Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Music plays a vital part in every culture in the world as well as in our own lives. This course is for CLAS students who wish to develop a deeper love of music and understanding of its uses in societies around the world. You will be introduced to concepts and terms of music studies, and will develop the skills to listen more deeply, to write and speak fluently about music, and to reflect on music’s roles in your life. The course is arranged by broad social topics (Music and Love, Music and Storytelling, History of US Popular Music, etc.), and within each topic we will explore a variety of recordings from different origins and genres. We will discuss some of the historical and cultural factors that have influenced musical composition and performance over the past 1,000 years. We will explore music as a personal, cultural, and political force that both unites and divides. No previous musical experience or ability to read music notation is necessary for this course.

Student Outcomes

Upon passing this course, you will be able to: * Use critical skills to investigate music as a cultural force that has played many powerful and diverse roles in social life and history around the world. * Employ basic musical vocabulary to interpret and describe music and begin to recognize how musical elements communicate meaning. * Express greater awareness of the music in your life, what it means, and how it influences you. * Draw on a knowledge base that will enhance your continued exploration of new music and expand your musical tastes in the future. * More skillfully reflect on and evaluate your learning as both process and product, as part of a growth mindset.