Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lee Bidgood

Committee Members

Marie Tedesco, Jane MacMorran


This research examines the establishment of degree programs in traditional music in institutions of higher education. It defines traditional music and discusses the history of traditional and folk music programs at universities and conservatories in the United States, Finland, Scotland, and England. The institutionalization of American traditional music is compared to the institutionalization of jazz music in the United States. This thesis focuses on the Bluegrass, Old- Time, and Country Music Studies program at East Tennessee State University and features original ethnographic interviews with lecturers from the program. Two similar programs in Tennessee and Kentucky are also discussed. Some of the issues that are explored within these programs include standardization, improvisation and imitation, the use of sheet music, and job potential. The purpose of this research is to examine if and how institutionalization affects traditional music.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.