CBMR Digest is a publication of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago

ISSN # 2168-3301fall 2013 | Volume 26, No. 2

Columbia College Music Department to Offer New Course in Afro-Latin and Caribbean Musics

The Department of Music at Columbia College Chicago has added a new course that will be offered for the first time during the spring 2014 semester. Designed by music department instructor John Paris, the course will examine the music of the African diaspora as found within the Americas. Special attention will be paid to significant underlying factors which contribute to the music’s social function and relevance. The class will focus on Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, the French Antilles, and Brazil as it endeavors to achieve a greater understanding of the unique music, culture, and history of these countries.

Students will study the political, social, and cultural contexts within which these musics function and operate, and will gain substantial knowledge of the musical traditions found in the Caribbean and Brazil as well as a thorough understanding of the relevant historical factors that contributed to the evolution of these syncretic musical forms. The students will develop the ability to aurally recognize the African/European/indigenous musical characteristics and the instrumentation of these musical forms and genres and to then extrapolate their stylistic characteristics and instrumentations to undertake comparative studies with musics from other regions.

This course is designed for music majors and non-music majors alike and will employ readings, class discussion, films, recorded music, and demonstrations. The textbook will be Peter Manuel’s Caribbean Currents (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996, 2006).

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