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Jonathan Kenzen (研禅) McCollum, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Music | Chair, Humanities Division

Ethnomusicology, Historical Ethnomusicology, World Flutes, Low Brass | Armenia and Japan


PhD, Ethnomusicology, University of Maryland, College Park, 2004

MA, Ethnomusicology, Tufts University, 2000

BA with Honors (magna cum laude), Music Performance/Music History, Florida State University, 1997


Shakuhachi Juried Licenses

Awarded the accredited master name (natori), “Kenzen (研禅).” The character for “ken” 研 comes from the Japanese kanji “togu,” meaning to polish, sharpen, or study. This kanji, with “zen” (禅), means to continue to sharpen one’s knowledge of Japanese shakuhachi and aesthetics in relation to Zen Buddhism.

  • Jun Shihan 準師範 (teacher’s license, associate master)
  • Okuden 奥伝 (inner transmission license)
  • Chuden 中伝 (second transmission license)
  • Shoden 初伝 (first transmission license)

Dr. McCollum is an ongoing Research Fellow with the Armenian Library and Museum of America , Watertown, Massachusetts. As the former Assistant Curator of Collections at the Armenian Library and Museum of America and as consultant for the Smithsonian Institution and Folkways Alive! at the Canadan Centre for Ethnomusicology at the University of Alberta, his experiences and interests span several interdisciplinary fields such as ethnomusicology/historical ethnomusicology, historical musicology, music and ritual, archeomusicology, museum studies, and art history. Dr. McCollum has conducted fieldwork in the US, Armenia, Japan, and China.

Scholarly Publications

Dr. McCollum’s dissertation focused on the music and ritual of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He is the author of Armenian Music: A Comprehensive Bibliography and Discography (Scarecrow Press, 2004), is a contributor to Defining Music: An Ethnomusicological and Philosophical Approach (Edwin Mellen Press, 2007) and has published numerous articles and reviews. His recent major publications include “Historical and Analytical Perspectives for the Study of Armenian Chant,” which will be published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the 19th meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music, which was held on March 6-10, 2012 in Vienna, Austria, “Music of Central Asia and the Caucasus” in OnMusic World Music (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and three articles in the upcoming “Genres of African and Middle Eastern Origin” of the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World (EPMOW) (New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd., 2012). Dr. McCollum has been invited to author thirty-two entries for the new edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (Oxford University Press).

Dr. McCollum is co-authoring/editing the book, Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology (with David Hebert, forthcoming, 2014, Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books). This book will offer a detailed description of new developments in music historiography, including techniques applicable to historical research across an array of music specializations: ethnomusicology, historical musicology, jazz studies, popular music studies, early music performance practice, and music education history.

Dr. McCollum regularly presents at conferences on historical ethnomusicological methodology, Armenian and Japanese music. He is a member of the American Musicological Society (AMS), the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) and the Armenian Studies Association.

Scholarly Performance

A former trombone student of Dr. John Drew of Florida State University, Dr. McCollum is an active regional orchestral and jazz trombonist. He is also a professional euphonium performer and is adept at playing the tuba. In addition, Dr. McCollum plays a number of other instruments including a variety of early music instruments, woodwinds (flute, saxophone, and clarinet), and other brass instruments.

As a world music musician, Dr. McCollum plays both the Japanese koto (13 string zither) and shakuhachi (Zen Buddhist end-blown flute). He plays on a professional 1.8 jiari shakuhachi made by the Kitahara family in Japan, one of the most renowned family makers of shakuhachi. Dr. McCollum has studied koto with Kyoko Okamoto and has obtained professional juried shakuhachi licenses under Dai Shihan (Grand Master) of Kinko-ryu (Dokyoku / Chikushinkai style), Michael Chikuzen Gould. Formerly, Dr. McCollum studied with ethnomusicologist and Shihan of Kinko-ryu, Dr. Dale Olsen (Olsen Bai-ô) of Florida State University. Dr. McCollum holds Shoden, Chuden, Okuden, and Jun Shihan shakuhachi licenses. Dr. McCollum performs both koto and shakuachi with the Washington Toho Koto Ensemble.

MUS 100 Introduction to Music
MUS 104 Introduction to World Music and Ethnomusicology
MUS 203 History of Music: Antiquity to Baroque
MUS 204 History of Music: Classical to Romantic
MUS 259/459 Applied Music: Low Brass
MUS 285 Early Music Consort
MUS 294 Instrumental Methods in Music Education
MUS 312 Music in the Romantic Period
MUS 314 Music of Asia
MUS 327 Music, Ritual, and Early Christianity
MUS 328 The Symphony in Context: History and Development
MUS 487 Woodwind and Brass Chamber Music
GRW 101 Intersections of Literature, Music, Science, and Art
GRW 101 Global Sounds: Music and Identity
Chief Musical Instruments

trombone, euphonium, tuba, shakuhachi, koto, early music instruments (woodwinds and sackbut)