MUSC 146: Introduction to World Musics

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This course is designed to provide you with knowledge of a variety of musics from around the world and an understanding of the reciprocal relationships between music and culture. Through this study of musical sounds that may be unfamiliar to you, you will develop listening skills and a descriptive vocabulary that will allow you to engage more deeply with the music that you encounter on a daily basis.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • write descriptively about musical sounds
  • identify a range of musical sounds in relation to their cultural origins
  • use musical sounds to draw informed conclusions about their cultural contexts
  • discuss the role(s) of culture in shaping music
  • discuss the role(s) of music in shaping culture.

Required Text:

  • Shelemay, Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World, Kay, 2nd ed. ISBN: 978-0393167139; you must purchase the version of the textbook that comes with a set of recordings (on CDs), which is required listening for the course. If you already own the textbook, the CDs can be purchased separately.

Other Requirements:

  • High-speed Internet
  • Live Concert: This course requires that you attend a live world music performance during the semester. The performance can be in your local region, and the instructor will provide suggestions.
  • Audio Player: You will be asked to listen to several audio files throughout this course, so your computer must be equipped with an player for MP3 files.
  • CD Player: Your textbook comes with a set of CDs that you’ll be required to listen to as you read the textbook.

View a sample course syllabus.

Contact the Friday Center at with any questions or for more information.

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