Music of the World Course

Course Description

Music is a profound means of communication. It expresses the hearts and minds of people in every part of the world from the islands of Indonesia to the war-torn cities of the Middle East. In every culture and society, the human need to express a deep searching for meaning and value shines in the language of melody and rhythm—and is rendered powerful and tangible by the action of performance.

In this course we will study how music is integral to the very being of individuals and societies. We begin with the music of Native Americans as a point of reference. Then, we move to the African continent and work our way northward to the Middle East. From this point, we trace the Silk Road East through India and Asia discovering the interrelationships of these ancient cultures. We conclude with music of the Americas—South and Central America and the folk traditions of the US.

Outline of Topics

  • Music of Native Americans
  • Pop music of Africa
  • Traditional music of Africa
  • Music of India
  • Music of the Arab World
  • Music of Japan
  • Music of Asia/Indonesia
  • Music of East Asia/China, Singapore, Taiwan
  • Music of South and Central America
  • Folk/Blues music in the US

Course Syllabus