EMU5500 Fundamentals of Music in Asian Cultures

Course Overview

Educational Level: Graduate, Master
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. James Mitchell

Course Description:

Introduction to indigenous music across Asia, as divided into five geographical and cultural regions. Examining primary sources, secondary readings, audio and audiovisual materials, students will gain foundation understanding of the nature, purposes and contexts of music performance and consumption across the Asian continent. Students will compare and assess music traditions within and between the following regions: East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and North Asia, and the Middle East.

How This Course Benefits Students:

The course gives students an overview of musical genres, concepts and performance contexts across Asia. It equips students with rudimentary knowledge of Asian music in its diverse forms, and prepares them for more detailed investigation of particular traditions. The student gains a deeper understanding of the contexts that have shaped music in various Asian cultures. It also allows students to identify general musical trends across Asia and link these to religious practice.

Why This Course Is Important:

Asia is home to sixty percent of the worlds population and all of the worlds major religions originated there. Since the beginning of history music has played an important role in shaping society and cultural identities. An understanding of the relationship between music, culture and society enables students to apply Christian belief to cultural practice more effectively. An understanding of the music of a particular culture allows students to relate to that cultural group and frame the gospel within that cultural context. Learning about the music of a variety of cultures enables students to apply ethnomusicological and music missional principles to other cultures.