Timeline: Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology


Effective January 1989, the Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology was given official departmental status when the Academic Senate Executive Board approved the reorganization. This was the final approval, occurring during the middle of the 1988-89 year. Nazir Jairazbhoy was the first chair of the department, serving from 1988-90. He was followed by Charlotte Heth (1990-92); James Porter (1992-95); Daniel Neuman (1995-96); Timothy Rice (acting chair, 1995-96; chair, 1996-2005), A. J. Racy (acting chair, Fall 2002), Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje (acting chair, Winter and Spring 2003; chair, 2005-10), and Helen Rees (2011-present). The department was renamed the Department of Ethnomusicology in 1995.


The Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology first appeared in the catalog as a separate department with its own courses. Course numbers from the Department of Music were given new numbers within the Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology.


World Music Theory and Musicianship (10ABC) was taught for the first time by Paul Humphreys.

Other faculty who taught world music theory


"Ellingtonia," a course created by jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell for the Afro-American Interdepartmental Program (IDP), first appeared as a cross-listed course in the Department of Ethnomusicology in fall 1990. It was first offered in spring 1978 under CED (Council on Educational Development) before becoming a permanent Afro-American Studies course in spring 1981.




The Regents of the University of California approved the establishment of the School of the Arts and Architecture and the School of Theater, Film and Television. Ethnomusicology became one of six departments in the School of the Arts and Architecture.

During the next 17 years, eleven roster faculty were hired by the department: Roger Savage (1991); Cheryl L. Keyes (1994); Daniel Neuman (1994); Tara Browner (1995); Kenny Burrell (1995); Helen Rees (1997); Lorraine Sakata (1997-2005); Anthony Seeger (2000); Timothy Taylor (2004); Münir Beken (2007); James Newton (2008).


B.A. program in ethnomusicology was established.

Interview with department chair James Porter


Ralph Jones and David Markowitz - First B.A. graduates with degrees in ethnomusicology.


Kronos Quartet Residency, Spring quarters, 1994 and 1995


Yoshiko Okazaki - First Ph.D. graduate with a degree in ethnomusicology.


Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology was renamed the Department of Ethnomusicology.


Although some of the first faculty members to teach courses in ethnomusicology were trained in composition (e.g. Kremenliev and Hood), the first world music composition course offered by the Department of Ethnomusicology was taught by Elaine Barkin, Emeritus Professor of Music, in Winter 1996. Other faculty who have been hired to teach composition in recent years include Tamir Hendelman, Münir Beken, and James Newton.


The Jazz Studies Concentration was established within the B.A. program. Jazz Studies, directed by Kenny Burrell, was originally administered by both the ethnomusicology and music departments. A number of new jazz studies faculty were also hired this year. In 2002, the ethnomusicology department became the single home for jazz studies.

New Jazz Program
1996 Symposium on African Music (Spring, 1996). This was the first of several conferences, symposia and festivals sponsored by the Department of Ethnomusicology.


In the Strings and Soul concert, east met west with solo and group improvisation by Kenny Burrell on guitar, Shujaat Khan on sitar, and A.J. Racy on 'ud and buzuq.

1998 Music in Urban Environments: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Conference (June 5, 1998)


The Archive received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the project "Preserving and Accessing World Music," to digitize eleven collections for preservation and access.


The Outreach Program was inaugurated with the hiring of ethnomusicologist and music educator, Miriam Gerberg, who worked for the department from 1998 to 2001.


Duke Ellington Centennial Celebration Concert and Symposium: Duke Ellington and His Contributions to Twentieth-Century Music (April 29- May 1, 1999).

1999 Musical Cultures of Latin America: Global Effects Past and Present, An Interdisciplinary Conference at UCLA (May 28-30, 1999).
1999-00 The Year of African Music involved collaboration with the Fowler Museum and other local museums, the hiring of three musicians from Africa to teach courses in the department, as well as student performances (Fall 1999, Winter 2000, Spring 2000).


The Year of Ecstasy, which included the conference, Performing Ecstasies (October 20-22, 2000).


The Year of Archiving, which included the symposium Found Sound: University Sound Archives in the 21st Century, A Symposium in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive (November 9-10, 2001).


The Year of Ethnomusicology and the Music Industry.


Archive received the AFAMILA grant. The Archive and Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts collaborated on the UCLA in LA-funded project "Archiving Filipino-American Music in Los Angeles" (AFAMILA).


Dr. Mohinder Sambhi pledged to give one million dollars to the department to establish the Mohindar Brar Sambhi Endowed Chair in Indian Music, named in honor of Dr. Sambhi's late wife.


Archive received the GALA grant. The Archive and the Heritage Music Foundation worked together on the UCLA in LA-funded project "Gospel Archiving in Los Angeles" (GALA).


Year of the Arts, which included a symposium and concert (May 13-14, 2005).  (See concert flier: Orientalism, Representation and the Arts: A Symposium and Concert).

2005 Festival of African American Music, October 23-November 6, 2005.


World Music Summer Institute was established in June, 2006.

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