MUS 126
Musics of Asia Spring 2010
Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
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Class Details

This course offers an introduction to the great diversity of Asian music. Our survey will span from East Asia (China, Korea, and Japan) to Southeast Asia (Thailand and Indonesia) to the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia (Tibet and Afghanistan), to the Middle East (Iran and the Arabian peninsula), and will end with the extension of Asian music across North Africa and into Eastern Europe. Within this broad survey, we will focus on selected and representative musical cultures and genres. In each section of the course, aspects of cultural context (including music’s function in religious life and its relationship to the other arts), will be emphasized. While our focus will be on the traditional and classical musics of these cultures, we will also briefly consider the current musical scene. Encounters with this music will include attendance at live performances when possible.
This course satisfies the EDI requirement by exploring how the diverse musical traditions of Asia are shaped by radically different religious beliefs and social norms and by demonstrating how various Asian cultures can be understood through their musical traditions. Much of the music we will encounter presents aesthetics and cultural norms that differ radically from mainstream Euro-American cultural practices. To engage with these traditions students must attempt to place themselves within different cultural frameworks, to hear music that they may find shockingly foreign with a different set of ears.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3445
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on four tests and two papers
Prerequisites: none; no musical experience necessary
Distributions: Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Attributes: ASST Interdepartmental Electives
INST East Asian Studies Electives

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