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Exploring the World of Music

Author(s): Educational Film Center

Edition: 2

Copyright: 2010

Details: Print Prod w/Audio/Video |

Exploring the World of Music by Dorothea E. Hast, James R. Cowdery, and Stan Scott gives back to music the instrumental, ethnic, historical, geographical, and social contexts that are too often lost in sound recordings alone. The world is full of many kinds of music, each embodying different cultural needs. Starting from the proposition that all musics are created equal, this twelve-part television series and college telecourse explores how people define, create, value, and use music in cultures around the world.

Through precious archival footage and contemporary performances, the series explores the basic elements of rhythm, melody, timbre, texture, harmony, and form. Larger themes are also examined, including music and the environment, how we transmit music as cultural memory, how technology changes music, and how music changes us.

The history of music and the great landmarks of Western music are explored while being woven into a broad tapestry that reaches out around the globe even more than it reaches back in time. Using this multicultural approach, each program focuses on one of the elements of music or one major theme, exploring it from various cultural and historical perspectives.

This text can be used in:

  • in music appreciation, introduction to music, or world music classes
  • as a complete college- level telecourse for distance learning students
  • as a library and media center reference for teachers and students of history, anthropology, sociology, ethnic studies, and ethnomusicology.


Instructor's Manual Included.

1. Sound, Music, and the Environment
A. The Technology of Sound: Frequency, Amplitude, Duration, and Timbre
B. Music in the Natural Environment
1. The Bosnian Highlands: Ganga and Becarac
2. Australia and Papua, New Guinea: Songs from the Spirit World
3. Songs from the Tuvan Landscape
C. Music in Urban Environments
1. Modern Minstrels
2. Rap Music and Urban 'Renewal"
3. The City and Beyond
D. Chapter Summary

2. The Transformative Power of Music
1. Ritual and Aesthethic Power
2. Personal Power
3. Group Energies
A. Music and the Creation of Community
1. Contra Dance and Community
B. The Power of Music in Worship
1. Music in the Christian Church
C. Music and Healing
1. The Kung Healing Ceremony
D. The Political Power of Music
1. National Anthems and Patriotic Music
2. Music of Protest and Resistance
- Topical Songs in the United States
- The Labor Movement
- The Civil Rights Movement
- The Anti-War Movement
- Nueva Cancion
E. Chapter Summary

3. Music and Memory
1. Music as a Mnemonic Device
2. The Walbiri Fire Ceremony
A. Music, Transformation, and Identity: The Suya Mouse Ceremony
1. The Mouse Ceremony
2. Singing, Time, and Transformation
B. Music and Collective Identity
1. Irish Traditional Music
2. Irish Traditional Singing
3. The Contemporary Musical Landscape
4. Older Musicians
5. Emigrant Songs
C. Ballads in Scotland, England, and the United States
D. Music as an Object of Memory: Reconstruction and Revival in Early Music
1. Early Music Practice
2. Early Music in Performance
E. Chapter Summary

4. Transmission: Learning Music
1. The Learning Process
A. Learning by Informal Enculturation
1. Singing in the Bosnian Highlands
2. Learning Irish Traditional Music
3. Transmission in Jazz
- An Eclectic Tradition
- The Jazz Language
- Speaking the Language
4. Transmission in Rock: Rusted Root
- The "Media Landscape" of Rock
- Finding One's Own Voice
- "Birthing" a song
B. Learning by Apprenticeship
1. North Indian Classical Music: The Guru-Sishya Parampara
- New Contexts for Transmission
- Ways of Learning
2. Western Classical Music
- Learning the Piano
C. Chapter Summary

5. Rhythm
A. Pulse, Meter, and Rhythm
1. Unmetered Pulse and Free Rhythm
2. Clinical Thinking
3. Syncopation, Swing, and Polyrhythm
B. Rhythm in South Asian Classical Music: North India
1. Tala and Alap
C. Polyrhythm in the African Diaspora
1. Mississippi: Fife and Drum
2. Cuba: Rumba
3. Brazil: Samba
4. Funk and Rap
D. Chapter Summary

6. Melody
A. Melody in Western Classical Music
B. Melody in Arabic: Maqam
1. The Notes of Arabic Music
2. The Nature of Maqam
3. The Maqam in Performance
C. Melody in Irish Music
1. Dance Music
2. Analysis of a Tune
3. Song Traditions in Irish and English
D. Melody in North Indian Classical Music: Raga
1. The Notes of Indian Classical Music
2. The Nature of Raga
E. Chapter Summary

7. Timbre: The Color of Music
A. Sound Production and Instrument Classification Systems
B. Timbre in Western Classical Music: Instruments in the Symphony Orchestra
1. Chordophones: Stringed Instruments
2. Aerophones: Wind Instruments
3. Percussion Instruments: Membranophones and Idiophones
4. Tone Color and Composition
C. Timbre in Indian Classical Music
1. Chordophones: Plucked Instruments
2. Wind Instruments: Bansuri and Shahnai
3. Percussion Instruments
D. Timbre in Japanese Traditional Music
1. The Shakuhachi
2. The Koto
E. Timbre in Arabic Classical Music
1. The 'Ud
2. The Nay
F. Timbre in Music from Sub-Saharan Africa
1. The Mbira
2. The Xylophone
3. The Kora
G. Timbre in Vocal Music
1. Overtone Singing: The Throat-Singers of Tuva
2. Timbre in the Ganga Singing of the Bosnian Highlands
3. Timbre in Irish and Appalachian Folk Singing
4. Western Classical Singing
H. Chapter Summary

8. Texture
1. Monophony: Music in One Part
2. Heterophony: Variations on a Single Musical Line
3. Polyphony: Multi-Part Music
4. Homophony: Multi-Part Music with One Dominant Part
A. Trinidad: The Steel Band
1. History of the Steel Band
2. The Steel Band Today

B. Latin America: Salsa
1. Texture in Salsa
C. Indonesia: The Central Javanese Gamelan
1. Texture in Central Javanese Gamelan
D. Indonesia: Balinese Gamelan Beleganjur
1. Texture in Gamelan Beleganjur
E. Texture in Western Classical Music
1. Homophony and Polyphony in Baroque Music: Fugue and Concerto
F. Chapter Summary

9. Harmony
A. Drones
B. The Development of Western Classical Harmony
1. The Middle Ages
- Organum (c.900-1200)
- Early Triadic Harmony (c.1200-1400)
2. The Renaissance (c.1400-1600)
- Further Developments
3. The Baroque Era (C.1600-1750)
- Continuo and Figured Bass
- Understanding Baroque Harmony
C. Other Applications of Western Harmony
1. Western Folk and Popular Musics
2. Early Western Influences Abroad
3. African-American and Recent Popular Musics
D. Non-Western Harmony
1. Zimbabwe: Mbira Music
- Harmony in Mbira Music
E. Chapter Summary

10. Form: The Shape of Music
1. Beginnings and Endings
2. Repetition, Contrast, and Sections
A. Call and Response
1. Work Songs
2. Religious Uses

Educational Film Center

The combination of a straightforward text with mostly very useful recorded examples and the excellent videos is unbeatable. Exploring the World of Music is the only text around that handles in a systematic and clear way an introduction to the fundamentals of music.
Martin Fellows Hatch
Cornell University 

Related ISBN's: 9780757563263

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ISBN 9780757563263

Details Print Prod w/Audio/Video