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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.


The Five College Collegium & Early Music Program

Founded in 1979, the Five College Early Music Program (EMP) is a collaboration among schools, programs, and teachers in the Five College Consortium to offer students and affiliates the opportunity to explore the rich and varied music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Participants may take private lessons, participate in chamber music courses or larger ensembles, or study historical dance, under the guidance of specialist instructors in the field of early music. The Early Music Program also hosts or co-hosts performances and residencies by professional early music performers and ensembles.

For more information about the Five College Early Music Program and to schedule an audition, please visit our home page or contact program director Michael Barrett at

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.