World Music Performance Ensembles
*Please also check the UCLA Schedule of Classes.
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 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 91C and 161C) 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.
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 91D and 161D) 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 91F and 161F, sections 1 and 2) 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).
Intercultural Improvisation Ensemble
The Intercultural Improvisation Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and 161Z, section 4) experiments with different world music styles and traditions. Musical arrangements will blend different musical instruments representing such diverse world areas, and the elements of improvisation will play an essential role in the creation of new and/or traditional pieces of music.
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.
Klezmer Music Ensemble (Winter 2017 only)
The Klezmer Music Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z and 161Z) 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.
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.
Persia (Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 only)
This Music of Persia ensemble (ETHNMUS 91L and 161L) 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. Students can also study the setār and tār in individual basis.
Thailand (Fall 2016 only)
Students in the Music of Thailand Ensemble (ETHNMUS 91Z 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.
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.