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March 31,


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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Eastman programs offer world music

Balinese gamelan ensemble

The Eastman School of Music will begin offering a certificate in world music and a diploma in ethnomusicology in fall 2003. The new programs, offered through Eastman's Institute for Music Leadership, are designed to address cultural and social differences in music education and to enrich students' musical experiences by providing exposure to a variety of musical traditions.

"As members of both local and global societies today, it is imperative--now more than ever--that we learn to understand each other's cultures," says Ellen Koskoff, professor of ethnomusicology at Eastman and director of the new programs. "What better way to do this than through the music of those cultures?"

The term "world music" describes all of the musical traditions found throughout the world today and includes older, traditional forms such as Indian, Persian, and European classical musics; ritual and ceremonial musics; as well as newer popular forms. Ethnomusicology is the formal study of world music traditions that combines studies in music and anthropology.

Unlike most other programs offered in the United States and Canada, all required credits in Eastman's new programs can be taken as electives within a student's major departmental curricula. Open to both undergraduates and graduate students, the certificate in world music (8-9 credits) and the diploma in ethnomusicology (14-15 credits) include three basic components of research, field work, and performance.

Possible areas of study include music of Indonesia, India, and south and west Africa; American music (classical, musical theater, popular); ethnomusicology of Western musics; and non-Western musics in Western composition.

Performance opportunities at Eastman currently include two Balinese gamelan ensembles: a gamelan angklung (bronze and bamboo) and a gamelan joged bumbung (bamboo). Additionally, a new African mbira ensemble will be launched this fall under the leadership of musicology professor Martin Scherzinger. Students also will have access to the school's ongoing World Music concert series, which brings a variety of international performances to Kilbourn Hall.

For more information, visit the Institute for Music Leadership's Web site at

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