HACU 0265 - Encapsulating Sounds: Introduction to Critical Organology


Junko Oba

02:30PM-03:50PM M;02:30PM-03:50PM W

Hampshire College

Music and Dance Building RECITAL;Music and Dance Building RECITAL

Every culture bears unique sensibilities to sounds. People cultivate distinctive ways of hearing, understanding, and relating to them. These sensibilities are also re?ected in the processes of sound- and music-making. Different instruments are devised to encapsulate distinctive cultural values not only acoustically but also visually in their material forms. This course aims to explore diverse music cultures of the world through the lens of organology (the study of musical instruments). We examine a wide range of sound-making devices in their current sociocultural and historical contexts. Our investigation encompasses subjects such as social functions and signi?cations of the instruments, e.g., ritual objects, status symbols, and exotic commodities, myths and symbolism attributed to the instruments, technology and craftsmanship involved in the fabrication, and ecological and ethical concerns for the use of certain materials, e.g., exotic wood, tortoise shells, and ivory. (keywords: musical instruments, material culture, ethnomusicology, sounds, music)

Environments and Change Students in this course can expect to spend 6 to 8 hours weekly on work and preparation outside of class time.

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