Welcome to the Department of Music

The Department of Music at UCI is a dynamic center of excellence that has at its heart the mission of the University of California as a public-serving institution. The expertise of our faculty spans a wide range of music stylistically, chronologically, and geographically including Persian music, Jazz, Karnatic music and South Indian dance; African-American music, the historic silk road, European art music from the 17th century to the present, popular music, hip-hop, electronic music, and music technology. We equip students with the skills necessary to understand a wide variety of musical practices, and to interrogate musical material and modes of research through an array of critical lenses. Our undergraduate degrees (B.A. and B.Mus.) offer strong foundations in both practical and intellectual approaches to music, and allow our students to develop skills to think critically about music. Our graduate programs provide students with the opportunity to work closely with scholars, performers, and creative practitioners of international standing, while also encouraging independent practice and research.

Whereas our department is comprised of three independent pillars—Performance; Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT); and the History and Theory of Music (HTM)—we also prize research and creative activities that reach across these boundaries and strengthen the rich fabric of interdisciplinarity. We place significant value on collaborative work, and encourage music students to collaborate across our three pillars, with students in the Dance, Drama, and Art Departments at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, and across the campus. Some classes are co-taught by faculty from different departments, enabling students to collaborate on interdisciplinary, intermedia projects.

At the UCI Department of Music, we prepare our graduates for leadership roles in a society where musical culture is undergoing rapid changes. Through rigorous training, our students will be better prepared to meet the challenges of a world where all aspects of music education, the music industry, and music research are in constant and rapid evolution. By placing the study of music within the broader context of humanistic inquiry, underpinned by the ethos of community outreach, we play a key role in helping to meet the various challenges faced by all participants within the complex world of musical culture, by training the next generation of leaders and professionals with the skills and abilities needed to solve a variety of problems.

The three examples below highlight the excellent work undertaken at the UCI Department of Music during the past academic year. More information on special events for 2023-24 will be shared here soon.


African American Art Song Alliance Conference
On October 13 - 16, 2022, we will convene a fourth conference on the performance, study, and support of art songs by African American composers. This 25th anniversary affair will focus largely on two areas: Social Justice, and the Harlem Renaissance Centennial Observation.
Women at the Piano
This conference seeks to broaden – historically and geographically – the discourse surrounding professional women pianists between 1848 and 1970. Against a backdrop of socio-political and technological change, from the 1848 revolutions, through two World Wars, to the decline of imperialism and the rise of second-wave feminism, the conference explores the piano as an instrument of globalism, colonialism, and mobility, with particular implications for women.
Telematic Bridges
Puentes Telemáticos / Telematic Bridges is an intercultural, bilingual course that connects music students from Santa Ana High School in California, US and the Fundación Batuta in Manizales, Colombia. Students gain experience with musical improvisation through playing together via networked music performance software and high quality audio equipment, and they also work on small group activities including collaborative composition projects.