Difference between revisions of "Area Studies in Ethnomusicology: Africa (2019)"

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(Evaluation and grading)
(Evaluation and grading)
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* 25% other out-of-class assignments
* 25% other out-of-class assignments
* 30% in-class activities:
* 30% in-class activities:
** 5% presenting and leading discussion for an assignment=5%
** 5% presenting and leading discussion for a reading assignment
** 25% other ''active'' participation
** 25% other ''active'' participation

Latest revision as of 21:05, 4 May 2019

short link to this syllabus page: http://bit.ly/m4ghd19s
short link to plan page (notes, assignments): http://bit.ly/m4ghd19p
short link to eClass page (for all assignment submissions): http://bit.ly/m4ghd19e


Area Studies in Ethnomusicology: Africa
(Music for Global Human Development in Africa)

Music 472 (undergraduate level) and 582 (graduate level)

Winter Term, 2019

Time: Tues and Thursday, 3:30 PM - 4:50 PM
Place: Arts 4-03 or Studio 27 (we will move to Studio 27 most Thursdays in March for practical training with master Ghanaian dancer and musician Assau Mohammed.


Professor Michael Frishkopf (please call me "Michael")
Office: 334D Old Arts Building
Office hours: by appointment
Tel: 780-492-0225
Email: michaelf@ualberta.ca


This seminar course centers on understanding music and other performance arts in Africa as a sustainable, scaleable, highly effective technology for maintaining vibrant, healthy societies, ensuring social cohesion, civil society, social justice, equality, multicultural and multigenerational connectivity,gender justice, ecological balance, community health, cultural continuity, and basic education.

We will study musical types across the continent, both traditional and contemporary, local forms and newly-formulated interventions, from the perspective of their efficacy for social progress along these lines. We will also study interventions introduced by NGOs and ethnomusicologists as means of promoting social and cultural goals. In particular, we will study Music for Global Human Development (http://m4ghd.org) -- applying music as a collaborative social technology towards social justice across a spectrum of issues, from health and education, to peace, civil society, and social integration.

We will focus on application of these ideas and methods in a wide range of regions and countries through critical review of current literature, local practices, and musical interventions both past and present. We will also design m4ghd projects for the future. We will study the means by which such projects are designed, implemented, and assessed, following a Participatory Action Research framework.

Examples of such projects that I have worked on in Africa include:

Many ethnomusicologists who study African music have developed similar applied projects, sometimes as a primary focus, and sometimes as a side-project designed to serve the communities in which they have studied and lived. We will examine these works, whether framed as academic products or not.

The course will run as a tightly-knit seminar in which assigned readings, films, and recordings are discussed and analyzed. You will review these materials in short writing assignments. A final paper consists of a proposed project of your own, drawing on case studies we've encountered during the term for inspiration, and set in northern Ghana, which will become our point of focus. There will be no final exam.

In addition there will be an opportunity to interact with special guest artists from Ghana and Sudan, whom we plan to host in March, including master musician and dancer Assau Mohammed from Tamale, Ghana, who will be available throughout March for consultations and training in Dagomba music and dance.

NB: There are absolutely no prerequisites for the course. Neither musical skills nor prior coursework in Music is required. There is no final exam. The course is offered for both undergraduate and graduate credit, as Music 472 and 572, respectively. Expectations for the graduate level are higher, including a longer final paper.

Important dates

See list of important dates in the University Calendar.

Requirements and mechanics

The course involves 3 primary components:

  1. Academic in-class: seminar-style meetings, structured to facilitate critically engaged discussions of assigned readings, films, websites, and other materials. Class attendance and participation in discussions is very important! Please be sure you have completed the day's reading assignment before coming to class. Sometimes particular individuals will be appointed to read and present, or to facilitate discussion; everyone can expect to receive at least one appointment of this type. We'll also use these sessions to discuss our projects-in-progress, and to present them at the end of the course.
  2. Musical in-class: some of our class time will be spent sharing and learning music and musical techniques suitable for M4GHD, as well as developing the creative confidence needed for musical work in the community. During March we will be hosting visiting distinguished artist Assau Mohammed from northern Ghana; he will be helping to guide our understanding of northern Ghanaian lifeways on Tuesdays, and will be leading music-dance-song sessions on Thursdays, as an alternative means of understanding local culture and to provide you with resources and ideas for your projects.
  3. Academic out-of-class: class preparation - readings/media/websites to browse/read/watch/hear, and review, as well as preparation of your project proposal (in several stages - see below). Sometimes there will be a specific question requesting your critical reflections on one of these assignments. Otherwise your review will be bipartite: (a) an overview of content, including main points, arguments, methods; (b) a critical assessment of that content. Individuals appointed to facilitate related discussion will need to prepare for these roles (jotting down a few questions for discussion).

The following is required of each student:

  • Attending every class on time, well-prepared to discuss assignments, and participating actively. (If you are appointed to present a particular assignment, coming to class prepared to lead a discussion by jotting down a few thought questions in advance. Everyone will be appointed at least once.)
  • Active participation in all class activities. This means not using electronics during class except to support classwork, and engaging actively in discussions through questions and responses. Your opinions and ideas are valuable; please share them!
  • Completion of written assignments as listed on this course website, to be submitted by the listed date via eClass. Except as noted all assignments are to be prepared in a word processor, with properly formatted references as needed (I recommend Zotero as it makes inserting citations and generating bibliography very simple), then submitted via the eClass site using the button corresponding to the day's assignment. Please do not submit assignments in hard copy or via email! Most assignments are submitted by copying/pasting documents into an eClass form. Others (longer, or potentially including graphics) are submitted via file upload. Please ensure that each file contains one and only one assignment, and that your last name appears at the top of the document, and at the start of the filename. All page counts refer to Times New Roman font, 1" margins, single spaced, 8.5 x 11 pages; these counts do not include bibliography. Please cite references as needed, ideally using Zotero to do so, and don't forget to add a bibliography at the end. You may use MLA, Chicago, Harvard, or any other reference style so long as you're consistent. (But please use author-date style, not footnotes/endnotes.) All assignments are to be submitted before class on the due date. Thereafter, one quarter point will be deducted, and an additional quarter point for each subsequent day of lateness. (In other words, an assignment due by 11 am that is submitted later that day is downgraded by a quarter point. If it's submitted after 11 am the following day, it's downgraded by a half point.)
  • Preliminary project proposal (1-2 pages only), initial and revised versions. This preliminary proposal summarizes your project concept, including title, aim (what do you want to accomplish?), background (culture, history, politics, etc.), location, partners/target population, and method (what will you do and in what order?). These sections can be presented in brief, to be elaborated later in the final proposal. Ideally this project proposal is "sustainable", as it will contain everything someone else would need to carry it out again. You'll submit a draft; I'll provide feedback, and then you'll revise. This preliminary proposal will form the basis of your final proposal (see below)
  • Project module: the substance of your project will be a portable "module" comprising a set of "resources", potentially including text, images, and audio, comprising an outline of your proposed performing arts intervention. You'll develop these during the course of the term, and make them available for others to use. You can be as creative as you wish, and the module can be developed as a website rather than a printed document if you wish.
  • Final project proposal, expanding the revised preliminary proposal to include also: a more extensive background section, a list of resources required with budget, a fundraising plan, a timeline, and a method for assessing impact (how will you know if you've succeeded in your aim?), with relevant citations to theoretical, topical, and areal literature. Your final proposal should be 15-20 pages in length (25-30 pages for 572), not including bibliography, using 1.5 line spacing, 1” margins, 12 pt font.
  • In class 15 minute presentation of your final project proposal using multimedia. Following your presentation you will receive feedback from your peers, which you'll incorporate into the final paper. NOTE: you may opt to speak to your poster presentation rather than a multimedia powerpoint show, but having some media would be helpful for both presentation and final paper.


Schedule of weekly assignments and activities

Click here for Music for Global Human Development - Winter 2019 plan (http://bit.ly/m4ghd19p)

Evaluation and grading

  • 35% project proposal, broken down as follows:
    • 5% Preliminary project proposal and revision
    • 10% Module
    • 5% presentation of your final project proposal
    • 15% Final project proposal
  • 25% other out-of-class assignments
  • 30% in-class activities:
    • 5% presenting and leading discussion for a reading assignment
    • 25% other active participation

All written assignments are to be uploaded to eClass before class (3:30 pm) on the due date, unless otherwise noted. This is very important so you'll be prepared for class. Thereafter, an eighth point will be deducted, and an additional eighth point for each subsequent day of lateness (e.g. 8 days' lateness lowers an A to a B). The final research proposal must be submitted by the end of the day on its due date; thereafter, an eighth point will be deducted for each day of lateness.

Evaluations of each assignment are on one of four scales: 0 - 100, 0 - 4.3, letter grades, or a three-point scale: outstanding (A), satisfactory (B+), not satisfactory (B-). Correspondences are below. At the end of the course, these scores are all mapped to the 0 - 4.3 scale, and averaged according to the percentages indicated in order to produce a final numeric grade. This grade is rounded to the nearest value listed below on the 0-4.3 scale, in order to determine the final letter grade. Numbers exactly in the middle are rounded up (thus 96.5 goes up to 98 = A+)

  • 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)

Official statements

Course prerequisites: none
Course texts: none required
Course-based ethics approval, Community service learning: YES
Past or representative evaluative course material: see previous offerings at http://course.m4ghd.org
Additional mandatory instruction fees: No
Policy about course outlines can be found in the Evaluation Procedures and Grading System section of the University Calendar.

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 and avoid any behaviour 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 Office of the Student Ombuds. Information about the University of Alberta Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures is described in UAPPOL.

Academic Honesty:
All students should consult the information provided by the Student Conduct & Accountability Office 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.

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, digital or otherwise, 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. Student or instructor content, digital or otherwise, created and/or used within the context of the course 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 content author(s).

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 in class meetings.

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 sasrec@ualberta.ca; 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.

Any typographical errors in this syllabus are subject to change and will be announced in class and posted on eClass. The date of the final examination is set by the Registrar and takes precedence over the final examination date reported in this syllabus.

Student Resources

The best all-purpose website for student services is: https://www.ualberta.ca/current-students.

Accessibility Resources: (1 – 80 SUB)
The University of Alberta is committed to creating work and learning communities that inspire and enable all people to reach their full potential. Accessibility Resources promotes an accessible, inclusive, and universally designed environment. For general information to register for services visit the Accessibility Resources webpage.

The Academic Success Centre: (1-80 SUB)
The Academic Success Centre offers a variety of workshops on effective study and exam strategies. There are in-person and online sessions available for a modest fee.

The Centre for Writers: (1-42 Assiniboia Hall)
The Centre for Writers offers free one-on-one writing support to students, faculty, and staff. Students can request consultation for a writing project at any stage of development. Instructors can request class visits and presentations.

Health and Wellness Support: There are many health and community services available to current students. For more information visit the Health and Wellness Support webpage.

Office of the Student Ombuds:
The Office of the Student Ombuds offers confidential interviews, advice and support to students facing academic, discipline, interpersonal and financial difficulties.

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 University of Alberta acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respects the histories, languages, and cultures of the First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community. Policy about course outlines can be found in the Evaluation Procedures and Grading System section of the University Calendar.

University of Alberta Sexual Violence Policy
The Sexual Violence Policy was approved by GFC in June 2017. It plays a vital role in ensuring a safe and respectful learning and working environment.

As defined in the policy, sexual violence is any sexual act or act of a sexual nature, or act targeting sexuality, whether physical or psychological, committed without consent. Sexual violence is a complex and serious problem in society and on university campuses. Sexual violence can affect individuals of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations, as well as those from all ages, abilities, racial, cultural and economic backgrounds. Through this policy, the University of Alberta recognizes its responsibility to reduce sexual violence in the University community. The university aims to do so by fostering a culture of consent and support through education, training and policy. The University recognizes the possible effects of trauma on those who have experienced sexual violence and supports the efforts of individuals to seek support and recover.

To read the policy in more detail, please visit: https://policiesonline.ualberta.ca/PoliciesProcedures/Policies/Sexual-Violence-Policy.pdf

Working Alone Policy:
The Fine Arts Building hours are as follows and subject to change:

  • 7:30 AM - 9: 30 PM on weekdays*
  • 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM on weekends*
  • The building is closed on holidays
  • Please note restricted corridors are locked at 4:30 PM during the week and locked throughout the weekend. Card access is required.

Students (and staff) may choose to work alone after hours, particularly those students using practice room or rehearsal space. While the department strongly encourages students to practice, students are not required to be on the premises after hours. Students choosing to work alone should take all necessary precautions to ensure their own safety. This includes: a) using the "buddy system" and/or notifying someone of their intent to work alone by communicating the time and exact location; b) being aware of emergency protocols, including the location of emergency phones, medical devices and/or exits; and, c) utilizing University programs, such as "SafeWalk" as a precaution. We strongly recommend that all students working in the building after hours keep their mobile devices on their person.

Students should be vigilant in their surroundings. This includes reporting suspicious individuals and/or activity to UAlberta Protective Services. Emergencies should be reported to Edmonton Police Services via 911.We also ask students to carry their ONEcard at all times in order to access restricted areas. Please do not prop doors open and be wary of "tailgating" (when an individual follows you through a locked door without utilizing a card / key). Valuables should be kept on your person at all times.

Copyright (c) Michael Frishkopf, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta (2019)