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MUSICS OF MANY CULTURES: STUDY GUIDE AND WORKBOOK

Author(s): Dale A Olsen

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Musics of Many Cultures is designed to guide students through the diverse chapters of Elizabeth May's textbook for college and university world music classes. The workbook will help both music and non-music majors to more clearly understand the materials in the book; it will also aid in preparations for exams.

Musics of Many Cultures:  Study Guide and Workbook for Musics of Many Cultures:  An Introduction is designed to guide students through the diverse chapters of Elizabeth May's text book for college and university world music classes.  The workbook will help both music and nonmusic students to more clearly understand the materials in the book; it will also aid in preparations for examinations. 

 May's book is very diversely written because there are two dozen contributing authors.  The quotation by McAllester in the Editor's Preface -- "Ethnomusicologists are concerned with music anywhere in the world and with almost as many approaches to this music as there are scholars" -- summarizes why there is such diversity.  Well-trained teachers of world music courses can often bring such diversity together, stressing certain concepts and making comparisons that can accomplish stated course objectives.  Accompanied by recorded materials, films, slides, and demonstrations, students should be able to gain an in-depth musical and cultural understanding of the nineteen geographic areas presented in Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction.  Because the scholars writing these chapters are describing the areas they know best, they have endeavored to be as complete and detailed as possible within the page limitations for each chapter.  For students dealing with reading assignments from the book, however, it might be understandably difficult to filter and digest all the facts and concepts presented.  Having taught  semester courses entitled "Music Cultures of the World I and II" for over twenty years, using May's book since it first became available in 1981, I became aware of the need for a guide to the wealth of information so that students would not be overwhelmed in preparing for their exams.  Responding to repeated suggestions from students that I write a study guide for the book, I decided to do so, combining that task with the "Seminar in Ethnomusicology" in the Spring Semester of 1988.  My chosen topic, "world music for music educators," was appropriate for the graduate students in the seminar, representing ethnomusicology, historical musicology, music theory, music education, and folklore.

For fifteen weeks six graduate students (Laurie Arizumi, Merri Belland, Karen Brooks, Jose Lezcano, John Rivest, and Tone Takahashi) and I joined forces to arrive at the instructional design logic and format for a study guide and workbook to accompany Elizabeth May's important book.  Weekly projects were completed by the students for individual chapters and portions of chapters.  These were discussed and analyzed by members of the seminar.  Following their "pilot study" tryouts by a target student audience, all the materials were either edited, rewritten, or completely written by me.  Since their inception they have been used and critiqued by over a thousand students between 1988 and 1992.   Additionally, most of the chapters for the Study Guide and Workbook have been sent to the original authors of Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction for their review and critiques.
Suggested Procedure Musics of Many Cultures:  Study Guide and Workbook does not replace the text, but is an aid in learning the information in it.  The following is a suggested procedure for its use:

1. Read a complete chapter from Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction.
2. Read and work with the corresponding chapter in the Musics of Many Cultures: 
    Study Guide and Workbook.
3. Answer the questions without the text first, referring to the text for answers when necessary. 
4. Check the answer key given at the end of each chapter.  Note -- much of the learning process
    will be hindered if the answers are looked at before tryi

Dale A Olsen

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