Official Catalog Description: Global aspects of music and its meaning with connections to the environment, sound, and world cultures.
Exploring World Music is a semester-long exploration of music’s materials, contexts, and purposes. We will consider music as a global phenomenon and commonality of human social experience. Through videos, readings, and listening to both recorded and live music from diverse world regions, we will examine the sonic materials and organizing principles of the music cultures we will be experiencing on the Semester at Sea fall 2022 voyage, as well as the occasions for and purposes of music making and listening by the people we encounter. We will explore the ways in which traditions, values, belief systems, and patterns of social change are encoded and made manifest in musical practices. Of particular interest will be those aspects of musical expression that are unique to each culture—instruments, melodic and rhythmic systems, genres, and functions—as well as aspects shared across traditional borders, particularly those influenced by mass media and the internet. Students will maintain journals recording in-port observations of musical experiences, understood through the various lenses provided by the academic discipline of Ethnomusicology.