World Music Traditions

Music 103 Web-Lafayette

Music 103  [ Introduction to World Music Traditions]  is open to all students, giving them an opportunity to explore indigenous music from various parts of the world, focusing on Africa, India, Indonesia, and Japan.  Classes involve a high degree of interaction, with the focus on first-hand experiences.  In addition to regular class sessions,  weekly group drumming instruction is a vital part of the course.  Special concert programs and guest performers are integrated as well.  The course is typically offered both fall and spring semesters, Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00-12:15.

Catalog  Description

A study of important musical genres and practices outside the direct influence of “Western” practice and history.  We will experience some of the world’s great musical and cultural traditions through performance, analysis, and discussions of the music within the greater context of the society.  Our focus will be on West Africa, North India, and Japan, with excursions into Indonesia and other areas as time permits.  Ancillary topics will include; religion, philosophy, language patterns, cultural history and traditional customs.  There are no prerequisites, and students from all backgrounds are welcome.


–   to gain an understanding of the function of music and the process of “making music” from a global perspective

–   to develop a capacity and eagerness to appreciate and further explore the   diversity of the world’s music and cultures

–   to develop the ability to “internalize” musical and aesthetic concepts and to apply them outside the classroom

–   to cultivate musical instincts that will enhance an understanding of the process of “making music,” listening to music and verbalizing your thoughts and observations


Class sessions and outside assignments will encompass a variety of activities and modes of learning, emphasizing a great deal of individual and group involvement.  This course represents a “hands-on” attempt to expand your musical and cultural experiences.  Activities will include:

–         Lectures

–         Individual and group performance exercises-DRUMMING (12:15 Tuesday or Thursday—choose one or be assigned)

–         Group and class discussions

–         Videos, recordings, computer-assisted media

–         Guided Listening Exercises

–         In-class demonstrations

–         Readings from the text and additional sources

–         Group and Individual projects (including a “final drumming project”)