The official catalog description of this course is Global aspects of music and its meaning with connections to the environment, sound, and world cultures.
This course investigates the sound and sentiment of traditional and contemporary music in each port-of-call and region of our voyage. Distinctive sounds in unique places reflect and resonate meaningful characteristics and concerns in cultural contexts. As the voice of society, music echoes ideology, behavior, rituals, values, aesthetics, and history. We will discover why music serves as a universal language of harmony, a regional declaration of individuality, and an unsurpassed vehicle for cross-cultural communication.
We will explore the styles and significance of global music forms as we travel our routes on oceans, canals, and landscapes. Music reveals how distinctive sounds of unique places reflect and resonate the particular character and concerns of cultures, and the individuals belonging to those cultures. There are innumerable creative ways through which musicians fashion their craft to articulate their beliefs and express their cultural norms. Unique configurations of melodies, harmonies, rhythms, timbres, textures, instrumentations and lyrics reveal colorful identities and articulate complex ideologies. We will contrast the sounds and structures of the various musical cultures of our travels, exploring the cross-cultural similarities and multi-cultural differences between styles, and determining the motives and functions of each form; whether as entertainment, narrative commentary, expression of feelings, forms of worship or accompaniment to rites of passage. Finally, we explore the imperative development of global styles from traditional to popular, as global influences and internal predicaments affect the boundaries of style and cause worldwide hybridizations. Through an investigation of each culture’s music, we will reveal both the strong influence of creative individuals in reflecting and shaping the history of their societies in particular and the enormous importance of global music in ‘sounding culture’ in general.
Field WorkCountry: Spain
Date: October 1, 2019
Our class will explore Cadiz by bus, visiting sites that foreground the cultural life of the town. This will be followed by a tapas lunch at a Cadiz eatery, and then a Flamenco music and dance performance and instruction.
1. Learn about local Spanish history and culture accentuating the arts, music and dance
2. Familiarize with local cuisine and dining norms through sampling tapas
3. Learn about Flamenco music and dance through performance and instruction