Music in World Cultures (MUSC/ANTH 324) is designed to give you an introduction to ethnomusicology and the anthropological study of music. We will spend this semester exploring the complex interrelationship between music, society, and culture from two perspectives. First, we will utilize scholarly case studies to examine how music reflects and informs historical and contemporary cultural practices in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India, and Indonesia. We will start each unit by discussing how “music” is understood and defined by the people who perform it and will then critically analyze how music relates to identity, politics, economy, religion, migration, diaspora, and globalization, among a variety of other theoretical topics.
Secondly, we will examine the techniques ethnomusicologists use when researching and writing the case studies we study in lecture. In other words, we will learn how ethnomusicologists study music and culture. As a result, a significant component of this class is dedicated to learning about ethnography, a type of methodology used throughout the Social Sciences and Humanities. Once you are familiar with ethnographic methods, you will design and implement small-scale ethnographic research at a local musical event in Bryan-College Station.
Please explore this website for more information about the project, for a calendar of events in the local community, and to see examples of previous research.