The Music of Bali Ensemble features gamelan (the generic Indonesian word for orchestra) music and dance. The Balinese gamelan gong kebyar is famous for its fast tempos, abrupt changes of texture, and brilliantly costumed dancers who act out stories from the Ramayana. Directed by I Nyoman Wenten, the Music of Bali Ensemble is one of twelve world music performance ensembles in the Department of Ethnomusicology.
Mariachi de Uclatlán is closely linked to the UCLA Music of Mexico ensemble, currently taught by Grammy Award-winning Jesús Guzmán. Mr. Guzmán is the artistic director for the world-renowned Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and has been teaching the music of Mexico ensemble since 1991.
Mariachi de Uclatlán began in the 1960s, making it one of the first mariachi groups to be formed in an academic university setting.
Students in the world music undergraduate concentration learn about the musical systems of selected world cultures through aural and written notations, vocal and instrumental skills, melodic and rhythmic dictation, improvisation, and composition.
Participation in the jazz large ensembles (big bands) and the small group combos is an important part of training for students in the undergraduate jazz studies concentration.
Founded in 1961, the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive is one of the largest “world music” media archives in North America. The Archive holds over 150,000 recordings of traditional, folk, popular, and art musics from Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. In the Archive, UCLA students and faculty, international researchers, and the communities of Southern California can explore the rich variety of musical expressions throughout the world.
The Music of China Ensemble performs arias from Kun opera of the 15th century, silk-and-bamboo music from the Shanghai area, folk dances for festive celebration, zheng (zither) music in the Keijia style from Canton Province, music for large percussion ensemble, and modern compositions for an ensemble of traditional Chinese wind and string instruments. Directed by Li Chi, the Music of China Ensemble is one of twelve world music performance ensembles in the Department of Ethnomusicology.
The jazz studies concentration, directed by Kenny Burrell, seeks to train students who will emerge as outstanding and well-rounded jazz musicians with a strong academic foundation, and to prepare students to enter professional careers in the music world as well as graduate study, in various aspects of music such as composition, arranging, jazz performance, research, and teaching.
The Bluegrass and Old-Time String Ensemble (also known as the Anglo-American Ensemble, the Blue Grasshoppers, and the Bluegrass and Old-Time String Band), performs traditional music of America, with a focus on American folk music and bluegrass. Bluegrass was created in the first half of the 20th century and can be traced back to older genres of Celtic, English and Scottish, African-American, and country music.
On March 31, 2016, UCLA’s official student mariachi was featured at Utrecht University’s UUnited MuziekFestival, celebrating the University’s 380th anniversary. READ MORE
The department offers an exciting lineup of courses that are available to the public during summer 2016 . READ MORE
Ethnomusicology professor A.J. Racy plays and studies the nay, a reed flute popular in Arab music. To Racy, the nay’s popularity in Arab music stems from its ability to transport the listener to a state called tarab, which means musical ecstasy. Racy was exposed to music as he grew up in a small, rural village in southern Lebanon. READ MORE
Ethnomusicology professor Helen Rees discusses the ensemble of Japanese instruments purchased in 1958 by the late ethnomusicology professor Mantle Hood. READ MORE
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