The ethnomusicology program is diverse in subject and methodology. Students choose one area as a specialty, and at least one other for secondary emphasis. Depending on the interests of the individuals and their advisors, students may concentrate on research involving fieldwork and anthropology, popular music criticism, historical ethnomusicology, intercultural musicology, or jazz history and performance.
Faculty specialties include Chinese music, music of Southeast Asia, African music, East European music, African American music, jazz, and popular music. Students also work with faculty in the other subdisciplines to broaden the scope of their work.
Students also take advantage of the offerings in the University's various programs, including the Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Cultural Studies, Africana Studies, Women's Studies, Asian Studies Center, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, European Studies Center, and Russian and East European Studies.
Nathan Davis teaches jazz and African American music, and founded the jazz program at the University, as well as the annual Jazz Seminar and Concert. In addition, he directs the Jazz Ensemble, and performs internationally. Davis recently extended his outreach activities to Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
Adriana Helbig specializes in the music of Eastern Europe, focusing on the relationship between music and politics, advocacy research, Romani music, global hip-hop, migration, and post-socialist music industries. She directs Pitt's Carpathian Music Ensemble.
Gavin Steingo’s areas of research include African Music (particularly southern Africa), music of the African diaspora, postcolonialism; music and materiality, anthropology of the senses, and music, labor, and value. He teaches Introduction to World Music, African Music, and Music and Materiality.