MU 252: Introduction to World Music
Professor Natalie Zelensky
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Four credit hours. A, I.
This course is designed to introduce students to musical traditions from around the globe while contextualizing this music within a cultural framework. We will examine a range of classical, traditional, and contemporary traditions from areas as diverse as India, West Africa, North America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Each unit simultaneously engages a broader issue to enable students to think more deeply and critically about music from a functional, global, and sociocultural perspective. How has music been used as a tool of liberation and protest? How does music encapsulate notions of “tradition”? How does music work to transcend its listeners to a spiritual realm? We explore these and other questions with respect to such topics as Navajo healing rituals, the hand of socialist governments in creating “folk” music, Apartheid, and the Arab Spring. Students will also have the opportunity to perform this music in class, conduct a brief fieldwork assignment, and to reflect and share their thoughts on these topics in discussion and on short writing assignments.