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Coursera: Listening to World Music

Learn the ideas and vocabulary for listening to world music, and examine the music of several world music cultures and how they have entered into mainstream popular culture. This online course is taught by Carol Muller from University of Pennsylvania.

With the click of a mouse, now more than ever we are able to access sounds made by people from all around the world. And yet, most of us don't listen to the wide diversity of music available to us, probably because it sounds so strange. This class will open up the world of music to you. We begin with a brief history of recording technology, the music industry and the place of world music in that narrative; you are introduced to keywords for talking about music cross-culturally; and then proceed to half a dozen musical cultures around the world. In each of these musical cultures, we examine the ways in which music works in those distant cultures, how it sounds, what it means, who may perform it; and then we ask ourselves where this music has traveled and entered into the Western popular culture as entertainment, political discourse, or artistic purpose.

Though it may be useful, you are not required to have any music theoretical knowledge to take the class.
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