• Length:
    4 Weeks
  • Effort:
    2–3 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $50 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule



About this course

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How can music play a role in helping us to understand ourselves and others, as well as how we interact in different communities throughout the world? In this course, we will uncover some ways of thinking about music, community, musicians, and musical instruments, and how this relates to our lives.

This course will introduce concepts in ethnomusicology, which is the study of music in a cultural context.  In this course you will:

  •  learn to become more aware of the variety of sounds in your own environment, and challenge your ideas about which sounds may be considered  “music” OR “noise.”
  • explore the different meanings a song can have in different cultures, and how ethnomusicologists document and preserve music.
  • learn about musical instruments and what they can tell us about a culture. You will even have the opportunity to create your own instrument!
  • find music in your own community and learn tips for conducting interviews and recording performances. 

Musical knowledge is not necessary!

What you'll learn

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What you will learn:

  • New ways of thinking about music in other cultures.
  • How songs can have significance that go beyond entertainment.
  • Types of musical instruments and how they can embody meaning beyond their physical description.
  • How to document and describe music in your community.

Meet your instructors

Eric Galm
Associate Professor of Music & Ethnomusicology
Trinity College

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