Teacher(s): Jael Nordbek Azoulay
Every culture in the world has music. Its melodies, rhythms, songs and dances reverberate through our minds and bodies, religious rituals, stories and histories and it lets us connect across cultures, religions, national and social boundaries.
However, we may not always immediately get the meaning of music coming from other cultures or from social environments different to our own. It can sometimes be hard to “open”, since the “raw materials” – scales, rhythms, singing techniques, harmonies and more – are different from the ones we grew up with.
In the Folk High School class Music in Culture we will look at different ways to unpack the musics of the world – and also, the other way around, gain some insight into the cultures that produce them. from West Bengal to Greenland and from neo-shamanic Viking Rock to the Greek philosophers.
In order to do that, we need not only open our ears and minds but also to start building an understanding of the context the music comes from. Who made it? What is it used for? What does it express? The way we will do this in this class is through introductory lectures, listening to music and musicians, analyzing and discussing music, presenting our own thoughts and ideas and sometimes even moving our bodies around as well. No musical training is required as this is not a class in which to learn to play but to understand music in a cultural context – the Music in Culture class is for everyone with curiosity and wide-open ears!