This is a course about music as a sonic and visual cultural practice. The course investigates the social, political, and historical forces surrounding East Asian musical cultures in a global context. We’ll explore a diverse range of sounds, images and ideas across geographies. In our globalized world, it’s no longer uncommon to hear the sound of a Chinese erhu at a subway stop or to hear hip-hop at an international music festival in Tokyo. You will be exposed to a wide range of musical practices in relation to topics such as music and migration, music and politics, music and dance, the transnational circulation of music, and music in in the global market place. Examples will cover musical cultures in East Asia and its diaspora in North America. There will be a distinct emphasis on East Asian and Asian American culture in the NYC area. The course will also include guest performers, a visit to local performances in NYC, and active engagement with local musical practices. In addition, the course covers some of the themes and methods central to the field of ethnomusicology. A fieldwork-based project, which course participants develop over the course of the semester, is a central component of the course. You are expected to set aside some time each week to visit your field site. This is a reading, writing, and fieldwork intensive course. However, no previous musical training is required.
Sound and Image in Modern East Asian Music