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 WorkCountry: India
Day: 1 - Saturday, 27 February
The field lab for this course will take place in Cochin, India on Saturday February 27. It will focus on the traditional dance and music of the State of Kerala. The students will first travel to the Kochin Cultural Center in Ernakulum, where they will learn various music traditions from the state of Kerala, including Chenda, Maddalam, Thimila, Idakka, Kombu, Kuzhal, and Ilathalam. Afterwards, they will visit with Jerry Amaldev, a music producer from Cochin with much experience in Indian music production, including Bollywood films. The students will learn about various music traditions from both North and South India, including Vedic Verse, Folk Songs, Dhrupad, Bhajan, Ghazal, Bollywood vintage song and the national hymn, Vande Maataram. The session will conclude with the students attending a rehearsal of the group Sing India.
1. Students will have the opportunity to compare several music and dance traditions, both traditional and popular, and learn how they function in a modern cultural context
2. They will observe first-hand music-making and learn about various issues concerning the production and performance of music in India today
3. Students will keep thorough notes of all aspects of the event, and then write a 1000-word reflection paper on the experience