MUSC2350 Music in World Cultures

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Music Studies major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 2 elective
This unit provides students with an introduction to a wide range of traditional and contemporary non-Western musics through lectures and participation in a percussive world music ensemble. It aims to develop an awareness of musical traditions, techniques and performance contexts of diverse musical traditions from around the world. Various case studies (e.g. West African drumming, North Indian music and Balinese gamelan ensemble) are used to examine specific musical practices and to generate broader questions about music such as: What is music? How do we learn music? What does musical practice tell us about social organisation? How are instruments iconic? How do musical traditions evolve over time? These are some of the questions that are explored in the unit through discussion and performance using percussion instruments.

This unit is an elective unit in the Music Studies major in the Bachelor of Arts degree. It is also open to students enrolled in other majors and degree pathways who fulfil the prerequisites and who have an interest in music. No prior musical experience is necessary for the unit.
Students are able to (1) develop awareness of ethnocentrism and engage with diverse forms of music; (2) recognise a range of world musics and understand their context; (3) gain practical experience in at least one non-Western music ensemble; (4) analyse the organising principles and concepts of selected musical traditions around the world; (5) demonstrate application of non-Western music theory to practice and vice versa; and (6) demonstrate teamwork skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a research project; (2) workshop/ensemble participation; and (3) examination/tests. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Alan Lourens
Unit rules
any Level 1 Music unit or ANTH1001 Being Human: Culture, Identity and Society or ANTH1101 Being Human: Culture, Identity and Society or ANTH1002 Global Change, Local Responses or ANTH1102 Global Change, Local Responses
MUSC1010 Music in World Cultures
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week; workshops/ensembles: 1 hour per fortnight
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.