This course is divided into three distinct units —the first introduces the concept of musicking, ethnomusicology and fieldwork, and the basic elements of music and challenges the common concept of music as a "universal language" through exploration of differences in how basic elements of music are discussed, taught, and conceptualized around the world; the second focuses on the music of Ireland and Egypt; and the third and final unit focuses on the music of Central Java and West Africa.
The trailer linked below from the Silk Road Project documentary The Music of Strangers (2017) offers a taste of both our course goals & central ideas the underpin both the course & what can be gained from listening to and studying musicking around the world.
Because this is a world cultures course, you can expect that the content will include a variety of foreign terms and each region that we study will have different terms for concepts related back to the basic elements of music.
Course work will include a semester-long mini fieldwork project exploring a topic of your choosing that will take you through the process of crafting a field-work oriented research question, locating and working with secondary sources, creating a bibliography, and planning your research, whether it involves qualitative methods —interviews, crafting a survey or surveys-- or a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, and creating a virtual presentation to be uploaded to the class discussion board. This is a project for which students have the option to work in pairs or small groups (3-4 students) or alone, as works best for individuals.
Attendance and active in-class engagement is a required element of this class, and important for your achievement of the course learning outcomes.
Note: Syllabus is the Spring 2022 syllabus; structure will be similar, but dates will, of course, be updated to match those of the Fall 2022 calendar; there may also be changes to adapt to impacts or lessening of impacts due to COVID-19, and our textbook is an electronic textbook that you will purchase through Perusall, and online social reading app.