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Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Bachelor of Arts in Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Students on Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Spring 2020 requirements FOLKBA

The Bachelor of Arts in Folklore and Ethnomusicology includes the study of performance, specific cultures and regions, human diversity and worldview, and research methods. Folklore and ethnomusicology emphasize fieldwork methods to learn how societies function. Fieldwork involves documenting and learning about people's lives, expressions, and beliefs in context. Through the study of different social groups and cultures, students gain skills in observation, analysis, documentation, reporting, and multicultural understanding. The major prepares students for a range of careers, including those involving the arts, education, historic preservation, communication, cross-cultural understanding, and human diversity and relations. Upon entering the program, the student and undergraduate advisor plan an individualized program of study. Majors may focus on either ethnomusicology or folklore, or a combination of the two.

Folklore is the study of the world's expressive culture; the study of art in culture. Folklorists study tradition and innovation, looking at both groups and individuals, by focusing on creativity in everyday life, including customs, celebration, festivals, stories, jokes, dance, architecture, food, car art, and body art. Ethnomusicology is the study of music of all types and from all cultures. Ethnomusicologists not only listen to the sounds of music, but also explore the roles of music in human life and analyze relationships between music and culture.


The major requires at least 30 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.
  1. Methods and Theories. One (1) course:
    • FOLK-F 401 Methods and Theories
  2. Advanced Seminar. One (1) course:
    • FOLK-F 497 Advanced Seminar
  3. Electives. Additional FOLK credit hours, as necessary, to fulfill remaining requirements. These must include the following:
    1. Two (2) courses at the 300–399 level.
    2. One (1) course at the 400–499 level.
    3. One (1) additional course at the 300–499 level.
    4. Note:
      • No more than six (6) credit hours at the 100–199 level.
      • A maximum of two (2) approved courses from other disciplines may count for students completing a single major in folklore. Select from the Outside Electives list.
        • AAAD-A 112 Black Music of Two Worlds
        • AAAD-A 290 Sociocultural Perspective of African American Music
        • AAAD-A 292 African American Folklore
        • AAAD-A 295 Survey of Hip Hop
        • AAAD-A 297 Popular Music of Black America
        • AAAD-A 345 Hip Hop Music and Culture
        • AAAD-A 496 Black Religious Music
        • CEUS-R 349 Topics in Hungarian Studies (approved topic: "European Folk Musics")
        • CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology
  4. Major GPA, Hours, and Minimum Grade Requirements.
    1. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
    2. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    3. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the major.
    4. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the major—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    5. Exceptions to major requirements may be made with the approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.