Fall 2023: European, African, and Asian Adventure

MU 232 Soundscapes – Music as Human Practice [CRN 74114]

Overview of Course

Stop and listen. The sounds of the world, and how we relate to them, are integral to our lives—to who we are and to how we are. In this course, we explore how the sonic dimensions of a place shape individual lives, communities, cultures, and (more particularly) music cultures. And, in turn, we discover how people and cultures shape the soundscapes and musics that constantly surround them.

In the ports of call and regions we visit, we will encounter an immense diversity of soundscapes and music cultures. And within that diversity, we will find consistencies in how people and communities interact with their sonic environs. Our examination of music and sound cultures will involve ethnography and fieldwork based in the analytical frame of ethnomusicology. Through the intimacy of shared sensory experiences, we will connect deeply with the people we meet. Studying soundscapes is studying how people and cultures sound their worlds. The more closely we listen, the better we understand what it is to be human.

This class is also offered as ANTH 232 through the CSU Department of Anthropology.