Center for World Music

The Robert E. Brown Center for World Music promotes understanding and appreciation of global music and dance. The Center is a performing arts presenter and host to artist residencies and workshops. Focused initially on tradition-bearing, folkloric artists, the center has evolved to embrace contemporary extensions of these forms. The Center is dedicated to programming that engages both the campus and the community.

Robert E. Brown's Legacy

Robert E. Brown was an ethnomusicologist credited with coining the phrase “world music.” The idea behind Brown’s phrase was not that all kinds of music should be blended together to make a sonic stew, but that the study of music should take in the astonishing variety of the world’s traditions.

The School of Music established the Center in 2006, using a significant gift from the estate of Robert E. Brown. The gift to the University included Brown’s extensive collection of instruments from around the world. Brown’s private collection of recordings, books, paintings and artifacts were also included.

Location and Contact

Reach out with questions or suggestions. Let us know if you have an idea for an event.


Jason Finkelman, Artistic Administrator
Phone:  (217) 244-0790


School of Music, MC-056
University of Illinois
1114 W. Nevada Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801

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