Fall 2021 - CA 341 E100

Music and Culture (3)

Class Number: 7267

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 6:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    GCA 3200, GOLDCORP

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    GCA 3200, GOLDCORP

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



The relationship of music and culture, with emphasis on traditional and contemporary music in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Indigenous cultures of North America. Specific cultural areas may be selected for intensive study in any particular term. May be of particular interest to students in other departments.


This course will investigate musical tradition from various cultural backgrounds viewed through the academic lens of ethnomusicology. An understanding of basic level music—especially in terms of the fundamental rhythmic skills—would be useful, the ability to read Western music is not mandatory. Beginning with a classical cultural approach, we will explore musical elements, characteristics, and its performance practices. Throughout the semester, you will be challenged with new ways of learning music that you may not be familiar with. Skills honed will include attentive listening, reading, playing, and analysing course contents. Analyses may require comparing, contrasting, and engaging with other music cultures and of those that you already know. We will detail the physical aspect of music (instruments, artistic practices, performance productions, documentations and dissemination) and undertake an in-depth study of the uses and functions of music in a variety of social and cultural setting politically, economically, ideologically, socially, and historically.    


By the end of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Increase capacity to critically engage with current discourses in arts and culture and gain analytical tools for engaging with music culture globally.
  • Assess, evaluate, and reflect on a musical skill and performance practices for a better understanding of cross-cultural perspectives useful to construct a supported argument.
  • Explore, examine, and analyze music of other cultural traditions using an ethnomusicology and interdisciplinary approach of arts.


  • 1. Attendance and class participation (concentration, preparedness, performance achievement 25%
  • 2. Mid term test 15%
  • 3. Field works reports 15%
  • 4. Reading response for ethnography paper submission 20%
  • 5. Final tests and group presentation 25%


The learning process in this course requires strong commitment, diligence, and discipline. Attendance is required at all classes including those potential virtual meeting with guest artists and speakers will be necessary. Students are expected to actively participate in class so please come prepared. Any absences will result in a lowered participation mark. Make-up exams will not be standard procedure of this course except in instances of documented illness, in which case prior notification and physicians explanation are both required.

Grades are determined mainly by the instructor`s observation of in-class work during the entire semester, and are based on the seriousness of the student`s practice and performance level achieved such as:

  • Commitment and effort (class participations & exercises in consultation with instructors).
  • The ability to put principles ideas into actual practices (i.e.: apply theoretical frame works from reading materials and examine it for the better quality of writing academic paper [400-500 words each]; progress report on the field works [400-500 words supported with detail information and clear data; final presentation with power point based on summarize/analyze two articles or videos/audios related to the subject learning each 500 words total [1000]).
  • The quality of critical thinking and creative achievement throughout the course.
The format of this course is one 3-hour block each week. Each class will be divided into a lecture (1-1.5 hours), a short break (15 mins) and a seminar (1-1.5 hours). During the seminar, students will work in pairs or small groups for discussions, analysis, and other activities.






Titon, Jeff Todd, General editor. World of Music: An introduction to the music of the world’s people (shorter version/third edition). Belmont: Clark Baxter, 2009.
ISBN: 978-0-495-57010-3

May, Elizabeth, Editor. Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London : University of California Press, 1980.
ISBN: 0-520-04778-8

Bakan, Michael B. World Music : Traditions and Transformation, 2nd edition. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2012. 


ISBN: 978-0-07-352664-5

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.