Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

C. Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jody Lynn McBrien, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Clint Randles, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David A. Williams, Ph.D.


culture, curriculum and instruction, ethnomusicology, music education, teaching and learning


As world percussion has grown in popularity in American colleges and universities, two main problems have emerged. The first problem is that no known source exists detailing how percussion instructors have incorporated world percussion into their collegiate teaching. A review of the literature has highlighted four main approaches to incorporating world percussion in collegiate percussion programs: applied study, group performance, travel experiences, and guest expert visits. The second problem is that systematic research on world percussion traditions has been carried out much more often by music education researchers, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists than by percussionist-performers, so the relationship between theory and reality regarding the teaching of world percussion by collegiate percussion instructors is called into question. Via an exploratory mixed-methods design, this dissertation investigated the practical approaches most commonly utilized by percussion instructors to teach world percussion in their collegiate percussion programs, as well as the practical and philosophical reasons behind their decisions. Questionnaires were distributed to 1,032 collegiate percussion instructors in the United States with 518 respondents (N=518); descriptive statistics were utilized to determine the relative popularity of the four main approaches mentioned in the percussion literature. Interviews were conducted with collegiate world percussion instructors (N = 11), selected via stratified random sampling, regarding their practical and philosophical approaches to teaching world percussion. Content coding of interview data was utilized to search for emergent themes and meta-themes. Findings regarding the instructors' practical approaches toward the incorporation of world percussion in their programs included decisions about what world percussion instruments and styles to present, settings in which to present them, when to present world percussion and how much world percussion to include in relation to core areas, and breadth versus depth of world percussion. Findings regarding instructors' philosophical orientations included rationales for world percussion and issues of authenticity. Conclusions include that instructors' main rationales for incorporating world percussion into their programs were musical well-roundedness and employability as performers and educators, while understanding authentic musical processes in cultural context was also an important dimension. Implications were also discussed, and suggestions for further research were also included.