Music 425 - Transnational South Asian Music

South Asian Music

Ravi Krishnaswami

M/W | 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Amherst College
Arms Music Center Room 102

This course introduces students to the musical practices of South Asia—Hindustani, Carnatic, Bollywood, Sufi, Indipop, and other folk and popular traditions—and then traces these sounds and aesthetics as they echo through time and across the globe, transforming through hybrid styles, orientalist fantasies, cross-cultural collaborations, and sample-based remixing. This “transnational” approach, by design, contests the traditionally exoticist framing of non-western music, granting South Asian aesthetics an equal seat at the table of global popular culture and looking ahead towards a multi-polar future where American culture is no longer completely dominant. Furthermore, tracing South Asian aesthetics through their encounters and transformations can reveal music’s ability to hold multiple subjectivities together in a single time and space. Through critical listening, reading and discussion, students completing this class will be able to identify and contrast the major musical practices of South Asia: Hindustani, Carnatic, Bollywood, Folk, and Indipop. By engaging with readings in cultural studies, students will also be able to use the critical concepts of this class (dialogue, appropriation, orientalism, hybridity, diaspora) when analyzing forms of transnational popular culture. The class will culminate with a choice between a scholarly paper or creative project. This course can satisfy one of the major seminar requirements for the Music Department.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to music majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: The class will culminate with a choice between a scholarly paper or creative project.

Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.