The official catalog description of this course is: Global aspects of music and its meaning with connections to the environment, sound, and world cultures.
Why does the music of Cochin sound so different from the music of Hawaii? Does the difference lie in musical instruments, the organization of sound or the cultures of people? How does one navigate musical cultures cross-culturally? This introductory course in musical cultures of the world will give you practical tools and concepts to understand the sound and cultures of the world’s people. We will take an ethnomusicological approach by considering not just the sound but also the cultural context of music performance to understand what makes performing music meaningful for people in a given context? We will delve into the regions covered in the voyage including Africa, South Asia, East Asia, North America as well as Middle-Eastern, Caribbean and Indigenous cultures of Americas and discover musical practices related to religious rituals and courts that people continue as “traditional music” as well as popular music and musicians from these contexts that show how sounds of modern genres reflect cultural identity of the place. We will learn about many musical contexts, from Beijing opera within theatres of China to rituals in temples of India and maidan (square) in Morocco as sites of modern political aspirations of people.
The classes will consist of practicums where you will learn the fundamentals of music as they apply to musical cultures of the world including local terms such as raag, maqam, taal, polyrhythms and more, and gain experience in singing songs and clapping rhythms from the given contexts. (No prior musical knowledge required). We will listen to musical pieces from different parts of the world as well as watch excerpts from documentaries to see the context of these performances. As a result of this course, you develop an ethnomusicological lens to understand music and musicians and gain an inter-cultural understanding of musical cultures we encounter on the voyage.
*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.
Field WorkCountry: Morocco
Date: April 11, 2020