Joining Worlds

A Course to Consider: ETHN205 Music of Indonesia

We wanted to spread the word about an exciting course offering this fall. Here’s the scoop.

Music of Indonesia Tuesday and Thursday: 1:20-2:45 PM Bibbins, 223

ETHN205Taught by Professor Jennifer Fraser.

“Learn about art, folk, and popular musics in one of the most fascinating and diverse places in the world!”

 Why should we care about Indonesia?

  • Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world.
  • With more than 300 “ethnic” groups, Indonesia is home to incredible cultural, linguistic, and musical diversity.
  • It has the largest population of Muslims in the world.
  • The approach to Islam is generally moderate yet also diverse.
  • The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands straddles the equator & spans more than 3000 miles east to west
  • It is frequently in the news for natural disasters and terrorist activity, along with political, economic, and social turmoil. ETHN205_3Ethn205_2

What can we learn from studying its music?

  • By studying the music of elsewhere we can learn something about the breadth of humanity & the richness of musical expression.
  • Studying music from Indonesia will also

o   Help us understand the country by unpacking differences between regions & how musical practices are driven by different cultural, social, political, religious, and historical factors.

o   Help us understand how Indonesians negotiate their identity (e.g., community, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender) through music.

o   Provide a very different perspective on what music is & ways it becomes entwined with music, dance, and theater.

o   Introduce you to new sounds and new ways of structuring music.

o   Introduce you to new ways that people use music and why it matters to them.

o   Introduce you to local understandings of Islam & the role sonic practices play within that.


What will this course be like?

We will

o   Study several key regions.

o   Study Islam & sound.

o   Study popular musics.

o   Approach music as both a social and sonic act.

o   Play & sing music

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