The Cultural Study of Music.

The Cultural Study of Music.

Order Description

Clayton, Martin, Trevor Herbert, and Richard Middleton. 2003 or latest edition. The Cultural Study of Music.

Answer each question with an essay. Essays might be 3 lines minimum.

For the next three questions, discuss the phenomenon of music (What is music?  Why is music?), as follows:
(1) Define music, using the substantive definition (what music is) I gave you in class and on line.  Elaborate upon and clarify the above definition, commenting as necessary (10).

(2) Compare/distinguish human music to/from non-human “music.”  Tell me whether or not humans are genetically “programmed” for music, and give me at least one reason why or why not (10).  Note: Keep in mind, once again, that we are an Anthropology class.

(3) Having established what music is, explain what it does (at least five of its functions in culture)  You may include functions we’ve not yet discussed in class.  (10).

The following two questions concern the essential (or non-essential) nature of music in culture.
(4) Being very objective (the toughest part of answering this question, for some of you), like a good anthropologist, state whether or not music is essential to human culture.  Explain your argument.  In other words, why must music exist, or could humans do just fine without it? (10)  Note!  Consider class discussion, and handout on this topic.

(5) Elaborating on the above, explain how culture(s), in a world without music, would provide the functions/satisfy the needs that you listed in Question 3, above.  Would it?  Could it? (10)  Note: Again, assume music never existed, period, therefore you have no knowledge of—or exposure to—it.

We’ve discussed in class, and articles, in weekly papers, the origins or music, as best we can.  So:
(6) Where (on what continent) did music probably originate?  Explain why (5).

(7) Assuming that Homo sapiens has existed on this planet for nearly 200,000 years—based on fossil and DNA evidence, when very likely did music emerge on the human scene?  (A relative—approximate—date is fine, but you don’t need an actual date.)  Think about what you said in Question 6, above, if that helps. (5)

(8) Define creativity, in the human sense.  Is it innate, or learned?  Does it have to do with skill or talent?  Explain. (10)

(9) What is the “sphere of creativity” your instructor drew on the board and explained in detail to the class?  Please explain clearly.  (5)

(10) List at least five of the basic/necessary components) of creativity.  Explain what each is and why it’s necessary in (or a very big asset to) in the creative process (5).

(11) What is noise?  Define it for or explain it to me (one sentence will do), being sure to tell me how it is different from music.  Give me at least two examples of it, and explain why they fit the category of “noise.” (5).

(12) What is silence?  Define it for or explain it to me (one sentence will do), then expand on your answer by telling me how silence affects/does not affect humans. (5)

Now, answer one of the following three questions, per textbook chapters and class (10):
(13) What role does music play in religion (sacred activities and beliefs)?  Explain.

(14) What role can/does music play in nationalism (including racist nationalism)?  Explain.

(15) Per class, explain to me at least three roles music plays in storytelling (as “storytelling” was demonstrated in class).

What’s the point?  Explain why it’s important for us to study ethnomusicology.  (Think anthropology, culture, the human condition, ethnocentrism, paradigms, and anything else that applies here.)  Consider why this is an anthropology course, not a music course.  Since the question is worth ten points, give me at least five good reasons (10).


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