We are pleased to announce that, after several semesters on hold, the Ethnomusicology Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is again ready to accept graduate students, starting Spring 2024 (application deadline August 1, 2023). The program is headed by Dr. R. Anderson Sutton, with additional staff resources that include four other scholars with PhDs in ethnomusicology (one affiliated faculty member and four other part-time lecturers), and an able cadre of ensemble teachers, which allows us to offer a wide range of academic and performance courses. We encourage applicants from all regions. There are a number of funding sources available on a competitive basis. Interested parties should contact Prof. Sutton at rasutton@hawaii.edu for information prior to applying. 

Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology

The Ethnomusicology Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has a long-standing reputation for excellence in the study of world music, especially the music of Asian and Pacific cultures. The program is distinctive for a number of reasons. It is situated in a unique geo-cultural environment known for its diverse population and great variety of active and vibrant music cultures.  Hawai‘i’s mid-Pacific location and proximity to Asia and Pacific Basin countries ensure frequent contact with musicians, scholars, and institutions from all over the region. The program is committed to close mentoring of students and helping students to develop a broad network of contacts.

Participation in musical activity is an integral part of the University of Hawai‘i program, as is the study of theoretical problems such as the relation of music to social change, globalization, identity, diaspora, politics, commerce, dance, and theater. The focus on socio-cultural formation and on musical practice is encouraged by the participatory approach the program offers.

Another distinctive feature of the University of Hawai‘i is that ethnomusicology is an integral part—both in organization, and in spirit—of the Music Department. The department has a long record of promoting musical pluralism throughout the university music experience and at all levels of music education, as a basis for music composition, and as part of choral and instrumental performance.  

With a number of recent retirements, the program is currently in a state of transition. The UHM remains strongly committed to the program as it undergoes some important changes. Updates will be posted promptly on the website.