What is the course about?
This course is an introduction to diverse musical traditions of the world from a wide range of geographical areas. Discovering a cross-cultural musical vocabulary and essential characteristics of different traditions. Ethnomusicological viewpoints will be discussed, where music is considered inseparable from the people that produce it.
What will we cover?
• What goes around comes around. How musical forms and genres are continually re-invented in different cultures.
• Occasions of daily life as primary contexts for music making.
• Eastern Europe - Ottoman makam theory: the melodic concept of makam where pitch degrees are used in structured ways.
• Klezmer, we examine the music of nomadic musicians in Eastern Europe called Klezmer and their Ottoman and Arabian influences.
• India - classical Indian raga. As with makam, the raga structure is of sets of pitches with deep significance in how they are used in relation to each other.
• The popular genres of Bhangra and Bollywood music including the influences of raga and the West.
• Africa The role of drumming and dance in Ghana, West Africa. How West African traditional drummers play complex interlocking rhythmic patterns and the development of Ghanaian highlife.
• The roots of South African jazz. South African Marabi is a genre from the townships, with a simple harmonic structure and complex melody, from which Kwela and then South African jazz emerged.
• South America –The Brazilian percussion tradition of Samba; Cuban salsa; Bossa Nova and the Cha Cha.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- feel more confident when talking about World Music and musical styles
- have an enhanced understanding of some key styles (or genres) that make up World Music
- feel confident to explore World Music in more detail in future.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course. You will be asked to do some listening and reading in class and between sessions. You will need to follow written and verbal information in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts, online information and writing on a whiteboard.
Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples.
Class discussion and debate.
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled further online resources will be recommended.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen.
You may wish to buy some of the recordings or books recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.