Sound, Society & Self in World Music - MUSC2116

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of the Arts and Media

Course Outline: School of the Arts and Media

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: 30 units of credit at Level 1

CSS Contribution Charge: 1 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

Available for General Education: Yes (more info)

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: Music

Music is part of the life of people everywhere, and as George Eliot once said, there is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. Universal though these truths might appear to be, the various musical expressions of the world’s peoples are as diverse, unique, and sometimes strange, as the natural and cultural worlds that make them. Today we can access that musical diversity easily. We can buy it, download it, iPod it. But just how much do we know about the peoples, histories, sentiments, and lives of the musicians and singers that produce this music? How much do we grasp the beauty, the yearning, and the spirituality in that music? What can we learn that will deepen our appreciation, understanding, and perhaps performance of the many musical expressions available to us today?

This World Music course surveys and examines the relationships between music, the society in which it is performed, and individual selves. It explores both traditional and contemporary music of Aboriginal Australia, South-east Asia, India, Central Asia and the Middle East, West Africa and the Caribbean, and marginal Europe. It examines how musical practices express, shape, and allow for the individual and collective construction and negotiation of identity, ethnicity, gender, spirituality and class. It investigates how transformations in music both as social practice and as sound chart responses to modernity, state intervention, globalisation, conflict, dispossession and migration. The course also fosters direct experience of music in diverse cultural contexts through field work.

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