As human culture-producers, we have much more
that connects us than separates us, and of all the arts, music
surely offers one of the most vital ways to feel the glow of connectedness—to
loved ones and friends, community and nation. But what about connecting
to strangers, and to cultures we consider alien, impenetrable,
or even uncivilized? Might we also better understand them by listening
to their music? In doing so, might we come to see, hear, and ultimately
trust them in a more intimate and human way? My answer is a resounding
--Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, liner notes, The Silk
Road: A Musical Caravan
(SFW CD 40438)
is so much music “out there” in the world, so many different
voices, instruments, and styles. This music is created and produced
by a myriad of cultures, and each culture considers its music to be
special. For some, music is a way to restore order to a world out
of balance; for others, music provides a way to become one with the
creator; and for still others, “music,” because of its
association with the sinful and sensuous, is something to be avoided
at all costs. Ethnomusicologists—those scholars who study and
compare music from around the world—have emphasized that music
must be examined “as an aspect of culture,” insisting
that it can be properly understood only in its cultural context. The
study of world music, therefore, will not only broaden your exposure
to different musical systems, but it will also serve to enhance your
understanding of the world’s many different cultures.
||Introduction to World Music is part of the General Education Core
Curriculum and fulfills three Fine Arts credits of the nine Humanities
and Fine Arts credits required for the Associate in Arts and Associate
in Science Degrees. This course has been approved by the Illinois
Articulation Initiative and transfers as F1 903N.
1115, An Introduction to World Music, will:
- expose you to a variety of musical cultures from around the world,
including Africa, the Caribbean, India, China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia,
the Middle East, Latin America, and North America.
- explore the relationship between cultural context and the various
forms of musical expression found around the world.
- enable you to aurally identify a variety of instruments and musical
styles from selected cultures throughout the world.
- help you to identify the basic elements of music, such as melody,
rhythm, harmony, timbre, texture, and form, as found in various musical
- help you to better understand the attitudes, biases, and assumptions
about music that we share—as products of a particular culture.
- teach you to identify the variety of uses and functions attributed
to music in many different cultures.
Q: What computer skills are required to complete an
To learn more about the computer and internet stills necessary to complete
an online course, view: C.O.D. Online - Technical Readiness.
Q: Is prior musical experience a requirement for
enrollment in this course?
No previous musical experience is required for enrollment in Music 1115.
The authors of our textbook assume that students come to the book with
no prior musical experience. My written lectures, together with the material
in the text, will introduce and explain basic musical terminology, making
certain that everyone embarks upon the musical journey with an understanding
of some fundamental musical concepts. World Music courses, moreover, are
never just about music, for they focus on the relationship between music
and culture. The text and I will devote about as much time to a discussion
of world cultures as we devote to the musics of those cultures.
Q. Do I need any special skills or qualities to
complete this course successfully?
This course requires the ability to motivate yourself. There are deadlines
to this course and you must complete the required work within the framework
of the deadlines, or you may complete it early. Late work will not be
accepted except under extraordinary circumstances. This is not always
easy. Even some excellent and talented students can't do Distance Learning.
Alternatively, some very mediocre students do well with Distance Learning.
It is also very important that you can read at the college level. This
course is almost all reading and writing. It is helpful if you enjoy reading.
If you don’t like to read or write, you may have difficulty completing
You must be careful to read directions and follow them.
It is also helpful if you are comfortable using email, the World Wide
Web, and word processing, though you don’t need to be highly skilled.
Q: What are the exams like?
All three exams are timed, open book examinations, which you will submit
online. The exams consist largely of multiple choice questions, though
the first exam will have several questions that require you to listen
to a CD track and respond with either a short answer or an essay. Be advised
that my multiple choice questions are more challenging than those found
on the publisher’s website.
Q: How do I register for this course?
You may enroll in person at the Registration Office in SRC 2048 on the
COD campus. There are several other ways to register: telephone self registration
at (630) 942-3555; mailing or faxing your registration; and (for returning
students), using online registration over the Internet at http://www.cod.edu/AdRegRec/Register/.