Join our mailing list

World Musics

This course syllabus follows a broad overview of both world music and ethnomusicological methods.

Course Syllabus

Course Objective

To provide an overview of music traditions of the world, to serve as an introduction to the study of ethnomusicology, and to give special attention to the use of ethnomusicology in missions and the use of world musics in worship.

Required Text & CD

Titon, Jeff Todd, ed. Worlds of Music, 4th ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 2002.
Peacock, David, ed. World Praise 2. Nashville: LifeWay Books, 2000.

Class Presentation

Teams of two students will choose a chapter from Worlds of Music (2: North America/Native American, 5: Bosnia and Central/Southeast Europe, 7: Asia/Indonesia, 8: East Asia/Japan, or 9: Latin America/Ecuador) and present the material to the rest of the class. (In the case of long chapters, I may approve the presentation of a smaller portion of the chapter.) In addition to the lecture, each team will produce an outline of their lecture and a list of terms, concepts, and listening examples which will be included on the next exam. (There should be 5-10 terms such as names of instruments or musical genres, 3-5 concepts that would require one sentence answers or short essays on a test, and 2-3 listening examples from our CD set.) Further, teams will lead songs from World Praise 2 or other sources that are related to their chapter in Worlds of Music.

Worship Leading Project

Two partners will lead a global worship song in chapel. In preparation, the partners will choose/propose a song (see schedule) and do background research on the area from which the song originates, the genre of music, and performance practice within that style. The week before the partners lead the song, they will turn in a 3 page paper detailing the song’s background and their plan for teaching the song to the student body. The partners are free to use additional musicians. Following the song’s introduction in chapel, the class will discuss the experience.

Reading Outlines

For each reading assignment, students will hand in a typed, one page outline.

Course Schedule

Topic, Assignment, and Chapters to read in preparation for class

  1. Introduction to World Musics
    Instrument Classification
  2. Chapter 1: The Music-Culture
  3. Chapter 3: Intro to Africa, Ewe, Mande (pp87-122)
  4. Chapter 3: Dagbamba, Shona, BaAka (pp122-149)
  5. Exam #1
    World Music in Worship
  6. Chapter 4: Black America (pp151-168)
  7. Chapter 4: Black America (pp168-209)
  8. Worship Leading Project – Song Choice due
  9. Chapter 6: India
  10. Exam #2
    Music in Missions
  11. Student Presentations
  12. Student Presentations
  13. Student Presentations
  14. Student Presentations
  15. Student Presentations
  16. Final

Note: Ramaker Library has a growing number of ethnomusicology and world music resources, including the Garland World Music Encyclopedia and Grove’s Dictionary of Music in the reference section and a number of books. In the LRC is the JVC Anthology of World Music, a fantastic collection of field videos that students are encouraged to use in their chapter presentations, and a number of other videos and recordings of music around the world.