Assignment #3 – World Music Exploration

Goal of the assignment:        1) To become familiar with music and dance from other cultures.

                                                2) To learn how to analyze music as an ethnomusicologist.


Assignment: Research and write about a world music tradition

Step 1) Search Youtube for one example of World Music that interests you. Choose from the following list of traditions or find a closely related tradition if you prefer:

North America: Native American powwow; Louisiana Cajun music; Mexican ranchera or corrido.

South America: Andean flute and panpipe music; Brazilian samba drumming

Europe: Eastern European folk music; Irish folk music

Africa: African Highlife; African kora; South African isicathamiya

Middle East: Arabic takht ensemble (maqam); Mevlevi whirling dervishes

South Asia: Hindustani music or Carnatic music (Indian raga); Tibetan Buddhist chanting and instruments

Southeast Asia: Indonesian gamelan; Thai piphat

East Asia: Japanese shamisen; Japanese taiko drums; Chinese opera; Korean samul nori percussion

Australia and the Pacific: Australian Aborigine music; Hawaiian Hula drum and dance

Step 2) Analyze in detail your specific example using Alan P. Merriams model of SOUND-CONCEPTS-BEHAVIOR as discussed in class by answering all the questions on the following pages. To be able to answer all of the questions regarding your musical example (especially Concepts and Behavior), you will need to consult a few library sources and the best source to start with is The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, a multi-volume work that is located in the Reference section of the Music Library (upstairs in our building). Each volume covers a different geographic area and most world music traditions are included in this encyclopedia. Use other library sources as necessary and cite all your sources at the end.

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