World Music Performance Ensembles
Full Schedule 2017-18 (pdf)

Ensemble classes with new course numbers, 2017-18 (pdf)

*Please also check the UCLA Schedule of Classes.

African American
The Music of African Americans Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91P and 161P) performs a diverse mix of gospel music including Negro spirituals and traditional and contemporary gospel. Beginning in the 1600s with enslaved Africans, African American choral music has evolved into a refined urban form accompanied by piano, drum, bass and tambourine.

The Afro-Cuban Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and ETHNMUS 161Z, section 4) concentrates on various African-derived musical traditions of Cuba. Emphasis on drumming, but ensemble (e.g., son conjunto) formats are also employed using vocals, brass, strings, piano, and bass.

The Music of Bali Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91B and 161B) 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.

The Balkan Music Ensemble (ETHNMUS 68M, 68N, 68O and 168M, 168N, 168O) focuses on Bulgarian traditional songs and music. The ensemble also includes a women's choir that performs a capella arrangements of folk songs in two-and three-part harmony.

Charles Mingus
The goal of the Charles Mingus Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and 161Z, section 2) is to provide a workshop environment where students from the jazz, world, and classical disciplines can learn to successfully integrate compositional and improvisational musical traditions. The UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble utilizes many of Mingus' musical approaches to develop interpretations of his compositions and other great jazz composers along with compositions outside of the jazz canon.

The Music of China Ensemble (ETHNMUS 68A, 68B, 68C and 168A, 168B, 168C) 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.

The Music of India Ensemble (ETHNMUS 68F, 68G, and 168F, 168G) performs short compositions of North Indian classical and semi-classical ragas (harmonic modes) and talas (rhythmic patterns on tabla). The ensemble is comprised of the students of Rahul Neuman on sitar (a long-necked lute with seven principal strings, plus 12-20 sympathetic strings) and the students of Abhiman Kaushal on tabla (drums).

The Irish Music Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and 161Z, section 1) plays Irish traditional dance tunes—jigs, reels, hornpipes, and more—on traditional instruments such as the fiddle, wooden flute, tin whistle, uilleann bagpipes, accordion, and more.

The Music of Java Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91H and 161H) centers on the music of Central Javanese gamelan, a percussion-dominated musical ensemble featuring tuned bronze gongs, bronze metallophones, and drums, along with flutes, zither, vocals, and spiked fiddle. The ensemble is known for rhythmic complexity and a unique feel as well as a lush and dynamic melodic range.

The Klezmer Music Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and 161Z, section 5) focuses on performance and style of the Klezmer musical traditions. The ensemble learns from active listening and imitation of a vast array of recordings beginning with pre-WWII European and American Golden Age klezmer, continuing into the klezmer revival and subsequent renaissance of the Seventies, and concluding with more contemporary experimental recordings.

The Music of Mexico Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91K and 161K) features mariachi music in a variety of musical styles from various regions of Mexico, including son jalisiense, son huasteco, bolero, ranchera and huapango.

Near East
The Near East Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91N and 161N) presents music and instruments from the Arab world. Its repertoire includes old court music genres from the Ottoman era, mystical works related to the Sufi Islamic sect, modal and drum improvisations, nightclub pieces and songs from rural folk celebrations.

The Old-Time String Band Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and 161Z, section 3), formerly known as the Bluegrass and Old-Time String Ensemble, performs traditional music of rural America. This ensemble will delve into the exciting old-time sub-genres of Appalachian fiddle and banjo music, Mid-West fiddle tunes, North Carolina and Georgia string band music, Cajun/Creole fiddle, traditional bluegrass, country blues and jug band music to name a few.

The Persian Music Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91L and 161L, sections 1 and 2) focuses on the performance of Persian classical music including the radif and tasnifs (vocal repertoire). This is a group class where students sit in a circle and begin learning a gushe (short melody-type) or a vocal composition of a designated dastgāh (multi-sectional modal structure) phrase by phrase through imitating and memorizing. In each quarter we chose one particular dastgāh and try to study major gushes and four vocal compositions in that modal structure.

Students may also study the tombak and daff, two percussion instruments of Persian music. Tombak is the major classical drum of Persian music. In this class we begin with an introduction of right and left hand strokes and gradually work on basic rhythmic cycles that are used in the performance and accompaniment of measured compositions.

Students in the Music of Thailand Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z, section 6 and 161M) study elementary techniques on a variety of Thai classical instruments, and learn how to care for the instruments correctly. They are also introduced to basic rhythmic cycles, musical notation, and singing techniques, and learn to perform several simple compositions.

West Africa
The Music of West Africa Ensemble (listed in the schedule as the Music and Dance of Ghana Ensemble: ETHNMUS 91E and 161E) performs the music and dances of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The course concentrates on the main components of African music: drum patterns, songs, and dances. The ensemble produces complex polyphonic textures on a variety of drums, bells and rattles to accompany dramatic and entertaining social dances.