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MUSC Discussion

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Choose one of the questions from the list below. 

1)      Reflect on the question by writing a 2-3 paragraph response.

2)      Include the reference (APA Formate) to an educational website other than Wikipedia that helped you to form your response, with a 2-3 sentence description of how this website enhanced your learning for the week.

3)      Select and add an image to your post that reflects your learning, including the specific reasons you chose the image.

Questions are:

  • As a paragon of Indian classical music and the “Godfather of World Music,” Ravi Shankar has influenced countless musicians around the world on many levels. The artists discussed in this chapter are just a small (but important) sampling of what might be described as Shankar’s “global gharana.” Do an internet search of “Ravi Shankar” and use this search to locate musicians who collaborated with him, who acknowledge his influence, or who otherwise are identified in connection with him. Create an annotated list summarizing your findings.
  • Some of the songs in this chapter dealt with challenging social and political issues from adultery and malice to war and cultural resilence in the face of diversity. Identify and discuss some songs with which you are familiar that do likewise. Have these songs affected ypour own thoughts and views on issues they address?
  • Beyond the synthesis of many different Indian and Western elements in his music, A. R. Rahman draws from a diversity of other musical traditions of the world in his film scores and songs. Research Rahman and write a brief report on his use of musical elements and influences from outside the Indian and Western traditions.
  • In Indian films, it is generally assumed that playback singers, rather than the on-screen actors and actresses themselves, are the singers of songs in films. In Western films, contrastingly, there is often a stigma attached to actors and actresses who are “exposed” for not having sung their own songs in their films. Speculate on what might account for this fundamental difference in cultural attitudes and values.
  • Since the time of the Beatles, the sounds of sitars and other traditional Indian instruments (either the actual instruments or digitally sampled versions) have become commonplace in much Western popular music. Recordings of groups and artists ranging from the Rolling Stones to Ricky Martin feature an “Indian” element. Locate and discuss examples of such music using keyword searches on the Internet (e.g. search “Rolling Stones AND sitar” or “Ricky Martin AND sitar.”).
  • Search YouTube for video examples of gamelan and Indonesian popular music. Write a brief report on your findings.
  • The history of the Balinese dance-drama Kecak provides an interesting example of the kind of complex relationships between tradition and modernity that define many world music traditions. Though it is promoted as a “Traditional Balinese genre,” it is, in fact, a product of the 20th century intercultural innovation. Try to think of types of music with which you are familiar that are marketed as “Traditional” and “Authentic” despite being modern and contemporary in many if not most respects.

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