Music Along the Silk Road
This introductory-level course offers a cross-cultural exploration of music along the Silk Road lands of Central Eurasia, China, and the Middle East. It approaches this topic from anthropological and ethnomusicological perspectives, examining the not only the interconnections between music and culture, but also the political ramifications and the sociohistorical contexts of colonization, imperialism, and sovereignty on the production of musical expressions. Topics covered include the construction of cultural identities, the role of music in ethnic identity formation, the social structure of musical practice, the connections between music and religion, the differences in musical expression between nomadic and sedentary societies, the material culture of music, the relationship between music and colonialism, and the role of music in a globalizing world.
No special knowledge of music or of the region on the part of students is presumed. The course will consist of lectures, reading and listening assignments, and class discussions, and will make extensive use of audio-visual materials.