Global Music (Section 2)

Discipline: Music
Instructor: Merrill
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1425
End: 1540
Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesday, 11 November | Brazil Download Syllabus

The study of global music is never a benign act; no matter how we attempt to be objective, when we are studying the music of any culture we are always doing so from our own culture; we encounter ethnomusicological studies, we are experiencing cultures as shown through particular cultural lenses.

In addition,the development global culture industry sees cultural artefacts becoming detached from their source and exported into other markets where their contextual understanding is different. This presents challenges to how the role of the ethnomusicologist is perceived; are they observing or preserving musical cultures? How do the methods of observation or preservation affect the people and cultures which they study?

This course explores both how the traditional musical practices of different cultures interacts with the global culture industry, and the ethical issues around ethnomusicological understandings. This will be supported through undertaking field research at ports on Semester At Seas itinerary so as to actively explore the issues presented but to global music cultures and ethnomusicologists studying them.

Field Work

Country: Brazil
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 11 November

Streets and Institutions creates an opportunity to explore how Bahian music, has grown out of a melting pot of different cultural roots into its own distinctive forms and achieved international recognition, and how the institutions that this has created are using their music as a means to affect social change.

The day will be centred around Orchestra Rumpilezz, whose Afro-Brazilian fusion explores combines aspects of local traditions with other contemporary forms, and who have used their success in establishing an institution for furthering their musical heritage through education.

After Maestro Letieres Leite has presented a history of the Afro-Brazilian traditions that have influenced Rumpilezz the day will be followed by hands on workshops learning the intricacies of the rhythms of claves, which form the ground work for understanding this distinctive rhythmic music. This will lead to a performance where students get to jam these rhythms with members of Rumpilezz, furthering the understanding of the process of musical creation.

The day will culminate with a walking tour by Bahian musician Bule Bule, whose songs arrive from the repentista tradition. Based on improvised lyrical  observations about every day life, situations and locations, Bule Bule will lead us on a sonic and lyrical tour of Salvador.

Academic objectives:

1. To explore the ideas and practices of an organisation promoting and teaching musical heritage.

2. To experience the ethnomusicological function and application of praxis and musicians

3. To develop understandings of the difference between institutional and personal perspectives of cultural heritage.