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This course introduces a variety of musical genres and practices from around the world, alongside a discussion of the processes and politics of their global circulation. Through learning about a combination of contemporary styles and longstanding musical traditions spanning a broad geographical range, students will develop a working knowledge of musical terms, concepts, and influential musicians. Beyond engaging with music’s sound and structure, we will address its capacity to express personal and group identity, and its ability to both reflect and shape broader social ideas and circumstances. In particular, we will consider music’s global circulation, and how its contents and meanings reflect those processes. Genres covered in the course vary intermittently but often include: “throat singing” genres in Tuva and Sardinia, Zimbabwean mbira and Chimurenga music, Argentine Tango, Ghanaian azonto and highlife, Balinese gamelan, and North Indian classical music. No prior musical training is required.
Format: lecture; This course is offered remotely. Online meetings will be a mixture of large group lecture/discussion and smaller breakout groups.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class attendance and participation, regular short writing assignments and projects, and a 10-12 page final paper
current or prospective majors in Music, Anthropology, Sociology, and Arabic, Asian, Africana, and Latino/a Studies.
Difference, Power, and Equity
Not only are students exposed to a wide range of musical material from across the globe, they also consider how music becomes meaningful and powerful in light of local contexts and the politics of circulation. Discussions and written assignments address issues including gender identity, economic disparity, the politics of cultural preservation, and music's potential in situations of political unrest.