The Music-Culture as a World of Music


The Music-Culture as a World of Music MUSI 3721Y University of Lethbridge, Calgary Campus John Anderson

The Music-Culture • Music is universal but its meaning is not • By culture we mean the whole way of life of a people, learned and transmitted from one generation to the next • We use the term music culture to refer to a group of people’s total involvement with music • Not all music-cultures have a word for “music”

A Music-Culture Model • A model rooted in music through performance • Music • Performers • Audience • Time and space • Music’s affect is its emotional impact, whatever makes you assent, smile, grimace, nod, sway or dance • Performance has agreed-on rules and procedures

A Music-Culture Model • Community is the group that carries the traditions and norms of performance • Time and space becomes memory and history in our music-culture model • Musical analysis is finding patterns in the sound by breaking the music into parts and determining how the parts function in the whole

Components of a Music-Culture • Music and the Belief System • Aesthetics of Music • Contexts for Music • History of Music

Social Organization of Music • Social organization refers to how a group of people divides, arranges, or ranks itself • Sometimes resembles social divisions within the group • Sometimes goes against the broad cultural grain

Repertories of Music • Style • Scale, mode, melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, dynamics • Genres • Vocal vs. instrumental?

• Texts • The words to a song

Repertories of Music • Composition • How does music enter the repertory?

• Transmission • How is music learned?

• Movement • A whole range of physical activity accompanies music

Material Culture of Music • Material culture refers to the tangible, physical objects that a culture produces • The most obvious example are musical instruments • Sheet music is material culture too • Electronic media? • Radio, compact discs, MP3s, television?

Worlds of Music

• Music cultures are dynamic, not static • Constantly changing to outside pressures • It changes to suit the expressive and emotional desires of humankind • Synergy vs. hegemony

Discussion Questions

• What is music?

• How can music affect culture?

• How can culture affect music?

• How is music considered as a behaviour?

Discussion Questions

• How can we better understand different music when we compare them to languages?

• Sincere there are many similarities in musical instruments throughout the world, could there have been patterns of cultural diffusion?

• How might they have operated?