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Department of Music

The World of Cuban Music

Course Code:
155800058
Unit value:
0.5
Taught in:
Term 1
Though a relatively small island, Cuba has produced some of the most influential and important dance music since the early decades of the 20th century, and has also made a huge impact on jazz, popular music and contemporary music in Africa. Now in the new millennium, the current massive popularity of Cuban projects such as Buena Vista Social Club has put Cuban music back in the limelight.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

This course aims to provide an understanding of the roots,developments and current trends of Cuban dance music -ie what the Cubans call "MUSICA BAILABLE" -, tracing its various sources from Africa, Spain, and the Latin Caribbean, and looking at the impact of political events particularly since the 1959 revolution.

The course focuses on the island of Cuba (opposed to music in the Cuban Diaspora), though it will also touch briefly on cross-fertilizations with dance music in Africa and with the wider world of salsa. 

Workload

Two hours per week in Term 1

Method of assessment

  • One 2 000 words essay (30%)
  • One 3 000 words essay (40%)
  • One listening exam (30%)