MUSC 175: Music of the World

Class Program
Degree Code
Humanities Lecture,
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55
This course introduces world music tradition, including both sound and socio-cultural dimensions of music. Students will study the musical styles of major non-Western cultures, including Africa, India, Asia, Indonesia, and Eastern Europe. Topic will include instrumentation, rhythmic structure, melodic structure, song forms, composition, improvisation, family and community participation, political/economic connection, and religious involvement.
Quarters Offered
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Define and distinguish the characteristics that are central to the music of different cultures and sub-cultures through written examinations.
  2. Describe instruments that are used in different cultures by sight, sound, and function through cooperative learning activities.
  3. Identify and articulate the social and historical elements that have helped in the development of music world-wide through presentations and research projects.
  4. Explain and interpret the historical, biographical, sociological, and musical knowledge from reading and lectures through journaling and projects.
Course Content Outline
  1. Fundamentals
    1. Comparing Music – Universal Language or Culturally Specific Activity?
    2. Labels
    3. Defining the World’s Music
  2. Listening to the World’s Music
    1. How to Listen
    2. How to Talk About It
    3. Timbre and Medium
  3. Cultural Considerations: Beyond the Sounds Themselves
    1. Value Systems and Hierarchies
    2. Music and Identity
    3. Use Versus Function
    4. How Music Functions in Life
  4. Travelling the World of Music
    1. Oceania: Australia, Hawaii, Kiribati
    2. South Asia: India, Pakistan
    3. Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Northeast Thailand, Indonesia (Java)
    4. East Asia: China, Japan, Tibet
    5. The Middle East: Islam and the Arab World, Iran, Egypt, Judaism
    6. Europe: Spain, Russia, Scotland, Ireland, Bulgaria
    7. Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, The Republic of South Africa
    8. The Caribbean: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba
    9. South America and Mexico: Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
    10. Canada and the United States
Department Guidelines
  • This class is offered as a lecture class.
  • Feedback on presentations must be delivered to students in a timely manner.
  • All students must take part in classroom discussions and classroom demonstrations.
  • Utilize musical instruments while discussing instruments from around the world. Class participation is required.

PO4 should be assessed: Students will be able to recognize or articulate personal/interpersonal aspects of, or connections between, diverse cultural, social, or political contexts.

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.