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Five College Music

At the Five Colleges—Smith, Amherst, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst—each music department has its own identity, its own range of offerings and a particular emphasis that sets it apart.

A variety of special cooperative arrangements among the departments give students access to their combined faculties, courses, music libraries and guest artists. Departmental concerts and recitals, coupled with joint concerts and residencies, ensure a lively calendar of musical events and furnish a remarkable array of resources for the study and performance of music of every period and style.

Five College Collegium & Early Music Program

The Five College Early Music Program seeks to provide educational and musical experience for those interested in the instrumental and vocal music of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the baroque period. An extensive collection of medieval, Renaissance, and baroque instruments is available to students for study and performance, and there are large holdings in the music libraries of the Five Colleges. Students may participate in the Five College Collegium (open by audition), may join ensembles organized on the various campuses, and may take, for a fee, individual and noncredit group instruction.

Five College Ethnomusicology Certificate Program

Advisers: Members of the Five College Ethnomusicology Committee

The Certificate Program in Ethnomusicology will provide a coherent framework for navigating course offerings and engaging with ethnomusicologists throughout the Five Colleges.


To obtain a Five College certificate in ethnomusicology, students must successfully complete a total of seven courses distributed as indicated in the following four categories. No more than five courses can be from any one department/discipline, and introductory courses in basic musicianship do not count towards the requirements:  

  • Area studies or topics courses: at least two courses
  • Methodology: at least two courses
  • Performance: at least one course
  • Electives: negotiated in consultation with the student’s ethnomusicology adviser, including courses from related disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, history or media studies; area studies fields such as African studies, American studies, Asian studies or Middle East studies; or other fields related to a particular student’s ethnomusicological interests.

Since ethnomusicological research and related musical performance may require understanding of and competence in a foreign language, students are encouraged (but not required) to achieve relevant language proficiency. Other areas that students are encouraged to explore include experiential learning, a study-abroad or domestic-exchange experience, in-depth study of a single musical tradition or comparative studies of several musical traditions.

Courses and ensembles will be posted and updated on our website.