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PA293 – Music in Culture: Asia

Music is a cornerstone of Asian expressive traditions, providing a lens through which the complex social interactions within the region may be understood. This course introduces the musical cultures of India, China, and Japan in historical and contemporary perspectives, surveying diverse repertories including ritual, court, folk, popular, and film music. It focuses on three pivotal time periods in each region—the classical era, the early modern era, and the twentieth century—and on the elements of style that create a distinctive sound within each culture. Students participate in hands-on performance workshops led by masters of Asian musics. Assignments are project-based and discussion-oriented. Course material is enhanced by guided listening and films. All students are welcome; no prior musical background needed. This course meets the ethnomusicology requirement for the music minor. As a cross-listing with Anthropology, it centers on humans as producers of music, situates musical activity comparatively, and makes meaningful connections with the body of knowledge and theory of cultural anthropology. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

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