Fall 2010

ARTS 661
Music and Culture of Africa and its Diaspora

Charry,Eric S.

09/13/2010 - 12/10/2010
Tuesday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Music Studios 301

There is a wealth of musical expression in Africa and its diaspora, including the Caribbean and Latin America. Students will study West African griots, mbira music from Zimbabwe, South African choral singing, Cuban son, Jamaican reggae, Trinidadian steel band, Brazilian samba, and others. We will use music as an entry point for investigating the history and culture of Africa and its diaspora. Case studies throughout the semester will form the basis for discussions of broader theoretical issues, such as music as a marker of identity (diasporic, national, racial, ethnic, class), modernization, globalization, authenticity, and creolization versus multi-culturalism.

Classes will consist of a combination of discussion of the weekly reading, directed listening and viewing of audio and video recordings, student presentations, and in-class demonstration performances. Students will gain limited hands-on experience with West African percussion and Trinidadian steelband. We will survey the African continent and the Americas as a whole, explore regional traits, national cultures, and discuss in depth specific genres and pieces. We will also explore the presence of African musicians on the internet, including the spread and impact of rap and hip hop in Africa.

Readings for this course will include Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen, Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music (Temple University Press), Eric Charry, Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa (University of Chicago Press),

Maria Teresa Velez, Drumming for the Gods: The Life and Times of Felipe Garcia Villamil, Santero, Palero and Abakua (Temple University Press).

Assignments include several short (2-page) papers on the readings, student presentations based on independent supplemental research, and midterm and final writing projects to be chosen in consultation with the instructor.

This course is open to auditors.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, September 17 at 5:00 pm.


Eric Charry (B.M., M.M. New England Conservatory of Music; M.F.A., Ph.D. Princeton University) is professor of music. He is author of Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and editor of Hip Hop Africa: New African Music in a Globalizing World (Indiana University Press, 2012). He has two books in progress: The Emergence of an Avant Garde in Jazz, 1956-1965 and Downtown: Music as a Cultural Force, New York in the 1950s and 60s. Click here for more information about Eric Charry and click here for more information about his work.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen, Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music (Temple University Press)

Eric Charry, Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa (University of Chicago Press),

Maria Teresa Velez, Drumming for the Gods: The Life and Times of Felipe Garcia Villamil, Santero, Palero and Abakua (Temple University Press)

READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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