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History

With a $39,000 Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1958, Mantle Hood, the founder of the Institute for Ethnomusicology, acquired the first set of instruments from Java, Thailand, Japan, and Sunda, as well as reference materials and equipment for the new ethnomusicology program. Thus the performance program was firmly established.

Hood's belief in "bi-musicality," the idea that students should learn to play the music they were studying, considered to be a revolutionary approach to the study of the musical cultures of the world in the 1960s, required that master teachers and instruments be brought to UCLA from cultures all over the world.

Hood found master musicians and hired them, beginning with I Wayan Gandra and Tjokorda Mas from Indonesia in 1960, and in 1961, Suenobu Togi from Japan, and Tanjore Viswanathan and Harihar Rao from India. In the last fifty years, twenty-six ensembles that study and perform music from cultures around the world, including jazz, have been established at UCLA. Go to Ensemble Histories to read about the history of each ensemble.