Introduction to World Music (Fall 2017)

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Short URL for Schedule and Assignments:
Short URL for accompanying eClass site:
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Music 102: Introduction to World Music
Meetings: Wednesday 6:30 - 9:30, T BW 2


Professor Michael Frishkopf
Office: 334D Old Arts Building
Office hours: click for appointment, or contact instructor
Tel: 780-492-0225,


In this introductory-level course we will examine music as a global, pan-human phenomenon (music of the world), together with various topics and issues in ethnomusicology (the study of music of the world in its cultural context). The course features an engagement with ethnographic film, and small-group collaborative as well as individual assignments. While discovering world music through film, we will also:

  • broaden our musical horizons, develop new musical capacities, expand our understanding music and its meanings
  • understand music as both product and shaper of its environment, especially the power of music to effect change: music as a technology
  • learn to understand the world musically
  • learn how to think critically about (music) culture, and the ways it is represented (through music, or otherwise)
  • be introduced to the discipline of ethnomusicology, in preparation for further study in this discipline

Course Mechanics and Requirements

Course Mechanics

  • Use this course Syllabus webpage to learn about assignments (
  • use eClass to submit assignments, always on the day they are due ( Please be sure you submit assignments via eClass and in the right week - otherwise I may miss them.
  • Consult the Course Calendar for our schedule of events (I'll be posting new events as they come up: concerts, lectures, workshops, etc.)
  • Please say your name when you speak in class, especially in your groups, so we can all get to know one another.
  • Be sure to sign the attendance list at the end of each class!
  • There is no textbook and book purchases are not necessary! All materials are available free of charge, mostly online, some on reserve (which is rather nice!)
  • Reserve shelf in Rutherford Library will contain some materials that are not available online.
  • Each evening class session includes musical listening & "music stretches", group presentations, a short lecture introduction, and a film we will watch together and discuss afterwards. Occasionally a special guest will replace the film.
  • This course deploys a collaborative approach: you are divided into subgroups of 4-5 each; each group has been assigned a Google Drive folder (you should have received an invitation via your UofA email; please let me know if you joined the course late and didn't get assigned) where you can share and edit materials with each other and with me. You have access to other groups' materials as read-only. Please communicate as you wish - via email, social media, or face to face. It may be best to meet immediately before or after class, at least to plan. You will have short collaborative assignments each week, and class will begin with group presentations. Everyone is expected to contribute!
  • If you have questions email me ( or come visit me during my office hours (signup at

Course requirements

  • Start up: on eClass please introduce yourselves (due Sep 8) and vote for musical topics/areas you'd like to see covered in this class. I will consider your feedback!
  • Participation is essential! Please do not miss any classes!! Your group will be presenting nearly every week. And the course centers on visual ethnomusicology: nearly every evening will center on a film we will watch together.
  • Short weekly reading/viewing/listening/browsing: I will not assign more than 20 pages per week! Please don't wait until the last minute to do the assignments. (They're interesting!)
  • Very short weekly responses (description + critique) to those weekly assignments, amounting to one short paragraph (3-5 sentences) per week MAX!
  • One world music concert review (an event description + critique), 1.5-2 pages - due by end of term. Note that your review should talk about the event as an anthropologist or ethnomusicologist would, considering the broadest possible context - not just the music or performers on stage (if there was a stage), but everyone who participated and their contexts: where did it take place? who was there? how did they behave? what was the meaning of the event for them? why do you think they attended? how did people dress? how did they interact? how was the music represented? was there an economic dimension (merchandise, etc.)? Here is some additional explanation. (Pages: 1" margins, Times New Roman single spaced, not including any bibliography section - a bibliography is not required)
  • Midterm quiz and final quiz: these will center on short (one sentence) IDs of terms, musical examples, map locations.
  • Optional creative assignment for extra credit (everyone is encouraged to submit this assignment and share with the class; musical "talent" not required!), due by end of the term. You may wish to expand on any of the group assignments made throughout the class.

Evaluation and grading

  • Participation (presence and active contributions, including group presentations). 25%
  • Very short weekly responses, graded in four levels: excellent/outstanding (A+), satisfactory (A-/B+), unsatisfactory (B-), or missing (F): 25% total
  • Concert review: 5%
  • midterm quiz (Oct 18): 20%
  • final quiz (cumulative, but weighted towards latter half) (Dec 6): 25%
  • optional creative assignment for extra credit

All written assignments are to be uploaded to eClass by 6 pm on the due date. (This is very important so you'll be prepared for class.) Thereafter, the grade will be reduced one level for each two days of lateness.

Evaluations of each assignment are computed on a scale from 0 - 100, reflecting the letter grades below. These scores are combined according to the percentages indicated in order to produce a final numeric grade. This grade is rounded to the nearest numeric value in the table below, in order to determine the final letter grade. Weekly assignments with eClass grades on the scale "Outstanding", "Satisfactory", and "Unsatisfactory" will be equivalent to 100, 88, 72 respectively.

  • A+: 4.3 (98)
  • A: 4.0 (95)
  • A-: 3.7 (92)
  • B+: 3.3 (88)
  • B: 3.0 (85)
  • B-: 2.7 (82)
  • C+: 2.3 (78)
  • C: 2.0 (75)
  • C-: 1.7 (72)
  • D+: 1.3 (68)
  • D: 1.0 (65)
  • D-: .7 (62)
  • F: 0 (60)

Schedule and assignments

Click here
(Short URL for Schedule and Assignments: )

Official statements

Course prerequisites: none
Course-based ethics approval, Community service learning: NA
Past or representative evaluative course material: NA
Additional mandatory instruction fees: No

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar. (GFC 29 SEP 2003).

Academic Integrity
“The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behavior that could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Learning and working environment
The Faculty of Arts is committed to ensuring that all students, faculty and staff are able to work and study in an environment that is safe and free from discrimination and harassment. It does not tolerate behaviour that undermines that environment. The department urges anyone who feels that this policy is being violated to: • Discuss the matter with the person whose behaviour is causing concern; or • If that discussion is unsatisfactory, or there is concern that direct discussion is inappropriate or threatening, discuss it with the Chair of the Department. For additional advice or assistance regarding this policy you may contact the student ombudservice: ( ). Information about the University of Alberta Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures is described in UAPPOL at

Academic Honesty:
All students should consult the information provided by the Office of Judicial Affairs regarding avoiding cheating and plagiarism in particular and academic dishonesty in general (see the Academic Integrity Undergraduate Handbook and Information for Students). If in doubt about what is permitted in this class, ask the instructor. Students involved in language courses and translation courses should be aware that on-line “translation engines” produce very dubious and unreliable “translations.” Students in language courses should be aware that, while seeking the advice of native or expert speakers is often helpful, excessive editorial and creative help in assignments is considered a form of “cheating” that violates the code of student conduct with dire consequences. An instructor or coordinator who is convinced that a student has handed in work that he or she could not possibly reproduce without outside assistance is obliged, out of consideration of fairness to other students, to report the case to the Associate Dean of the Faculty. See the Academic Discipline Process.

Recording of Lectures:
Audio or video recording of lectures, labs, seminars or any other teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent of the instructor or as a part of an approved accommodation plan. Recorded material is to be used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without prior written consent from the instructor.

Attendance, Absences, and Missed Grade Components:
Regular attendance is essential for optimal performance in any course. In cases of potentially excusable absences due to illness or domestic affliction, notify your instructor by e-mail within two days. Regarding absences that may be excusable and procedures for addressing course components missed as a result, consult the Calendar regarding Attendance and Examinations sections of the University Calendar. Be aware that unexcused absences will result in partial or total loss of the grade for the “attendance and participation” component(s) of a course, as well as for any assignments that are not handed-in or completed as a result. In this course, 25% of your grade depends on regular attendance and energetic participation.

Policy for Late Assignments:
See section on Evaluation, above.

Student Accessibility Services:
If you have special needs that could affect your performance in this class, please let me know during the first week of the term so that appropriate arrangements can be made. If you are not already registered with Student Accessibility Services, contact their office immediately (1-80 SUB; Email; Email; phone 780-492-3381).

Media Archives and Departmental Broadcasting of Audio-visual Material
Audio or video recording of performances, lectures, seminars, or any other academic or research environment activities are carried out by the Department of Music for archival purposes. These archives may be collected and housed in the Music Library. Recorded material is to be used solely for non-profit, educational, research, and community outreach purposes, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without obtaining the express permission from all parties involved. Please be advised that your solo or group performance may be featured on the University of Alberta's Department of Music website and/or social media platform(s). If you object to this use of audio and/or video material in which you will be included, please advise your instructor or the Department of Music in writing prior to participating in any performance, lecture, seminar or public event held by the Department of Music.