CCOG for MUS 108 archive revision 202101

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Effective Term:
Winter 2021 through Summer 2021

Course Number:
MUS 108
Course Title:
Music as Culture
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces discipline of ethnomusicology including ethnographic research methods used in writing about music. Examines music cultures of the world with a focus on cultural contexts, tradition, identity, and activism. Includes case studies of music practices from around the globe. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Apply approaches to ethnomusicological research in describing knowledge about different musical cultures.
  2. Describe awareness, understanding, and respect for diverse cultural communities through a deeper knowledge of each group's musical expressions.
  3. Identify and articulate the fundamental issues surrounding the study of music cultures of the world such as ethnocentrism, music vs. noise, and matters regarding the universality of music.
  4. Analyze the artistic, social, historical, and cultural contexts of world music expressions using critical listening skills, observation, critique, and case studies.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of music provides the opportunity to experience the art form both as listeners and as creators. Music is an expression of culture developed from rich historical traditions, each with unique aesthetic and artistic values reflected through organized sound.

Ethnographic research projects give students the opportunity to apply theoretical aspects of ethnomusicology to fieldwork and analysis. Students will better understand, think and communicate critically the aesthetic, historical, cultural, social and contemporary aspects of the music and the peoples they are studying.

Course Activities and Design

Reading, writing and discussion on ethnomusicological theories and methods 

Independent research projects

Case studies

Critical listening and field recording reports 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. The methods may include one or more of the following tools: examinations, quizzes, listening assignments, research papers, class participation, concert reports.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Basic elements of music  

  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Rhythm
  • Form
  • Timbre
  • Improvisation
  • Music of Native Americans
  • Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Music of Africa
  • Music of Black Americans
  • Music of Central/Middle East
  • Music of India
  • Music of Asia/Indonesia
  • Music of East Asia/Japan
  • Music of non dominant Ethnic Cultures

The following competencies are expected to be achieved to successfully meet the minimum requirement ("C" or "Pass") of the course.

  • Define the musical terms that apply to the basic elements of world music.
  • Identify aurally the six basic elements of music.
  • Identify aurally the listening examples for each culture presented in class.
  • Apply musical understanding when writing musical reviews of performances.
  • Complete basic research on the music and culture of one specific group.