair of Musicology, SUNY Fredonia
  • Eftychia Papanikolaou, Associate Professor, Bowling Green State University
  • Jonathan Hiam, Curator, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts