The UCLA Musicology Department is part of the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, which also includes Music and Ethnomusicology departments.
The mission of the UCLA Musicology department is to foster transformative critical thinking about music and musical practices. It defines its subject as broadly as possible, and seeks to integrate musical analysis, interpretations, social/cultural theory, performance, and historiography at all levels of specialization from general education to professional musicological training.
Musicologists study the history, cultural contexts, and interpretation of music. While the discipline has tended, historically, to focus largely on European art-music repertories, in recent decades it has expanded to include many other traditions as well as other regions, in line with the syncretic vision of the Herb Alpert School. The Department of Musicology at UCLA now leads the field nationally and internationally in offering advanced training within this broader vision of the discipline.
Department of Musicology
Recent Work (5)
Radiation Sounds: Marshallese Music and Nuclear Silences
On March 1, 1954, the US military detonated “Castle Bravo,” its most powerful nuclear bomb, at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Two days later, the US military evacuated the Marshallese to a nearby atoll where they became part of a classified study, without their consent, on the effects of radiation on humans. In Radiation Sounds Jessica A. Schwartz examines the seventy-five years of Marshallese music developed in response to US nuclear militarism on their homeland. Schwartz shows how Marshallese singing draws on religious, cultural, and political practices to make heard the deleterious effects of US nuclear violence. Schwartz also points to the literal silencing of Marshallese voices and throats compromised by radiation as well as the United States’ silencing of information about the human radiation study. By foregrounding the centrality of the aural and sensorial in understanding nuclear testing’s long-term effects, Schwartz offers new modes of understanding the relationships between the voice, sound, militarism, indigeneity, and geopolitics.
Luigi Boccherini: Dictionary of Persons, Places, and Terms
An illustrated dictionary of names, places, and terms pertinent to the life and art of Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), containing some 400 entries and accompanied by a short biographical sketch of the composer. It also includes a comprehensive Bibliography and an up-to-date CD Discography.
Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson
From his cavernous voice and unparalleled artistry to his fearless struggle for human rights, Paul Robeson was one of the twentieth century's greatest icons and polymaths. In Everything Man Shana L. Redmond traces Robeson's continuing cultural resonances in popular culture and politics. She follows his appearance throughout the twentieth century in the forms of sonic and visual vibration and holography; theater, art, and play; and the physical environment. Redmond thereby creates an imaginative cartography in which Robeson remains present and accountable to all those he inspired and defended. With her bold and unique theorization of antiphonal life, Redmond charts the possibility of continued communication, care, and collectivity with those who are dead but never gone.