Music Department


World Music Studies

At MIT one can hear, play, sing, and listen to the very wide scope of music around the world as well as immerse oneself in the classical and jazz traditions of the west – we think of it all as world music. We study and perform in the very rich classical traditions of India, the exciting music of Africa, the electrifying community orchestras of Bali, and delve into world pop music. Our performing groups and course offerings reflect the dynamic and exciting changes in the modern international world of music scholarship, listening and performance.

Our subject offerings include Introduction to World Music, Folk Music of the British Isles and North America, Music of India, Music of Africa, Music of Indonesia, and Popular Musics of the World. In addition, there are two ensembles open to all students: a Balinese Gamelan (Galak-Tika) and a Senegalese drumming ensemble (Rambax). A concert series under the auspices of MITHAS, a society of students, faculty, alumni, and members of the wider Boston-Cambridge community who support the performing arts from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, hosts musicians (such as Ali Akbar Khan) as well as dancers from all ethnic groups, eastern and western. Visit the MITHAS website for more information.

The world music faculty is comprised of composer/clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, music director of the Gamelan Galak Tika; George Ruckert, master of the sarod and a disciple of the renowned sarod player Ali Akbar Khan; and Patricia Tang, Senegalese music expert who co-directs Rambax with the world-renowned griot percussionist Lamine Toure.


The world music offerings at MIT are ‘cutting edge,’ teaching the broadest spectrum of traditional and popular music, and performing Balinese gamelan and Senegalese drum ensembles with precision and verve.”

George Ruckert
Senior Lecturer