Graduate Coursework and Research

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Graduate students in Musicology follow individualized courses of study that are largely designed by the advisor in consultation with the student. Among the regular Musicology area offerings are introductions to the discipline, historical period courses, classes in fieldwork and in ethnomusicological theories and methods, and courses in performance practice and in African music.

Beyond these offerings within the area, students are encouraged to avail themselves of the vast array of courses offered by other departments. Such graduate classes count toward the Musicology degree as supportive studies. For a sample list and links to specific programs outside the School of Music, please proceed to Graduate Student Support and Resources.

As an introduction to more specific research topics, the musicology faculty offers a graduate-level seminar each term (Music 8950). Recent musicology seminars have centered on these topics (among others):

  • Visuality in Instrumental Music
  • Existential Musicology
  • Music and Queer Desire
  • Longitudinal Studies in Popular Music
  • Women, Music and Community: Toward a More Complete History of American Music
  • Experiencing Music and Sound in Prose: A Writer’s Workshop
  • Equalizing Music

Musicology graduate students have recently focused on the following research topics (among others):

  • Punk and punk-adjacent music culture in contemporary Japan
  • Latinx music, identity and history in greater Appalachia
  • K-pop as a transnational social and cultural phenomenon, in and beyond South Korea
  • Syrian refugee integration and intercultural music-making in northern Germany
  • Queer space and soundscape in West Virginia
  • Social history and ethnography of the tama (talking drum) in Senegal
  • Music in US/Korean relations, 1941–1960
  • Music, ethnicity and violence on the Ethio-South Sudanese border
  • Online content distributors, copyright law, and the music industry
  • Experimentalism and the Fluxus legacy in 20th-century Icelandic music
  • Genre and crossover related to country music informed by gender and race
  • Motown girl groups and fan reception
  • Activist and community-engaged brass band culture in and beyond the contemporary US
  • Representations of disability in 8- and 16-bit video game soundscapes
  • Canonic European classical repertoire in anime soundtracks
  • Popular music in post-millenial romantic comedies