Scott Marcus
Professor; Area Head, Ethnomusicology Program
Office Location

Music Building 1137

On-site Hours

By appointment


  • North Indian and Middle Eastern musics and performance practices
  • Arab music theory (maqam)
  • North Indian folk music
  • Tuning and temperament


Curriculum Vitae

Professor Marcus is the Founder and Director of the UCSB Middle East Ensemble and the Music of India (sitar) Ensemble and also directs the World Music Series. He is a member of UCSB’s Center for Middle East Studies and past Board member of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music. He also teaches at the annual Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino, CA.


  • Music 175F/293F – Music Cultures of the World: The Middle East
  • Music 175G/293G – Music Cultures of the World: India
  • Music 160D/260D – Tuning and Temperament
  • Music 160E/260E – The Arabic System of Melodic Modes (the maqamat) – a lecture class
  • Music 168X/262X – Umm Kulthum: Her Music, Her Life, Her Times
  • Music A 70M/170M/270M –  the UCSB Middle East Ensemble
  • Music A 70N/170N/270N – Middle East Chorus
  • Music A 70I/170I/270I – Music of India (sitar) Ensemble
  • Music 22m/122m/222x – lessons on the Arab system of melodic modes (the maqamat), any instrument
  • Music 22n/122n/222x – nay (Arab flute) lessons
  • Music 22o/122o/222x – oud (Arab lute) lessons



  • "The Rise of a Folk Music Genre: Biraha" pp.93-113.  In Culture & Power in Banaras: Community, Performance, & Environment, 1800-1980 (1989: 93-113).
  • "The Periodization of Modern Arab Music Theory: Continuity & Change in the Definition of the Maqamat" in Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology (1989[5]: 35-49).
  • “Modulation in Arab Music: Documenting Oral Concepts, Performance Rules & Strategies,” (Ethnomusicology, 1992[2]: 171-195).
  • “The Interface Between Theory & Practice: The Case of Intonation in Arab Music” (Asian Music, 1993[2]: 39-58).
  • “Recycling Indian Film Songs: Popular Music as a Source of Melodies for North Indian Folk Musicians” (Asian Music, 1993[1]: 101-110).
  • "Solo Instrumental Improvisation (Taqasim) in Arab Music" in Middle East Studies Assoc. Bulletin (1993[27]: 108-111).
  • “Parody Generated Texts: The Process of Composition in Biraha, a North Indian Folk Music Genre” (Asian Music, 1995[1]: 95-147).
  • "On Cassette Rather than Live:  Religious Music in India Today." In Media & the Transformation of Religion in S. Asia, L.A. Babb/S.S. Wadley, ed.s.; (1995, pp.167-185).
  • The Eastern Arab System of Melodic Modes in Theory and Practice: A Case Study of maqam Bayyati” (Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 6, The Middle East, 2002; pp.33-44).
  • "Music in Performance: `Ud Lessons with George Michel"  (The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6: The Middle East; 2002, 45-46).
  • "The Rhythmic Modes of Middle Eastern Music" (The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6: The Middle East; 2002, 89-92).
  • "Music in Performance: A Rehearsal with Firqat al-Musiqa al-‘Arabiyya" (The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6: The Middle East; 2002, 317-319).
  • "The Muslim Call To Prayer" (The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6: The Middle East; 2002: 153-155).
  • "Creating a Community, Negotiating Among Communities: Performing Middle Eastern Music for a Diverse Middle Eastern and American Public” in Performing Ethnomusicology: Teaching and Representation in World Music Ensembles (University of California Press, 2004, 202-214).
  • “The Eastern Arab World,” in The Other Classical Musics: Fifteen Great Traditions, The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, England (2015: 271-293).
  • “Music,” in The Cambridge Companion to Modern Arab Culture, edited by Dwight F. Reynolds, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom (2015: 135-163).


Music in Egypt: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture book cover

Music in Egypt: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Oxford University Press, 2007

Scott L. Marcus

The Middle East book cover

The Middle East (Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol 6)

Routledge, 2002

Scott L. Marcus (Co-editor)