In the 21st century, music defies boundaries.

Composers and performers now consistently stretch their art beyond the strictures of traditional instruments and sounds, and sometimes even beyond the realm of sound itself into such areas as movement and interactive media. Meanwhile, music has become a topic of cutting-edge scholarly work in such diverse disciplines as computer science, history, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and sociocultural anthropology.

The Music Program at NYU Abu Dhabi fully embraces this reality. Our faculty engage with multiple disciplines in our scholarly work, creative work, and teaching. The Program maintains key participation in Anthropology, African Studies, Peace Studies, and Sound and Music Computing, as well as curricular synergies with Film, Theater, and Interactive Media.

Music student Jiire Smith performing his debut single at NYUAD's Battle of the Bands, 2023. Event curated by Gazelien Records.

Today, I make music for film, theater, TV, and I write my own concert music. There has not been a day when I don't use the knowledge and skills I learned at NYUAD to make that music.

Cristobal Martinez Yanes, music graduate, freelance composer

Local and Regional Connections

By taking advantage of the uniqueness of Abu Dhabi as a cosmopolitan city and an international hub, the Music Program offers students opportunities to learn firsthand about a diverse range of traditional and popular musics spanning various cultures and styles.

We connect our students to the thriving music and media scenes in Dubai and the other dynamic urban centers in the MENA, East Africa, and India (not to mention Europe and North America), by facilitating artist visits, field trips, and various opportunities for study and internship.

What is more, the close relationship between the Music Program and the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi opens many opportunities for engagement with world-renowned artists through a range of activities, from educational workshops to recording sessions in our state-of-the-art facilities.

Academic Programs

See course listings, graduation requirements, and employment outcomes.

Research Projects

Project Description
Gazelien Records Gazelien Records was founded by students of the Recording and Production Techniques (RPT) class as a platform to provide academic and Music Industry based experience to meet the growing interest of the NYU Abu Dhabi Music Program Students in order to provide them with real-world opportunities.
Music and Sound Cultures Research Group A collective of researchers focusing on the multidisciplinary study of music from the Arab World and neighboring regions through computational and humanistic methods.
The Rhythm Project The Rhythm Project will aim to better understand the similarities and differences between rhythms of different cultures and ultimately provide a deeper insight into the musical behavior of humans as a species.
Sounds of Sir Bani Yas Island Carlos Guedes, associate arts professor, takes his classes to Sir Bani Yas Island to record free roaming animals and birds. The recordings are then uploaded onto an interactive website.

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