Exploring World Music (Section 2) [CRN 29386]

Discipline: Music
Instructor: Harnish
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1100
End: 1220
Field Work: Day 2 | February 20, 2018 | Myanmar (Burma)
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This survey course explores global aspects of music and its meaning with connections to the environment, sound, and world cultures, with emphases on countries on the itinerary. The course presents music as an aspect of human culture, aids students in cross-cultural understanding, differentiates music styles within regions and cultures, and examines broad historical, cultural, and social contexts of music. Students become familiar with basic musical concepts and explore traditional, religious, folk, art, and popular musical styles of several countries. In addition to readings and clips, guided listening, and occasional music-making opportunities, contact with live music and dance will be encouraged through field opportunities and independent experiences. Students will be encouraged to examine music making in cultural context, while considering their role as ethnographic observers, and will gain the vocabulary and listening skills necessary to engage with music of the world. Student evaluation is based on in-class tests, two papers based on participation in field opportunities, and short reports on observed musical activities in three other ports-of-call.

Field Work

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2
Date: February 20, 2018

Gitameit (gita=song’ meit=friendship) Music Center is a non-profit institute devoted to music teaching and dance and nurturing, performing, and holding workshops in Yangon for aspiring students and artists. In addition to Burmese folk and traditional music, Gitameit’s mission incorporates Western art music and popular and contemporary musics, and takes a holistic approach to arts education.   The field class will focus on Burmese traditional music and arts styles. Students will hear and watch performances by students at the Center and play and learn some basic music parts, as they understand more about the variety of arts in Myanmar and their historical and cultural contexts. The class may include visits to homes of performing arts masters. Gitameit is one of the few institutes actively trying to sustain traditional performing arts as Myanmar establishes a neoliberal economy and quickly modernizes and globalizes.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Discover various styles of Burmese arts and learn basic music parts and dance movement
  2. Understand contemporary issues of traditional music, dance and education in Myanmar
  3. Reflect on the lived experiences of Burmese students and artists.

Field Class Reflection (3-5 pages). This paper should include analyses of the musical activity (elements, instruments, performance context, history, etc.), analyses of students and performers (gender, dress, behavior), personal responses to learning music and dance and Burmese culture, challenges of traditional performing arts in Myanmar, and reflections about the role of music in contemporary Myanmar, perhaps comparing its role to that of music in America or other ports-of-call.