Is becoming an ethnomusicologist right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming an ethnomusicologist is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an ethnomusicologist or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become an Ethnomusicologist
Becoming an ethnomusicologist typically requires a combination of education and experience in the field. Here are the general steps to become an ethnomusicologist:
- Earn a bachelor's degree: To become an ethnomusicologist, you will need to have at least a Bachelor's Degree in Music, Anthropology, or a related field. Coursework in music theory, history, and cultural anthropology is particularly relevant.
- Pursue a graduate degree: Most ethnomusicologists have a graduate degree in musicology, ethnomusicology, or cultural anthropology. A master's degree can be sufficient for some positions, but a Ph.D. is typically required for research or teaching positions.
- Conduct fieldwork: Ethnomusicologists typically spend significant time conducting fieldwork, which involves visiting communities and observing and recording music in its cultural context. Fieldwork can take place both domestically and internationally.
- Develop language skills: Because ethnomusicology often involves working with people from different cultures and languages, it is important to develop proficiency in one or more languages. This can include the local language of the community being studied as well as languages relevant to the music being studied.
- Gain teaching experience: Ethnomusicologists often work as professors at universities or colleges, so teaching experience is important. This can be gained through teaching assistantships, adjunct positions, or other teaching opportunities.
- Publish research: Ethnomusicologists are expected to publish research findings in academic journals, books, or other scholarly publications.
Overall, becoming an ethnomusicologist requires a strong background in music, anthropology, and research methods, as well as a dedication to cultural preservation and an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds.