AFR 225
Musics of the Caribbean Spring 2017
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed AFR 225 / MUS 225
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From witty and politically charged calypsos to soulful bachatas, from folkloric displays that advertise a country’s cultural diversity to ritual performances that facilitate communication with the spirit world, the music of the Caribbean is astonishingly diverse, both sonically and in its social application. This course serves as an introduction to a wide spectrum of Caribbean music in its broader social and historical context. Through engaging with audio and video sources, readings, performance exercises and workshops, students will learn to identify distinguishing features associated with particular countries and regions, while also exploring the sounds and musical structures that are shared between them. Featured genres include reggae, steel pan, calypso, zouk, Maroon music from Suriname and Jamaica, chutney, salsa, merengue and music from Haitian Vodu and Cuban SanterĂ­a religions. Interlaced with discussion of musical genres and innovative musicians are a number of central questions about the social role of music within the region: How has slavery and colonial enterprise shaped the musical landscape of the Caribbean? How do the realms of sacred and secular performance relate to each other? What role does tourism and global circulation play in influencing musical tastes and practices? Finally, how do music and dance interconnect? This course satisfies the EDI requirement, with a particular focus on the comparative study of cultures and societies and critical engagement with issues of power and privilege.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3772
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, multimedia project, midterm paper, intermittent short assignments, final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Music majors and Africana Studies or Latina/o Studies concentrators
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under MUS; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 225 Division I MUS 225 Division I
Attributes: AFR Core Electives
MUS World Music/Ethnomusicology

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