Music and Culture
- Module Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 1
- Taught in:
- Term 1
A lecture-based course, illustrated with audiovisual examples from both the Western and non-Western music worlds. It will be organized around four themes central to ethno-musicology:
- Performance and orality (the concept of performance; the relationship of music to other types of performance such as dance and drama; orality as a means of trans-mission; improvisation);
- Music structures (aspects of musical organization, such as melody, rhythm, pitch and interval, scale, mode, ensemble structures such as hocket polyphony);
- Music and history (including such issues as organology, oral literature, music and identity, music and migration);
- Perspectives on the field (including a review of the history of the main body of ethnomusicological literature, the “emic/etic” distinction, and a critical look at the issue of “whose voice”).
Students will write one essay and a concert report.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
This course will introduce major themes, issues and techniques in ethnomusicology, via case studies and class discussion, covering a variety of musical genres and styles from different cultures.
On this course students will:
- develop their awareness of the relationship of musical practices to other elements of culture, with reference to a range of musical traditions from around the world;
- learn about theoretical concepts and approaches used by ethnomusicologists to consider music as a cultural practice;
- develop academic skills including observational ethnography, the use of library sources, and essay writing techniques.