CCOG for MUS 236 Spring 2024

Course Number:
MUS 236
Course Title:
Introduction to the Music of Latin America
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces the music of Latin America through a historical and cultural survey of the region. Covers pre-Columbian practices and the introduction of European traditions, later syncretic genres and contemporary artists. Traces Indigenous, European, African, Asian and Middle-Eastern influences. Includes the examination of instruments and musical practices of the region. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Explain the richness and diversity of influences found in the music of Latin America.
  2. Interpret Latin American cultural perspectives and contributions based on an understanding of Latin American music.
  3. Identify common traits such as rhythmic devices, text, and harmonic patterns found in the different music of Latin America.
  4. Identify the influence of Latin American musical elements in the music of the United States.

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. It is an expression of culture developed from rich historical traditions, each with unique aesthetic and artistic values reflected through organized sound. Ethnographic research projects and/or case studies 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

Historical and regional survey of the music of Latin America covering the areas of Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the Andes and Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, Brazil, and the Southern Cone.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Qualitative/Quantitative examination including historical/cultural perspectives

Listening examinations

Case study survey

Research papers and/or presentations

Group Discussion

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Musical Instrument Classification (Sachs-Hornbostel etc.)

Pre-Contact Music Practices (e.g. Aztec and Inca)

Music of 16th century Spain and Portugal

Early Syncretic Practices (16th/17th century)

Musical Instruments of Each Region

Mexico: Musica Regional

Cuba and the Caribbean

Brazil and the Amazon

Peru and the Andes Region from the Inca to Chicha

Colombia and Venezuela

African Musical Heritage

Asian and Middle Eastern Influences

Argentina – Musica Folclorica and Tango

Chile – Nueva Cancion

Melodic, Rhythmic and Harmonic Characteristics of the Music of Each Region