THE STUDY OF MUSICAL SYSTEMS AROUND THE GLOBE AS CULTURE, THEORY, AND CREATIVE INSPIRATION
This entirely original course merges the study of music traditions around the world with unique and creative strategies for composition/song writing. Students will be given an in-depth introduction to a wide variety of cultures and musical systems globally, enabling them to use these new sounds, theories, and practices to create their own methods of composition. Each week is structured around specific musical elements (rhythm/meter, melody/mode, ornamentation, form, etc.) that are then explored in varying global contexts through examples from ethnographic recordings, literature, films, and in class demonstrations. Students then absorb diverse forms of musical practices by applying these new musical systems to weekly composition assignments, performances, and collaborations. Students will also spend time analyzing and discussing examples of artists from contemporary, experimental, and improvised music scenes inspired by global music traditions.
Throughout the course, participants will have exposure to essential readings, recordings, and films, a chance to broaden their musical knowledge and skills, and the opportunity to build a portfolio of exciting and diverse compositions. With an emphasis on interaction and conversation, students will try new instruments and techniques, engage with a wide variety of musical forms and theories, and discuss both the make-up and the meaning of music in a global context.
From instrumentalists to those working exclusively with Ableton Live or other programs, from those with a knowledge of music theory to others with absolutely no experience, from those with backgrounds in genres as diverse as classical, techno, jazz, experimental, and rock music, from those interested in gaining new techniques for their instrument, sampling unique material, or simply studying new theories of music: This course is open to absolutely anyone interested in both composition/songwriting and learning new things about music.
*Classes will be conducted in English but in a flexible manner: students will always be encouraged to ask for clarification or translation whenever needed.
- Introduction to the culture and contexts of musical traditions around the world
- Weekly composition assignments interacting with material/recordings from the course
- Strategies for approaching new and unfamiliar music as a composer/songwriter
- Basics of ethnomusicological theory and practice (field recording, ethnography)
- Practical lessons in distinct types of music theory (Western Classical, Hindustani, Balinese, etc.)
- Curriculum based around ethnographic recordings and film, important readings from the field of ethnomusicology, in class demonstrations and collaborative performances