William Malm

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William Malm was one of the pioneers in the study of Japanese music in the West. As a Professor of Music at the University of Michigan for over thirty years, he directed a Japanese music ensemble and published numerous works on traditional Japanese music.

Malm was the second person to earn a PhD in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, completing that program in 1959. He then taught at the University of Michigan from 1960 until his retirement in 1993. He oversaw the university's collection of musical instruments, and pioneered its Japanese music ensemble.

Selected Works

  • Malm, “A Short History of Nagauta Music,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 80, no. 2 (1960): 124–32.
  • Malm, “The Modern Music of Meiji Japan,” in Tradition and Modernization in Japanese Culture (ed. Donald Shively), 1971.
  • Malm, Nagauta: The Heart of Kabuki Music, Greenwood Press, 1973.
  • Malm, “Chinese Music in the Edo and Meiji Periods in Japan,” Asian Music 6, no. 1/2 (January 1, 1975): 147–72.
  • Malm, James Brandon, and Donald Shively (eds.), Studies in Kabuki, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1978.
  • Malm, "Music Cultures of Momoyama Japan," in Warlords, Artists, and Commoners: Japan in the Sixteenth Century (eds. George Elison, Bardwell L Smith). University of Hawaii, 1981.
  • Malm, Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instruments, Kodansha International, 2000.


  • Gallery labels, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.[1]