City South Side Pittsburgh

Known colloquially as The City of Bridges and The Steel City for its world-record 446 bridges and former steel manufacturing base, Pittsburgh is a city on the move. In 2013, Pittsburgh was ranked America’s “most livable city” by and The Economist while National Geographic and Today named it a top world destination. The greater Pittsburgh area is home to over 60 colleges, universities, and research facilities, the most well-known of which are the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Duquesne University.

Pittsburgh is known for its music, food, and local cultures. In the mid-19th century, European immigrants labored in steel, iron, glass, and other factories along the three rivers. They built the city’s ethnic neighborhoods: the Irish North Side, the Polish South Side, the Italian Bloomfield, as well as other immigrant enclaves in smaller cities and towns in the surrounding areas. Pittsburgh’s Hill District has great importance for the history of music in America as a thriving center for Jazz and African American social life from the 1920s to the mid 1960s. Pittsburgh has a rich and diverse musical history and has given birth to prominent musicians and groups on the national scene including George Benson, Christina Aguilera, Rusted Root, Wiz Khalifa, and Girl Talk, among others. Topping the list for cities with the most bars per capita, Pittsburghers are proud of their pierogies, Primanti Brothers sandwiches (meat, french fries, and cole slaw between two pieces of Italian bread), and Pittsburghese, a dialect of American English spoken by many locals (otherwise known as Yinzers). Each night, the Cultural District, 14 square blocks along Penn and Liberty Avenues, buzzes with theatergoers and diners. You can watch Broadway, ballet, opera, contemporary theater, and the internationally acclaimed Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The city is home to powerhouse professional sports teams, such as the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins, and dozens of unique attractions including the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary.


University of Pittsburgh

Established in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is one of the oldest and most distinguished comprehensive universities for learning and research in the arts, sciences, humanities, professions, and the health sciences. Pitt has been placed among the top public universities in the United States in both domestic and international rankings, and has been listed as a "best value" in higher education by multiple publications.Home to approximately 40,000 students, the University offers approximately 445 programs in 16 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and confers more than 8,700 degrees annually. Our talented, diverse, and high-achieving students learn from – and collaborate on research with – some of the most respected and productive faculty members in the world.

Pittsburgh is full of great entertainment, shops, restaurants, theaters, galleries, museums, sports teams, and more. Pittsburgh’s diverse neighborhoods, myriad cultural offerings, storied sports traditions, and unhurried, friendly atmosphere are key components of the University’s urban campus life. The main Pitt campus is located in the neighborhood of Oakland, which is also home to the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Music Hall, and the 42-story Cathedral of Learning and its 29 Nationality Rooms depicting the architecture and material culture that exemplifies the country each room represents. Students can experience performances of classical music, opera, ballet, and theater performances through Pitt Arts, a program that connects students to Pittsburgh’s vibrant arts community.

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Music and Ethnomusicology at Pitt

Ethnomusicology has a distinguished history of over thirty years at Pitt. Building on the legacy established by eminent faculty members J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Bell Yung, and Akin Euba, our aim is to prepare graduate students to become educators in the field of ethnomusicology and active professionals in the public sector. Evidence of success is our outstanding record of graduate placement at universities both within and outside the U.S. In addition, our alumni hold key advocacy positions in educational, government, and nonprofit organizations. Faculty areas of research include music of Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia and encompass some of the most exciting and timely intellectual areas of study: global popular music; music, labor, and value; gender and sexuality; media and technology; sound studies; cultural rights and advocacy; and sound archives and repatriation.

The graduate program in Music is built on an integrated approach to the study of music grounded in composition/theory, ethnomusicology, jazz studies, and musicology. Our innovative and dynamic curriculum enables students to explore music and sound in the broadest terms possible through artistic creative activity, performance, and scholarship. The student-faculty ratio is purposefully small; about 40 graduate students work closely with the 14 full-time members of our academic faculty. Special resources include the Center for American Music, the principal repository for all materials pertaining to American composer Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864), considered by many to be America's first professional composer; the Music on the Edge series, a new music performance series that brings ensembles and composers to campus each year for concerts and residencies; and the African American Music program, which coordinates the annual jazz seminar and concert, the University of Pittsburgh-Sonny Rollins International Jazz Archives, and one of the premier jazz studies PhD programs in the country.

Students also take advantage of the course offerings in the University's various centers, departments, and programs, including African Studies, Africana Studies, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Cultural Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, European Studies Center, Humanities Center, Russian and East European Studies, and Women's Studies. Graduate students in ethnomusicology usually pursue at least one professional certificate in area studies, global studies, cultural studies, and/or women’s studies.

Undergraduates at Pitt encounter world music through a variety of courses, concerts, artist-in-residencies, and hands-on experience. A new undergraduate track in global and popular music was launched in 2014. The faculty works closely with departments, programs, and Centers across the university to provide outreach and international education through musical performance, study abroad programs, and a high level of interdisciplinary collaboration. World music performance groups including the African Music and Dance Ensemble, the Carpathian Ensemble, and the University Gamelan, provide study and performance opportunities for Pitt students every semester.