Music, Community, and Sustainability

Discipline: Music
Instructor: Ferguson
Credits: 3

Field Class: Peru Download Syllabus

The global discourse on ‘sustainability’ rarely involves discussion of culture and the arts. Yet, the long-term ‘health’ of a community, a society, a nation involves much more than just ecological or economic concerns. In this course we will explore the intersection of music and diverse concepts associated with the term ‘sustainability’: * Acoustic Ecology, Space & Place, the concept of the ‘soundscape’; * Endangered musical traditions, ‘preservation’ vs. ‘revitalization’, cultural policy, ‘cultural conservation’; * Instrument manufacture and sustainability issues: dwindling resources; the impact of harvesting and manufacturing on local communities, economies, and environments; alternative manufacturing methods, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); * ‘Applied Ethnomusicology’, Public Sector Ethnomusicology; * Music ‘Repatriation’ Projects; * Intangible cultural heritage, tourism, and the creative economy; * Music and the health and vitality of humans and human societies; * Music and healing; * Music and the brain; * Music education and transmission; individual and social benefits of a music education; * Music and Cultural Rights; * Ethnographic field research – Is fieldwork ‘disruptive’?; * ‘Sustainable’ and ‘green’ music concerts and festivals; * Song-writing and propagandizing, Music and Social Activism; * The United Nations Millennium Development Goals; etc. We will also devote the final 30-60 minutes of each class session to becoming acquainted with specific musical traditions from each of our ports-of-call in the Latin America and Caribbean regions: Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, and Cuba.

Field Class

Country: Peru

Our Peru field lab on Afro-Peruvian Music and Cultural Rights will be hosted by Rafael Santa Cruz, a renowned musician, scholar, author, and activist in the area of Afro-Peruvian rights. Sr. Santa Cruz has been intimately involved in a number of projects aimed at obtaining official declarations of "Intangible Cultural Heritage" status for various Afro-Peruvian musics, and he will teach us about the issues involved in this important process. He is also a world-renowned performer on, and scholar of, the 'cajón' – a musical instrument fashioned from a wooden crate, and in addition to learning about Afro-Peruvian cultural rights we will also be treated to performances of Afro-Peruvian musics of the Lima region.