Music for Global Human Development - Fall 2018 Assignments and Schedule

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This page contains assignments and schedule for each class. Turn here to find notes and links, in case you need to revisit them (or if you missed class). eClass will contain assignments only, with links to submit them. Please submit assignments only via eClass.

Note: as this class is an instance of M4GHD, incorporating feedback and gradually adapting to context, the schedule will unfold from week to week as a pedagogical improvisation.

Short link to this page:
Short link back to the syllabus:
Short link to eClass:


Week 1: 04-Sep-18 & 06-Sep-18: Introduction


  • Welcome to M4GHD!
  • There are absolutely no prerequisites for this course.
  • Self-introductions
  • In this class we'll learn about music's social power by reading & discussing & writing....but also by experiencing and doing.
    • Tuesdays: academic didactic/discursive/critical learning (propositional knowledge)
    • Thursdays: experiential learning (procedural knowledge)
    • Outside of class: homework, and Community Service Learning projects in the community.

M4GHD and Rosie

  • M4GHD: deploying music as a social technology, for connection. How does that work? Understanding through experience...
  • Let's jump right in with the experiential: Connecting through song: performing Rosie.
  • What is the social power of music? (for you, for inmates...) What is the source of this power?
  • Completely Optional: prepare your own versions of Rosie for Thursday.
  • Rosie via David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj ("Hey mama") - appropriation by the music system?
    • What do you hear? World musical influences?
    • How has the meaning changed?
    • Celebration of the original? Or exploitation? Cultural appropriation?
    • What are the implications for world music?
    • See this article by Jeff Miers.

About the course

  • In this class you will create a mini M4GHD project using models from Community Music Therapy. (In fact, this class is itself a M4GHD project!)
  • Introduction to CSL and the CSL Certificate. Set up via portal. 20 hours of CSL during the term, replacing other work.
  • CSL Collaborations:
  • Project brainstorming! Sustainable modules you'll create.
  • Special dates to note: Symposium on Community Music Therapy (Dates TBD - last week of Nov or first week of Dec)
  • Easy to remember URL shorteners:
    • = syllabus
    • = eClass
    • = assignments
  • Course syllabus review (note what is due next Tuesday)
  • Noon: Visit from Suzanne Gross and Joseph Luri, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.



Music workshop

  • Tarab: Sabah Fakhri
  • Too much music separates us rather than connecting us.
  • M4GHD should connect through thought-feeling (ideas and emotions) and interaction. Some features:
    • Avoid the visual. Music is an auditory art.
    • Inclusive style : Not too virtuosic. No high wire acts. Keep it slow and easy, or at least provide parts that enable participation.
    • Body music central. Everyone has a body, including voice. Not everyone has a bass clarinet.
    • Vocal timbre : accommodating of all voices
    • Range : medium
    • Pitch : microtonality, wide tonemes - expressive
    • Scale : open notes, blue notes... pentatonic leaves more space.
    • Notes: avoid the discrete; go for the expressive gesture. Musical elements need not be notes.
    • Polyphony : flexible shifting of lines
    • Melody : Improv, using responsive rules of interaction, encourage connection
    • Harmony : octave as well as fourth fifth third equivalents, allows folding of range
    • Meter : polymeters provide more than one way to fit
    • Form : call and response or interlocking, hocket (connecting). Longer flexible patterns
    • Improvisation and flexibility: there's room for individual expression, without compromising the whole. But improvisation has a range and an ideal number of "rules", and there's a bell curve of rules: too many or too few rules are constraining. See Stravinsky, The Poetics of Music, p. 63.
    • Lyrics: collectively composed by all participants, maybe improvised? Repetition and vocables make it easier.
"The creator's function is to sift the elements he receives from [imagination], for human activity must impose limits upon itself. The more art is controlled, limited, worked over, the more it is free" - Igor Stravinsky, The Poetics of Music, p. 63
  • Any Rosie versions to share?
  • Pentatonic structure
  • Call and response project in class

CSL options

Kreisha Oro (from MCHB) will be visiting.

Week 2: 11-Sep-18 & 13-Sep-18: M4GHD, Ethics, CSL

Concert announcement: Mysterious Barricades: a cross-Canada concert for suicide awareness, prevention and hope: Saturday, September 15, 4:00 pm, Convocation Hall.

Tues: M4GHD overview, Ethics


... to be completed before class. Come prepared with thoughts, comments, and questions for discussion (see eClass for assignments to be submitted)

In class


  • Meet our TA, Gabriel Ojakovo!
  • Everyone please introduce yourselves once more. (Please consider adding a photo to your UofA gmail account)
  • Please submit assignments via eClass ("About me")
  • Concert Saturday: "Mysterious Barricades", for suicide awareness (after a harpsichord piece by François Couperin, 1717) (Symbolic piano roll representation).
  • CSL assignments on eClass (wiki). EMCN: Saturday and Sunday; MCHB...
  • CSL signup procedure: see eClass under Week 2. Lynn will join us on Thursday to explain more.
  • Don't forget to set up your field notes document as a Google Doc; add its link to the appropriate eClass wiki, and share access with me.

Some concepts....some questions...

  • What is Ethnomusicology (henceforth EM)? Musicology (the study of music), but ethno-extended in 3 dimensions, thereby enclosing "music" in "context":
    • (1) scope of "music" as cultural construct and in the world of sound (e.g. Javanese gamelan; Qur'anic recitation); extending from music to poetry, dance, costume, drama...;
    • (2) context of music as situated in performance space-time as well as in culture and history (e.g. a Yeve shrine ritual in Ghana, part of Ewe culture; the history of bluegrass);
    • (3) disciplinary approaches to its study, to encompass all fields of arts, humanities, social science, science (e.g. approaches from anthropology, political science...)
  • Can you give me some examples of these extensions? Consider Rosie as a work song, in cultural and historical context.
  • Ethno-musicology (2,3) vs. Ethnomusic-ology (1)
  • What is "world music"? (hint: consider one of the extensions, and consider classes rather than instances)
  • What is Applied Ethnomusicology? (Ethnomusicology operating outside the academy, towards broader social transformations.) Examples?
  • What is Music for Global Human Development ( Music as a (Psycho-)Social Technology. Aims and methods. Helping to ameliorate BIG problems (racism, war, disease, poverty, displacement, social integration) stemming from dehumanization, through MUSICAL RECONNECTION. Listen to this nay. KEY ELEMENTS of M4GHD:
    • Participatory Action Research (PAR): collaborative, grassroots, sustainable, helical process (cycle: plan/act/observe/reflect. Line: upwards progress) through a social network.
    • Expressive musical communication ("thought-feeling") for humanistic development (cf: Culture and Development, Communication for Development C4D, Edutainment)
    • Open participation, inclusive approach to entire PAR process, broadening the network
    • Music: Flexibility (timbral, rhythmic, tonal) & Improvisation, enabling...
    • through the network...leading to adaptation & thus resonance...starting with the PAR network itself.
    • M4(GHD)=M4(DGH): Music for "global human development"....Music for development of the "global human"
  • What is Community Music Therapy (CMT)? An extension of Music Therapy (MT) situating musical healing in a broader social context. (CMT : MT :: EM : Musicology)
  • Examples:



  • "About me"?
  • Attendance
  • eClass usage
  • Introducing Lynn Sutankayo, from CSL, to answer your questions!

Workshop: (melo)rhythmic cycles, rhythmic call/response, and interlock

In Western music meter usually not externalized in a recurring pattern, but it does serve as a social binder, holding musicians and listeners together.

In other musics, meter is more overt, as rhythmic patterns cycle, repeating over and over.

Arabic rhythmic cycles. Arabic durub, constructed out of "dum", "tek", "iss".

Such cycles bind participants together, setting the stage for resonance.

The call and response form models social relationships. We heard a melodic instance in Rosie, in the relation between pentatonic call and response melodies.

Call and response also happens through rhythm, likewise modeling social relationships. Such call and response patterns can be very short, to the point of hocket or "interlock": a melody or rhythm divided up among parts.

Balinese cycles: kecak: Co-developed by German painter-musician Walter Spies in the 1930s with local musicians and dancers, while living in Bali, based on an older trance dance (sanghyang), this "monkey chant" tells part of the story of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, as protagonist Rama is assisted by Hanuman, the monkey king. The dance represents traditional interlocking instrumental music, but also serves as a tourist draw (We may learn to perform this next time!)

The interlocking patterns need not all be constructed of the same sound. Rather sounds can differ in pitch, or timbre, or both. Consider "dum" and "tek": low and high, different sounds. They can also overlap.

Group assignment: Creating your own melo-rhythmic interlocking or call-response cycles

Using this circle notation, create your own interlock patterns, in groups of 2 or 3. You may use different symbols to indicate melo-rhythms. After writing the rhythm focus on trying to internalize it as an aural call/response or interlock pattern, freeing up the eyes to make connections within the performing group; the notation can be socially fragmenting, although it's a convenient way to compose and remember.

Week 3: 18-Sep & 20-Sep: Ethnomusicology

Tues: Ethnomusicology and Applied Ethnomusicology


To be completed prior to class:



  • Police checks: tomorrow is the last day!
  • CSL placements - issues?
  • "About me" and my responses - can you see them? (eClass has changed)

Ethnomusicology and Applied Ethnomusicology

  • What is ethnomusicology (EM)? How is study (-ology) different from action? Ethnomusicology vs. Ethnomusicaction?
  • How can EM create positive change in the world?
  • Websites?

The power of music: Music as social technology

  • M4GHD and refugees (presentation; review of article concepts). Questions?
  • What makes music (sound) a powerful social technology? For social progress, or regress? (discussion)


Cycles, African cycles: melorhythm, call/response, interlock, and polyrhythms.

West African cycles. Features:

  • Melorhythm (rhythm and melody are entangled, only separable in theory)
  • Call/response and interlock
  • Polyrhythm and polymeter (rhythms crossing each other)

These features have social implications.

  • Melorhythm: humanized rhythm, taking on vocal qualities (hence vocables); possibility of harmonization of multiple cycles
  • Call/response and interlock: inducing social relationships through temporal interdependence; "listening to the silence". (performance is a social phenomenon; e.g. the drumset becomes a drumming ensemble)
  • Polyrhythm and polymeter: demonstrating contrastive "temporal world views" existing in simultaneous harmony, tolerance: defining simultaneous group orientations

Between rhythm and melody proper is "melo-rhythm" (a concept invented by Nigerian musicologist MEKI NZEWI), with melodic character, by using different pitches or timbres.

"I use the term melo-rhythmic to refer to a rhythmic organization melodically conceived and melodically born. This kind of organization should be recognized as having a different orientation than the kind in which the rhythm of a music has a more independent derivation and function. In West African folk music the rhythms of the percussion are firmly rooted in the melo-rhythmic essence, not in the abstract depersonalised percussion function typical of Western percussive style." -- from Meki Nzewi, "Melo-Rhythmic Essence and Hot Rhythm in Nigerian Folk Music",The Black Perspective in Music, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring, 1974).

Thus we have melo-polyrhythmic call/response/interlock cycles in Africa.

Here is Gahu, a polymelorhythmic cycle from the Ewe people of Ghana, featuring supporting instruments: sogo, kidi, kagan, gankogui, axatse.

The various so-called "Pygmy" cultures of central Africa exhibit amazing interlocking melorhythms. Hear these historic recordings by Colin Turnbull, Music Of The Rain Forest Pygmies, from Congo

Stronger polyrhythms emerge from subdividing a time span in radically different ways. This is often called "cross-rhythm". The drumset (single drummer) is exploded into a drumming section, binding participants together.

  • Simple examples are 3:2 or 4:3 (3 against 2, 4 against 3). E.g.: beat your open palms against your things, alternating 3 times: right/left/right/left/right/left. Place extra emphasis on groups of 3 (RIGHT left right LEFT right left). Now make your left hand into a fist (so it gets quieter) and listen. OR: stamp on the ground R L R L, counting to 3 for each stamp, then add clapping every two counts.
  • Listen to the standard Ewe bell part: XOXOXXOXOXOX. Clap subdivisions to indicate divisions of 4 (12=4x3) or 6 (12=6x2) or 3 (12=3x4).
  • Hear the various parts interacting in Agbekor.

In your groups, create a polymelorhythm. You may incorporate also call/response and interlock if you wish. Use notations if you wish but only as a transitional phase (the "shoehorn" approach, also applied to concepts of ethnomusicology and world music), to be dispensed with as soon as possible. The visual tends to distract from the people, and diminishes music's social impact.

Music as a social technology should be aural and embodied - the individual and the social body.

  • You can write out pieces using cyclic or even western notation. See my piece: "Mbaka Experiment", inspired by “Mbaka” song. Note how the four parts interlock…they don’t start at the same place, and they fill each other’s gaps.
  • You can also continue to use the circular "box" notation we deployed last week (worksheets available)
  • Or you can just work aurally.
  • The symbols you write in the circles need not all be the same - try using different symbols for different sounds, pitches, syllables, including claps and stamps, and maybe dance moves...
  • Beyond the cycle, consider: how could you incorporate variations? Improvisations? Cues for starting, stopping, or transitioning? Maybe make a piece with several cycles and the ability to jump between them. Or variations for each "part". Or rules for improvisation on the existing parts...

Week 4: 25-Sep-18 & 27-Sep-18

Tues: Ethics and Community Music Therapy

To be completed prior to class

  • Ethics: assigned last week; just review.
  • Community music therapy: Access the online book Where music helps: community music therapy in action and reflection. In Part I, read Chapter 1 (Introduction: Music and Health in Community) and skim Chapter 2 (Situating Authors and Projects). Then select any of the subsequent Parts (II through IX), and read/skim the two chapters contained within: the first "Action", and the second "Reflection".
  • Submit Week 4 assignment via eClass.


  • CCE (Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology) resources and the CCE mailing list: visit
  • Winter course: Studies in Ethnomusicology: Africa (Music 472/572)
  • Kashaka, or televis, or asalato (lots of stuff online including how to play, how to make...; see [1], [2]
  • System, internet and Tim berners Lee radio program
  • Projects, everyone should now have an affiliation. Please be in touch with the contacts, as listed in the CSL portal and our eClass Wiki. Gabriel will accompany you on the first few meetings.

System and Lifeworld

Ethical dimensions of M4GHD

  • Ethics. Deontological vs. Consequentialist approaches.
    • Human rights, freedom and equality, minima (equal inputs) and emergence
    • Social justice, equity (equal outcomes)
  • Key principles balance the deontological (duty) with the consequentialist (balancing outcomes):
    • Humanity: respecting human dignity and rights (minima); avoiding exploitation (duty)
    • Beneficence (ensuring that good outweighs harm) (outcome)
    • Equity (social justice, equal outcomes)
    • Informed consent (dignity)
    • Privacy: anonymity and confidentiality, as requested
  • Philosophical ethics
    • The Trolley problem
    • Traditional ethics: The Golden Rule
    • Kantian ethics - the categorical imperative
    • Habermas: Communicative Action (treating people as a communicative end, not a means - illocutionary mood)
    • Utilitarians: consequential summation
  • Research Ethics
    • What is research ethics?
    • Why is it important for ethnomusicology?
    • Why is it especially important for applied ethnomusicology (and M4GHD projects)?
    • The ethical impetus behind M4GHD (and Community Music Therapy) itself
    • Their focus on disempowered or marginalized communities
  • Research Ethics documents at the UofA

Community Music Therapy

  • The Community Music Therapy approach.
    • Who what where when how?
    • Contrast with regular music therapy
    • Evaluate impact of new trends in music scholarship
    • How does it apply to our CSL environments?
  • Reflect upon the various projects you read about
    • How successful were they?
    • Inspirations for your own projects?


Week 5: 02-Oct & 04-Oct

Tues: Participatory Action Research and Sustainable Development

In preparation for class



Review: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) How can development become sustainable? What is the role of participation?

Note: we will produce an International Week Concert Feb 8 2019 centered on the SDGs! If you'd like to be involved let me know...

Browse: Music and PAR:

  • Browse and critique the Singing and Dancing for Health project in northern Ghana, conceived as participatory action research through music. (There are a few videos, papers, and don't have to read or watch everything). Where does it succeed? where does it fall short, and why?

Write: 3 short paragraphs, to submit on eClass

  • What is participation and what is its value? What is PAR?
  • How can PAR draw on ethnomusicology and music (and related performing arts: dance, poetry, drama…)? How can ethnomusicological fieldwork become a kind of "participatory research"? Summarize and critique the "singing and dancing for health" project as an instance.
  • How can you use PAR concepts and methods in your own CSL project? (You should be starting to think about your projects.) Brainstorm a few ideas based on project plans you're considering.

In class

  • CSL
    • Police certificates: should arrive any day now....after received you can begin preliminary CSL work.
    • For next week you'll write up a tentative project proposal - I'll give you feedback right away, and it will continue to evolve into the project and report.
    • Formatting log entries in google docs: entry by date, and specify total time (for CSL requirement). See my sample (now available on the eClass wiki also).
  • What is participatory research?
    • Participant Observation method. The emic; phenomenology (Schutz), verstehen (Weber): entering the "lifeworld" of local meaning and communication, interpretation, translation of meaning - creating social connection
    • This is "normal science" for ethnomusicology today! We speak of "participants" not "subjects" much less "objects". Participation is hallmark of ethnomusicology: meaning, Insider views, respect, dignity.
    • But: we don't always see this approach in development or applied work. "Advocacy" - Advocate - a person who pleads on someone else's behalf: care managers can become advocates for their clients.
    • Implications of participation:
      • Ethics: Dignity, respect, giving voice
      • Pragmatics: giving voice, goal of interpretation towards meaning (rather than: empiricism towards law)
  • What is PAR? Advantages? Disadvantages?
    • PAR as entailing an intercultural social network - and resonance (emergent structure), to become social fabric (humanistic connection), turning objective (I - it) to subjective (I thou) relations. Rehumanization.
    • Strengthening the lifeworld through interconnection with people you probably wouldn't otherwise meet. The "global human" is you!
    • Ethical: giving voice (, empowerment, self-respect, independence, autonomy, agency.
    • Pragmatic: giving voice, empowerment, self-respect, independence, autonomy, agency.
      • Project guidance from within: More effective expenditure of resources,
      • Sustainability: more local buy-in,more likely to endure.
    • PAR aims in this class? Here: social integration, understanding, for marginalized populations in Edmonton
  • Instances: You'll write a preliminary proposal for next week
    • Your project ideas and how PAR may apply. Possibilities. Generalizing "music" (music, poetry, dance, drama,, food?). Title/par overview (aim, method) due next week. Go ahead and work together but everyone needs to have their own project. Don't forget field notes! (& don't wait to write)
    • Consider "Singing and Dancing for Health". How was the project PAR? What could have been improved?
  • A close reading of Kemmis and McTaggart: PAR + Practice Theory + Habermas
    • Key concepts, dyads and triads:
      • Dialectics: dynamic and complementary processes out of which emerges a larger whole
      • Triad: Material/Economic (things), Social (relationships), Symbolic/Cultural (meanings).
      • Dyads: The Social (intersubjective) and the individual (subjective - psychic); Socialization and Individuation; & the dialectic between the two
      • Triad: Social Practices (what we do in a social space): Communication, Production, Organization
      • Dyad: Social Practice and Social System/structure (economic, social, symbolic); the dialectic between the two
      • Dyad and triad: Individual Knowledge (understandings=theoretical or propositional, skills=practice or procedural, values: axiological=morality/truth/beauty) vs Social Media (language, work, power); dialectic between the two
      • Critical view (Etic): contextualizing within the big picture predicament (e.g. poverty's structural causes in globalization)
      • Phenomenological view (Emic), experience (e.g. what it's like to be homeless)
    • Close reading of the article

Thurs: adding modes to the M4GHD mix


  • Police checks still not back...
  • No EMCN meetings this weekend. Please check with the Sudanese church. But likely we'll start up the following week.
  • For Tuesday: prepare your project ideas
  • Will have assignments graded and new one posted later today.

Today's workshop: Social-musical-emotional Techniques of M4GHD and adding modes to the mix

  • Listen to Sabah Fakhri and his techniques of socialized musical ecstasy (what I call resonance). This is Tarab - what causes it? How can we create something like tarab in our projects? Listen to musical interactions, expressions, and buildups. Make a list of what you hear...
  • Some key factors:
    • melorhythmic cycles
    • call/response and interlock
    • modality and neutral tones
    • heterophony: simultaneous melodic variation
    • improvisation
  • Review: rhythmic cycles - call/response, interlocking, polymelorhythm, & improvisation
    • Sa`idi cycle (darb)
    • Rendered as call/response cycle (social linking)
    • Add secondary rhythm (separate but together)
    • Add improvisation - 3+1 or continuous (adding individual expression within a group structure)
  • Melodic mode as a flexible social and expressive process...
    • What is a melodic mode?
    • Includes concepts of "tone" and "scale"
    • But a "tone" is not simply a pitch (frequency)
    • And a scale is not simply a collection of tones...
    • Mode:
      • Tones are statistical aggregates of pitch (possible representation: "toneme"; see Frishkopf thesis p. 81+)
      • Scales are tone sets, overlaid with functions: e.g. tonic and dominant
      • Modes incorporate also sequential patterns: likely, possible, and impossible sequences (possible representation: Markov chain transition stats; see Frishkopf thesis p. 98+
    • Where are the pitches? Harmonic (small integer ratios) vs. inharmonic intervals.
      • Ancient Greeks liked small ratios: 2:1, 3:2, 4:3 (e.g. listen to 440 and 880, via Online Tone Generator
      • But not all pitches fit this system
      • Expressive notes don't fit the pattern! They split wide intervals approximately, using wider, more expressive tonemes.
      • Pentatonic Rosie and the "blue notes": splitting the 4ths (4th up and 4th down)
    • Maqam in Arabic music and the neutral tones: Bayyati
  • Saltanah: the power of the mode to generate tonal fixedness and creativity
    • One of the factors enabling tarab: the sociomusical interchange and feedback cycles producing ecstasy
    • Metric and non-metric songs and improvisations
    • Improvisation (usually non-metric): mawwal (vocal) or taqsim (instrumental)
    • Listen again to Sabah Fakhri, from mawwal to ecstatic song
    • Focus on the mode, sing along
    • Dulab bayyati (learn)
    • Someone hold a drone (tonic); someone else improvise
  • Putting it all together...

Week 6: 09-Oct-18 & 11-Oct-18


Due today

Initial draft of your project proposal. See e-class for description and submission link. No additional reading for next Tuesday - focus on the proposal, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

In class

  • Announcements
    • Note change in Ethics documents - see eClass
    • Scheduling: Symposium on Community Music Therapy: Weeks of Nov 26 or Dec 3?
    • Police certificates are in - you can begin! Plan to visit your sites this weekend. Gabriel will accompany you.
  • Arrival scenes: How to introduce yourself when you first meet your group? What will you do? Pretend the class is your group.
  • Edutainment and Communication for Development (C4D): Scientific vs/with Indigenous knowledge = horizontal vs. vertical dissemination (CBC program - heard this morning)
    • Disseminating scientific knowledge, changing attitudes and behavior through music.
    • Science for wellbeing - Indigenous knowledge for wellbeing
    • New song - "If you have heart" (see presentation)
    • Songs like Sanitation, projects like Singing and Dancing for Health -
    • But music isn't merely an "intervention" for scientific knowledge- it's indigenous knowledge as well, passed through oral tradition
    • Hear this CBC program on indigenous knowledge (listen from 36:00; song at 40:36). Strength and vulnerability of the oral tradition. Advantages and disadvantages over the written...
      • Strength: passed through a wide segment of the population; integrated with life and body
      • Weakness: loss of a single generation precludes transmission.
  • Discussion of your project proposals: presentations and suggestions
  • Some examples of project websites from last year (see eClass)



  • Arrange to visit your CSL sites this weekend.
  • Don't forget your fieldnotes on Google Docs! I want to see plenty of detail - both observations and reflections.

Discussions of your projects.

Playing with time:

  • Develop some vocables, desk sounds
  • Let's try some 3+1 rounds in durub (rhythmic cycles) Sa`idi and Wahda

Week 7: 16-Oct & 18-Oct

Tues: Theatre for Development

In preparation for class

Read "Must the Show Go on? The Case for Theatre For Development", by Tim Prentki Source: Development in Practice, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Nov., 1998), pp. 419-429 Stable URL: (If this link doesn't work from off-campus visit and search for the article.)

Write a 2 paragraph review of what you've just read: What is theatre for development? What are the component of Theatre for Development? Of what importance is music in Theatre for Development? Submit on eClass.


Announcement: Concert Tonight! Tarab in the Persian and Arabic traditions. Convocation Hall, 7 pm.

Playing with pitch:

  • Drone, improvisation, and saltanah in the maqamat (melodic modes of the Islamicate: ex-Muslim empires of North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Western China)
  • Listen to Sabah Fakhri and his techniques of socialized musical ecstasy (what I call resonance). This is Tarab - what causes it? How can we create something like tarab in our projects? Listen to musical interactions, expressions, and buildups. Make a list of what you hear...
  • Some key factors:
    • melorhythmic cycles
    • call/response and interlock
    • modality and neutral tones
    • heterophony: simultaneous melodic variation
    • improvisation
  • A tarab miniature
    • A simple call/response piece in Bayyati
    • Compose a text
    • Add interlock: Instrumental lawazim
    • Add heterophony
    • Add melorhythmic cycle with improvisation (Melodic line: 3+1 big cycles; Percussion: 2 big cycles)
  • More pitch flexibility & "Deep Listening": Ideas about Avant-garde sounds and their social implications from Pauline Oliveros' Principles of "Deep Listening":
    • Collective improvisation
    • Meditation
    • Sonic Awareness: combining Focal Attention and Global Attention
    • Or the four-fold: "actively making sound", "actually imagining sound", "listening to present sound" and "remembering past sound"
    • (In our terms: adaptation towards resonance!)
    • Realized in Sonic Meditation XVI].
  • Next time: Inverting Alan Lomax's Cantometrics - using musical features to generate social solidarities.

Week 8: 23-Oct-18 & 25-Oct-18

Tues: Lomax, Interlock, and idealized "Pygmy" singing

Prior to class


  • Song Structure and Social Structure, Alan Lomax, Ethnology, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Oct., 1962). Read from page 425 to page 431 (to "Musical Acculturation") carefully, skimming the three pages of coding sheet information, and from page 435 (from "Pygmy-Bushman versus Western European Song Style") to 442 (up to "The Bardic Style of the Orient") (about 10 pages total); skim the rest. Alan Lomax was one of ethnomusicology's founding figures, a great collector, humanist, folksinger, and also a social scientist, both "pure" and "applied": seeking the patterning between music and culture, and determined to uphold human diversity.
  • Excerpt of Colin Turnbull’s book, The Forest People, skim first few pages, then read pp. 11-26 (15 pages). Colin Turnbull was a famous anthropologist who romanticized the "Forest People" as he called them. His book "The Forest People" is a truly beautiful ethnographic portrait. Yet there is bias also: his representation of their world can also be critiqued once one understands the larger context, including his own life. How does he over-romanticize?
  • Excerpt from Turnbull Biography - In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin M. Turnbull, By Roy Richard Grinker: (5 pages) and its NYT book review. (3 pages)


LISTEN: Music Of The Rain Forest Pygmies: The Historic Recordings Made By Colin M. Turnbull. (browse tracks, and read the first page of the liner notes. If the link doesn't work, visit Alexander Street Press and search for the title. Note how many of the songs feature interlock.


WRITE: Turnbull, Lomax, and the films, idealize and romanticize the "pygmies" to varying degrees. Why do they admire the "Pygmies"? How, in their view, is the "Pygmy" social "utopia" expressed through music? How are they positioned within Cantometrics? Critique: Does cantometrics capture the essence of their music or not? Identify stereotypes (including the generalized concept of "Pygmy") and think critically about the romantic ideal of simple, egalitarian life which some of the writings and films uphold. Can Cantometrics be inverted (used to induce rather than reflect social organization)? To what extent, in your view, could "Pygmy music" be used via PAR to generate an egalitarian utopia? How does your critique temper your expectations? Write 1-2 paragraphs and submit on eClass.

In class

Source and Reference; Critique; World Music

    • Reference: containing truth statements about the world
    • Source: containing statements which may not be true, but that will teach us something when placed into context
    • That context is typically implicit; the critique makes the implicit explicit.
    • Example: Richard Wallaschek's book on Primitive Music tells us about music of the world, but tells us even more about the author's world of the late 19th century.
    • Claim: everything in the world is a SOURCE. We turn SOURCE into REFERENCE through the process of CRITIQUE:
      • Making assumptions explicit.
      • Adding enough qualifying, conditioning, contextual information to make sense of it.
      • That which is untrue in general may be true in relation to a context.
      • The goal of critique is to excavate that context: the author's life and times, and society, for instance.
  • We urgently need a CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE on the whole phenomenon of "WORLD MUSIC"! Many statements about world music are designed to SELL. We find statements that World Music is...
    • Exotic
    • Primitive
    • Percussive
    • Organic
    • Natural
    • Mysterious
    • Mystical
    • etc.


The value of concepts of "Pygmies" and "Pygmy music": Humanistic, Scientific, and Critical Views

  • Humanism: Rescuing culture - a humanistically valuable way of life is threatened and disappearing.
  • Scientific value: Cantometrics makes two claims
    • First: The INTERLOCK style is related to certain styles of social organization: interdependent, often non-hierarchical, sociocentric
    • Second: The INTERLOCK style along with these forms of social organization are very OLD: and song data can support genetic data pointing to connections among diverse populations, especially "Pygmy" and "Bushmen" despite the absence of contemporary social linkages
  • Critical: sharpening our critical senses - system/lifeworld
    • Word "pygmy" often considered pejorative
    • "Pygmies" are often disempowered, not given voice - even dehumanized
    • Cultural appropriation? (what constitutes appropriation? charges are intensified by: profit seeking; crass stereotyping and ridicule; exploitation of marginalized peoples; use of any spiritual or sacred traditions)
    • Idealization or denigration of traditional ways?
    • The word "pygmy" actually covers many different ethnolinguistic groups with different traditions (as does "Bushmen" or San)
    • "Pygmy" in fact includes: Bambenga, Babenzele, Bambuti, Baka, Batwa... (prefix "Ba" means "People")
    • Indigenous populations in central Africa; forest dwelling hunter-gatherers formerly interdependent mainly with local Bantu farmers
    • Marginalized groups with very little power, even in their own marginalized nation states (Congo, Central African Republic…
    • Atrocities: discrimination, exploitation, environmental destruction, slavery, cultural destruction... violence...even genocide (in Congo, Rwanda...)
    • More subtly: violence of representations. The discourse of “pygmies”:
    • Anthropological interest: Discredited contemporary ancestor theory
      • Hunter gatherers are our past and yet the culture may be specific
      • Homeostasis? System disruption
      • Indigeneity, indigenous knowledge /culture and loss
      • stereotyping, racism: exotic, semi-human, primitive, “ancient peoples”
    • Often appears in FILM: we must critique films (source/reference).
    • Easier to view as SOURCE by looking into the past - 1970s documentary films.
    • Representations of "the other" - even when idealized and romanticized can often fall into stereotypes and ethnocentric generalizations.
    • Advocacy: Recognition: UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage
    • Issues of APPROPRIATION? (Popular groups such as "Baka Beyond" and "Zap Mama" (e.g. Sweet Melody) draw on "Pygmy" music and yodels, albeit with positive intentions...)
    • Critiquing (source -> reference) such representations and their surrounding discourses are valuable as a means of honing our critical skills

The value of interlock (hocketing)

  • Scientific value: points to historic connections between populations; sheds light on relationship between sound and social structure
  • Humanistic value: interlocked vocals are valuable
    • Musically and emotionally powerful
    • Everyone is so deeply engaged with one another
    • Vocal music is more immediate, intimate - no intermediary: the VOICE
  • If according to Cantometrics "interlock" expresses certain social structures (acephalous, egalitarian, etc.) can we invert this relationship and use "interlock" to CREATE such utopian social relations?
  • We'll try that on Thursday!


Group assignment: Creating Interlock

See my pieces: "BaAka soundings" and "Mbaka Experiment", inspired by “Mbaka” song. Note how the parts interlock…they don’t start at the same place, and they fill each other’s gaps. The former piece also depends on a Markov Chain representation by which performers move freely from one cell to another, a technique you can deploy in other contexts as well.

Your group project: Perform either piece, or compose and perform your own interlocking vocal group performance, try using (an instance of line 1 = #13, Interlock). Note the in both examples above the metric framework is 12 for maximum polyrhythmic flexibility but you may use other frameworks also or non-metric music.

As another instance of interlock representation see this clever circular representation of the interlocking Balinese Kecak Dance(cinematic version from the film Baraka).

Week 9: 30-Oct & 01-Nov

Tuesday: Social Networks and Social Network Analysis

Prior to class

  • Read Chapter 1 from Robert A. Hanneman and Mark Riddle's Introduction to social network methods (also available as a pdf. Free.) Read chapter 1 up until (but not including) "A note on statistics and social network data" (pp. 1-14 in the pdf version.) Focus on understanding the basic concepts.
  • Download, install, and experiment with SocNetV (available for both PC and Mac). Browse through the SocNetV user manual and try to figure out how to create a network by clicking to create nodes and links, creating a random network, or mapping a website. We'll review this on Tuesday, so don't worry if you don't get it.
  • Write: What role does the network paradigm play in M4GHD, to help us understand both SYSTEM and LIFEWORLD? How does it figure in musical interactions generally? How does it apply to formulating, implementing, and assessing musical PAR? Jot down your ideas - just a paragraph or two at the most. Submit on eClass.
  • Observe a social situation, sketch a network representation of interactions, and formalize in SocNetV. This will be due on Thursday and we'll discuss the assignment on Tuesday, but you can begin thinking about what sort of situation you might observe (e.g. a cafe, a rehearsal, a performance, a classroom...). A more interactive situation will be more interesting...

In class


  • Forum Theatre: Belonging: Exploring Healthcare Needs of New Canadians through Theatre. Interactive Forum Theatre, directed by David Diamond; Monday, Nov 5th, 2018, 6-8 pm, Arts-based Research Studio, 4-104 Education North, University of Alberta; Admission by donation; RSVP at
  • How are the CSL projects going? Stories, frustrations, successes? Are you taking field notes diligently?
  • My question about "inverting" Cantometrics: from reflection to creation of sociocultural features
  • Symposium: will take place last week of classes (Dec 4 and 6), alongside your presentations. Those working at a common site can co-present.

Social Networks and Social Network Analysis

  • Review: networks in M4GHD:
    • PAR network
    • Communications networks and feedback
    • network resonance; transforming link to thread; network to fabric.
  • What is a social network and what is social network data?
    • Compare: ordinary sociological data (individuals and their attributes)
    • Social network: based on fundamental mathematical concept of graph (vertices and edges or arcs)
    • Social network: graph augmented by social data: a set of nodes and links (ties), each with attributes (type, other attributes)
    • Node (or vertex). Interpretation: an individual object (e.g.: person, group, state, institution...word, note...). Node has attributes.
    • Link (or tie...or arc/edge). Interpretation: a relationship between individuals (e.g.: friendship, interaction, "likes", "respects", "speaks to", "pays", "belongs to", "contains"). Link has attributes (type, weight, direction), e.g. intensity and frequency of interaction/communication.
    • For social networks the nodes are equivalent to the individuals of ordinary sociological data, and may have attribute data, but in addition there are links connecting them.
    • Matrix representation of a social network (square)
    • Some variants:
      • Fully connected vs partially connected
      • Link weight representing intensity of the connection
      • Directed vs undirected networks representing different kinds of relations (examples?)
      • Communication network
      • One mode (ordinary) for people vs two mode (bipartite) for people and groups, representing different kinds of relationships (connection vs. belonging) (examples?);
      • Two mode network: interlocking directorates -, or IDENTITY (overlapping groups)
      • Face to face vs virtual networks
      • Large vs. small networks
      • Dense vs sparse networks
      • Small world networks
      • Ego-networks (with or without alters)
    • Examples
      • Family and communication
      • School and friendship
      • Musical group and interaction
      • Musical groups and overlaps
      • Facebook and friendship
      • Twitter and following
  • Further considerations....
    • Where are networks? Everywhere! Consider your PAR projects.
    • How to map a network? Interview vs. observation vs. participant observation. The problems of census vs. sample. Snowball sampling. Ego networks.
    • Communications networks, feedback loops, and social fabrics.
    • Review use of SocNetV
  • Assignment for Thursday: Observe a social situation, sketch a network representation of interactions, and formalize in SocNetV, then submit a description and image on eClass. You may select any social setting where people interact: a cafe, a rehearsal, a performance, a classroom.... A more interactive situation will be more interesting...


  • Workshop on SNA research results
  • Networks that generate a musical output: Markov chains
  • Electrical networks: a social network for performance

Week 10: 06-Nov-18 & 08-Nov-18

Tues: Dehumanization, Rehumanization

Prior to class

Please read The dark psychology of dehumanization, explained. Then read my article, Forging Transnational Actor Networks through Participatory Action Research: Responsibility to Protect via Musical Rehumanisation in Post-War Liberia.

In 1-2 paragraphs answer the following questions (on eClass):

  • What is dehumanization, and what are its causes? Can music contribute to dehumanization? How?
  • What are the ways by which the arts (and music in particular) can rehumanize the "other"?
  • What are the multiple roles of social networks in this process?

In class

  • Upcoming weeks: timelines
  • Concert Friday evening: "Remembrances"
  • Dehumanization and Rehumanization. Empathy. Critique: system motives.
  • Coke ad: profit-seeking under the guise of brotherly love:
  • Selective news reporting and emotional control in the service of political agendas. See Manufacturing Consent, 1:09 - 1:23 or so
  • Corporate mentality. The Corporation, 46:56. Economic forces. How corporations treat people and their environment, e.g. Michael Moore and Nike ceo, in the pursuit of profit (system level), or with the tire ceo and layoffs. Note that Phil Knight is actually one of the world's biggest philanthropists!
  • How are subjects conditioned to dehumanize? Nazis. Overcoming Empathy with obedience. The Milgram obedience experiment.


More improvisational games.

Week 11: 13-Nov & 15-Nov (Reading Week - No Class!)

BUT please do work on your projects, attend CSL meetings, and sketch out a draft of your final project reports - see eClass for more - due Nov 20.

Week 12: 20-Nov-18 & 22-Nov-18


Prior to class

DRAFT PROJECT REPORT/OUTLINE DUE! This should include an expanded and elaborated proposal, with aim/significance, background, and method sections, plus a summary of whatever results you've achieved so far, drawing on your field experiences, and an initial writeup of the sustainable "module" you will be providing to your CSL placement site (this may be a website). Try not to insert large stretches of notes verbatim, but rather sift and sort your fieldnotes by theme. Add a bibliography of scholarly (peer reviewed!) sources, including works we read in class but also a few others shedding light on the people you are working with, the methods you're using, and the underlying theories of social change. This report need not be complete, and sections can be left as skeletal outline, but it is a step towards the final project paper due a week after the end of classes (and to be presented orally in the last week of classes). See further description on eclass and submit there.

In class

  • Discussion of projects and reports.



Week 13: 27-Nov & 29-Nov


Before class


  • Due: Write: 2 paragraphs on the readings assigned for the past Tuesday; submit on eClass.
  1. In brief: What are multiculturalism, interculturalism, and transculturalism? How do they differ? How do authors' perspectives differ and why? (refer to readings: Cornwell & Stoddard, Taylor, and Cuccioletta) What is your own opinion regarding the relative social value of multiculturalism, interculturalism, and transculturalism, in Canada, or in any socially diverse society characterized by immigration? What are the pros/cons of each towards promoting social integration and social justice, and why?
  2. How can music (generally) and M4GHD (as applied ethno research) help advance and support each of them, in theory or in practice (provide an example)?
  • In class: Hindustani art music, a systematic exposition (continued)

Week 14: 04-Dec-18 & 06-Dec-18: CSL symposium, centered on your project presentations (about 10 min each, 5 per day)


Presentations: Katie Jaehun Ananda Cristian Haley


Presentations: Amanda Jamie Aanchel Corinne Erin

Week 15: final assignments due: Dec 14

Final project report (and (b)log and module) due UPLOAD VIA ECLASS.

The project report summarizes what you accomplished, describing the process, assessing results and impact, reflecting on strengths and weaknesses, suggesting future directions, with relevant citations to the literature we read during the term (and optionally going beyond it). Your report should be between 10 and 20 pages in length, not including bibliography or additional assignments attached as appendices -- (b)log and module.

Use 1.5 line spacing, 1” margins, 12 pt font, Times New Roman or equivalent.

In your paper you can reflect extensively on your project, assess why certain directions worked out while others didn't, compare your project to others of your classmates, thinking about why results may have been different in each case.

Report sections may include the following (you don't have to adhere rigidly to this model if it's not working for you):

  • Title
  • Aim/significance: a paragraph or two on your overall aim and its overall importance - linking to the general aim of M4GHD, human development through music (and including your own development!), and intercultural theories we read.
  • Background: (what/who/where/why) what is the setting? who are you working with, and where? provide enough background so the reader can understand the project, and its significance.
  • Method: initially, what did you decide to do, and how did you decide to carry it out? Refer to PAR as the general frame (explain how you collaborated and with whom), but then explain more precisely what your plan was. How did your project fit with the larger project at your site, in relation to your colleagues working with you? This section could refer to your project as you initially formulated it (with subsequent changes deferred to the next section).
  • Impact: what actually happened? drawing on fieldnotes, present the ethnographic scene as you encountered it at the beginning, describing whom you worked with (including your classmates as well as people at your site, and Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers), how relationships (to everyone) changed throughout the duration of the project, how you came to formulate your project initially, how you adapted it over time when things didn't work (or did), and what changes you observed at the end. How did your results compare to those of others you worked with? (if you worked together most of the time then they'll be substantially the same, but hopefully you each chose a unique angle, and you can talk about that). If your fieldnotes contain paraphrased speech it's always effective to include some of that in your report - what people actually said (approximately).
  • Critical self-assesssment: again drawing on fieldnotes: what worked, what didn't, and why...How sustainable is your project? What have you left your co-participants to continue on without you? What happens when they leave - can it transfer smoothly to those who come after them? What would you like to have done differently? What would you try next if you were to continue (which you can!)
  • Future directions, final thoughts, ideas.
  • Bibliography

In addition, tack on the following as Appendices (but these sections won't count towards the total page count of 10-20, nor will the bibliography):

  • Link to the project module you have developed. Project module: your project includes a portable "module" comprising a set of "resources", potentially including text, images, and audio, which you'll use to carry out your CSL project. You'll develop these during the course of the term, and make them available for others (especially EMCN) to use (include this material within your final paper, or as a website to which your final paper can link). If your module comprises text you can simply include it; otherwise, if there are media (video, photos, audio) involved you can link to a website of some kind ( will allow you to create websites and share them - there are many other tools that do the same) where the module is stored.
  • (b)log: based on field notes, you've been tracking your project by adding entries to a typed log (which may also include media), some portions of which can be made public as a blog (but subject to ethics approvals which we'll review), and other portions of which will remain private (but shared with the instructor) - essentially, these are your fieldnotes, perhaps suitable censored (if on a blog), edited, written out (if handwritten initially). You don't have to make them public on a blog, but if you do you may link from your project report (see below). In either case please submit by Dec 14. If you created a blog (out of fieldnotes), just link to it. Otherwise, just bundle your fieldnotes as your log as an appendix.

Notes: Throughout, cite relevant sources we read in class, or others that you've consulted, especially for the background section (which will be different for everyone, e.g. you may want to include a reference to South Sudanese immigration to Canada...), but also when talking about interculturalism or PAR (since we read various papers in class; you can reference these). Use or another reference manager to make the reference task much easier - there are plugins for Word and other word processors that will automatically insert citations and format a bibliography. When you cite your fieldnotes you can simply write "(fieldnotes, November 5, 2016)", for instance; you don't have to add fieldnotes to your bibliography. Note that the bibliography doesn't count towards paper length. Please include photos (if you received permission).