MUS 226 World Music
MUS 226 World Music
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MUS 226 World Music

MUS 226 World Music

Course Title:  MUS 226: World Music

Course Description

Explores music emanating from cultural traditions around the world within their respective socio-cultural contexts. Introduces basic elements of music. Increases global awareness and enhances knowledge of the origins, evolution, aesthetics and purposes of music from an ethnomusicological perspective. Lecture 3 hours. 3 credits.

General Course Purpose

Broaden the awareness of world cultures through an examination of music produced within the cultural contexts of social groups throughout the world. 

Course Prerequisites/Corequisites 


Course Objectives

Upon completing the course, the student will be able to:


  • Effectively communicate music observations through written and/or oral communication

Civic Engagement

  • Demonstrate receptivity to the diversity of cultures and life experiences within societies

  • Identify values that other cultures can bring to society to promote civic engagement

Cultural and Social Understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of music in different socio-cultural contexts

  • Identify historical factors that influence the evolution of music within a culture

  • Recognize/describe how aesthetics vary from one culture to another

  • Identify commonalities and value differences between cultures

Personal Development

  • Augment listening skills through assignments/assessments designed to listen analytically and critically to music

  • Evaluate music from other cultures using appropriate musical terms and an understanding of aesthetic values

  • Demonstrate receptivity to understanding world cultures to make informed personal and interpersonal decisions 

  • Cultivate personal goals related to music listening, participation, or performance attendance

Introduce Basic Elements of Music

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the basic elements of music

  • Identify instrument groups: aerophones, idiophones, chordophones, membranophones and electrophones

  • Describe various approaches to learning how to play an instrument

  • Explain the difference between the processes of improvisation and composition

World music cultures and traditions

  • Recognize various genres of non-classical music stemming from at least 4 geographic regions or cultural traditions 

  • Identify instruments specific to those genres

  • Identify specific historical/socio-cultural factors that influenced the music

Apply the above objectives while considering case studies from at least 4 separate cultures and traditions, such as

  • Central and South Asia, e.g., Uzbekistan, Caucasus, India, Nepal

  • Far East, e.g., China, Japan, Indonesia, Korea

  • Middle East, e.g., Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia

  • Africa, e.g., Western, Northern, Eastern and South Africa

  • Carribean, e.g., Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica

  • Latin America, e.g., Peru, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina

  • Music from North America, e.g. jazz, blues, bluegrass, country

  • Native North America, e.g. Iroquois, Navajo, Apache, Lakota

  • Diaspora communities

Major Topics to be Included

Personal Development

Introduce Basic Elements of Music

World music cultures and traditions

Applicable School(s)
All Virginia Community Colleges
Course Content Summaries
List of Attachment(s)