Music Cultures of the World

  • Quarters: Autumn
  • General Education Requirements: VLPA, I&S

Approximately 25% South Asia content. Music 316 explores the relationship of music to peoples’ ways of life in the various regions and cultures of Asia. People construct the world around them into diverse cultural patterns and systems; and music is always an important element in such constructions. Music may be many different things to different peoples and cultures — ranging from something as abstract or ideal as an expressive “art” or a medium of religious worship, to something as practical as an item in the technological toolkit for hunting game, curing sickness, or storing and communicating information. Music frequently plays an important role in kinship, economic, political, and legal systems. And music, like the rest of culture, is always changing and developing new forms. We will hear some of the most unusual and beautiful of these forms as we consider the dynamics and significance of music in cultures ranging from small nomadic camps to immense civilizations, spread across the world’s largest continent.