MUS 321

Music of South Asia

The course explores some of the music traditions that hail from South Asia -- a region defined by the countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, and their diasporas. The course studies music and some of its inextricably linked forms of dance and theater through the lens of ethnomusicology, where music is studied with respect to its complex intersections with culture, daily life, and society. The course is presented through a variety of teaching styles and assignments, including lectures, group participation, structured media engagement, hands-on demonstrations, and live performances. Students develop tools to listen, analyze, watch, and participate in South Asian forms of music-making, using case-study based inquiries as guides along the way. Each week is focused through a particular "analytical lens" from which the South Asian performance traditions will be studied. The analytical lenses include gender, sexuality, and caste, among others. By the end of the course, students will have gathered knowledge of some South Asian music traditions and developed a toolbox of lenses through which the traditions can be studied.