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MUS2109 : Topics in Ethnomusicology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Nanette De Jong
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


- To build on existing practical experience of world music
- To provide complimentary skills and knowledge valuable to students in their future professional careers, e.g. as creative practitioners, or teachers

- To encourage cultural understanding though practical encounter, and thus …

- To provide a practical compliment to the academic study of ethnomusicology and world music

- To enable familiarisation with the specific characteristics of a selection of musical styles and systems across the Caribbean
- To acquire knowledge and appreciation of the diverse forms of musical expressions found in varied parts of the Caribbean
- To acquire a further understanding of the importance and relevance of considering music and music-making in relation to their cultural and social contexts
- To provoke thought and understanding of Caribbean music traditions, including their differences and similarities as well as how (and why) they arise and develop
- To instil appreciation regarding the ways music and musical participation provide mediums into understanding world cultures in genera
- To explore the link between music and identity in reference to the Caribbean
- To explore how colonial politics impact the early developments of cultures and musical societies in the Caribbean
- To provide a basic understanding of how music can be used as a tool for re-piecing lost or forgotten histories

Outline Of Syllabus

In the Caribbean, a land distinguished by migration and displacement, the concept of nation and identity assumes tremendous importance. Music and Identity in the Caribbean will examine invented and reinvented identities and traditions as celebrated in the music of the Caribbean people, uncovering a Caribbean ethos based on the generation of new myths and revisions of old, with music revealed as primary indicator for both. The general purpose of this course is to introduce students to the scholarly study of traditional, popular, and classical musics from around the Caribbean through in-depth reading, close listening to assigned sound recordings, available online, and performance. The module is based around lectures and seminars, where students will be introduced to a range of scholarly approaches to studying the Caribbean, all grounded in specific case studies.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:0010 lectures
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities162:0062:00Student directed reading & written essay responses to lecture ideas building to portfolio submission
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Small group seminars with lecturer or teaching assistants to unpack core ideas from lectures.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Final group presentations held during the final week of classes.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Drop-in surgeries
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00Student directed reading & written essay responses to lecture ideas building to portfolio submission
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The combination of teaching activities allows students to receive a thorough grounding in core concepts regarding Caribbean music via lectures, which are then unpacked further in small group seminars and in tutorials. These serve as support for students to incorporate core ideas/theories from the lectures and seminars into a final essay and in a group performance.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Performance102M20Final Performance
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A80A final essay of 3,200 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay 1 will allow students to focus on a topic specific to the module (a list of possible topics will be distributed early in the semester, however, students wishing to undertake a separate topic can do so with module leader approval). Performance 1 (to take place at the end of the semester) this practical assessment allows students to investigate core themes in Caribbean music by ‘doing it’.

Reading Lists