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Department of Music

Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG)

Course Code:
15PMUH018
Unit value:
0.5
Year of study:
Any
Taught in:
Term 2

This specialist course is designed to run in alternate years to the course Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia. For students who have taken the latter, this course is intended to allow them to pursue and interest in this topic further; it is also suitable for students new to this subject area and for non-Music students: it might, for example, be paired with other courses in South East Asian history and culture. This course is designed to complement and enhance the Department’s provision of courses on popular and fusion music (for instance, Popular Music and Politics in Israel).

Popular and fusion music in South East Asia examines the relationship between popular, folk and classical musics of the region. Attention will be focused on how recently developed forms relate to traditional local musical models. Among other aspects explored will be the relationships between music and global and local forces including political power structures, gender, nationalism, tourism and globalisation.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  • a critical understanding of theoretical issues surrounding popular music and South East Asian pop in particular, as well as musical and sociological aspects of fusion forms. Among aspects explored will be the relationships between music and global and local forces including political power structures, gender, nationalism, tourism and globalisation.
  • an overview of South East Asian musics, including regional pop, folk and classical music traditions and the relationships between them.

Workload

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week.

Scope and syllabus

Outline of lectures:

  1. Introduction to South East Asian music cultures – “classical”, “folk”, “popular”
  2. Pop music theories applied to South East Asia, plus local recording industries
  3. Indonesian pop – kroncong, dangdut, pop Indonesia
  4. Indonesian regional pop and “folk” fusions: Sunda (Jaipongan, Degung Kecapian), Java (Gandrung Banyuwangi), Bali (janger, pop Bali)
  5. Thai pop – “string”, luk thung, “songs for life”, Isan culture and Molam/Lam Sing
  6. Malaysia and Singapore – from asli to pop
  7. Philippines: pinoy
  8. Musical exoticism: Western composers and South East Asia
  9. New contemporary music in South East Asia (particularly Java, Bali and the Philippines)
  10. Punk and death metal in Java and Bali
  11. Aspects of composition in South East Asia

Method of assessment

2 x Coursework (40% + 50%) and Seminar Presentation (10%)