Music and culture are deeply interconnected. In this unit, we will study how music influences culture, how music shapes identity, what music is, how the mind interprets music, and finally how our culture shapes our music.
First, we’re going to explore the message delivered in this video of the Malinke tribe of West Africa… Everything is rhythm. It is so cool how it is edited. Check it out and pass it on.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the music of the world, specifically from National Geographic. It’s an awesome site with thousands of videos and audio recordings from around the planet. It can be searched in many ways too.
Another way to learn about music from around the world is to listen to stories about them. PRI’s radio show, The World is on each day from 3-4pm and 6-7pm on 89.7 WGBH Radio in Boston. Their global hits archive is awesome and contains years and years of stories about artists and their music. Check it out here.
If you want to learn more about ethnomusicology, come check it out in one of the largest universities in the country, UCLA.
Music isn’t just about culture; its also about the mind. New studies are revealing a whole world of discoveries concerning music and the mind – from studying Neanderthal music language to music therapy and FMRI scans. Learn more about it here.
As well as this episode from the great Oliver Sacks…
You may want to explore music from around the world through Wikipedia. Here’s the list.
Finally, Alan Lomax is an intersting case study of how one person tried to record as much of the world’s music as possible. He is not without controversy, but his recordings are now an important part of the Library of Congress. Check them out here.