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MUS 130: Musicking : MUS 130 Research Assignment

MUS 130 Research Assignment

Each short essay should be about 4 pages long (1,000 words). Due dates for the “draft,” presentations, and final paper are on the course calendar.

  • Make sure to research the topic using materials in the music library and other materials as needed (recordings on YouTube, for example)
  • As you research your topic, include the the best facts and evidence about the topic -- don’t include everything you find! Only include what is useful to your argument.

Consider Small's themes in Musicking:

  • Music is not an object but an action

Consider Bakan's approach: 

  • Chapter 1:
    • 5 propositions of exploring World Music;
    • Be sure to closely examine #5: the problems of ethnocentrism (and the three options to deal with it)
  • Chapter 2:
    • Meaning is the glue that binds sound and culture to form music
    • Conceptions of music are closely tied to conceptions of identity (group and individual)
    • Society may be defined as a group of persons regarded as forming a single community of related, interdependent individuals (as seen in social organizations)
    • Culture is a defined mainly by a collective worldview shared by its members (beliefs that underscore social organization: religions, phyllophytes, ethical principles, rituals)
    • important terms: nations, nation-states, nationalism, colonialism, post-colonialism, diaspora, transnational communities
    • Music is made by individuals who exist within the networks of society and culture outlined above


  • Roles of Music in Society and Culture:
    • Music and spirituality
    • Music and Dance
    • Music and Ritual
    • Music as a commodity
    • Music and patronage
  • Transmission of Music and Music Knowledge:
    • production and reception
    • creation (composition, performance, improvisation, arranging)
    • tradition (canon)

Recommended Resources for MUS 130

Music and Performing Arts Librarian

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Sylvia Yang
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Subjects: Music