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Department of Philosophy and Music

CMUS 501, Winter 2015
Traditional Musics of the World
Class Times: Wed: 6:30-9:30 pm Room: POD368
Instructor: Gerry McGoldrick
Office Hrs: Wednesdays before or after class

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course examines musical cultures around the world, focusing on traditional genres. Course content covers conceptual, structural, rhythmic and modal systems. The functions and meanings of music in diverse cultures will be examined. Music from various regions, including East and South East Asia, Africa, and North America, will be discussed.

To survey specific musical cultures from around the world.
To develop an understanding of how these cultures are reflected in their musics by examining their creation, uses, elements, transmission, and value.
To improve your ability to discuss and understand musical concepts and pieces through analysis of basic musical parameters.

Listening Quiz 1 10% Week 6
Test 1 25% Week 6
Essay 30% Week 10
Listening Quiz 2 10% Week 13
Final Test (In-class) 25% Week 13

Please notify the professor, in writing, of any accommodations requested during the term for religious observances or disability, by the second class as per university policy. Any alterations in assignments, tests or deadlines will be discussed in class prior to implementation. This course is lecture-based, with student participation through guided listening activities and group discussion.

REQUIRED TEXT: Titon, Jeff Todd, ed. 2006 (2009). Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World’s Peoples (Shorter Version, 3rd Edition). Belmont, Ca: Schirmer Cengage Learning. Text and accompanying 3-CD set.


E-mail should be used only when you are unable to meet the professor in office hours. In all communications with the professor, you must identify yourself by full name (as written on the course roster) AND by your course and section number (e.g., “John Smith, Music 501-01”). Due to the temptation for misuse of communication technology, e-mail messages requesting 1) explanations of material or announcements in classes not attended, 2) extensions or 3) grade information will not be granted. Students must consult their professor in person in one of the office hours posted or immediately before or after class for all such matters. *Emails received after 5 pm on Fridays will not be answered until the following Monday morning. Please allow 24-48 hours to receive an email response from the professor on weekdays.* Class notes will not be provided by the professor over email. Students are responsible for consulting Blackboard regularly for pertinent announcements.

Students may wish to explore the Learning Success website at to improve their core academic skills as useful workshops on note taking, essay writing, and learning from textbooks are presented there.

Cell phones, mp3 players, Blackberries, etc. should be turned off at the beginning of each class. Laptops may be used for taking notes; other activities (checking email/Facebook, playing poker) distract the user and those around him or her, and are not permitted. Lectures and tutorials may not be recorded without the permission of the professor. Recorded audio and visual examples played in class are under copyright.
*Students are expected to be respectful of the professor and their fellow students; please do not talk during special presentations or musical examples.*

CMUS 501 CLASS SCHEDULE (subject to revision):

Week 1 (January 14): Class Introduction; Organology

Week 2 (January 21): Musical Parameters and Terms
Reading: Chapter 1

Week 3 (January 28): Africa
Reading: Chapter 3

Week 4 (February 4): Japan I: Traditional musics
Reading: notes will be posted on blackboard

Week 5 (February 11): Native America; Test review
Reading: Chapter 2

(February 18): Study Week: No Class

Week 6 (February 25): Test #1 and Listening Quiz #1

Week 7 (March 4): Indonesia; Writing assignment discussion
Reading: Chapter 7

Week 8 (March 11): The Arab World
Reading: Chapter 10

Week 9(March 18): South India
Reading: Chapter 6

Week 10 (March 25): North America/ Blues; WRITING ASSIGNMENT DUE
Reading: Chapter 4

Week 11 (April 1): Japan II: Modern Musics
Reading: notes will be posted on blackboard

Week 12 (April 8): TBA; Test Review

Week 13 (April 15): Test #2 and Listening Quiz #2

You will be asked to identify musical examples (piece title, tradition) from the accompanying CDs (or, for units not covered in the text, the course YouTube channel accessible at: ) and discuss tracks using the musical terminology learned in class and in the textbook. The necessary listening skills will be taught in depth throughout the lectures; no prior musical knowledge is assumed for you to successfully complete this course. Several pieces will be chosen on each quiz from the list of recordings you listen to and study along with your text readings. You will hear each example twice from the beginning in the quiz.

Tests will consist of terminology identification, multiple choice, short, and longer answer questions based on lecture and textbook materials—be sure to study both. A terminology list from which you will be tested will be given to aid you in your studying.

Students will write an essay on one of a number of topics to be posted on Blackboard by week 6. Essays should be between 1500 and 2000 words (about six to eight pages) in length. This assignment will require library research, and will include some musical analysis. The necessary listening skills and terminology will be taught in depth throughout the lectures. Students are expected to use reference materials in the library (books, journals, encyclopedias, recordings) and only reliable Internet sources. Authors must therefore be cited in all websites used, and proper bibliographic format used. Use of unreliable Internet sources such as All Music and Wikipedia is prohibited. Students must document all sources and recordings consulted for the assignment, and must cite all directly or indirectly quoted and paraphrased material, including the professor’s notes or lectures. Textbook examples are not permitted for this assignment.

Late assignments will be penalized at a rate of 5% per business day for the first week after the due date, counted from 4 pm each day and placed in the 4th floor Jorgenson Hall drop box. A grade of “0” will be permanently assigned to missing essays or tests after one week. Exemptions from the penalty will only be granted with appropriate written documentation and in person consultation with the professor within one week of the submission deadline. An electronic copy (in the form of a word document, not a pdf) must also be emailed to me no later than one day after the physical copy is handed in.

Missed Term Work:
Students are expected to complete all assignments and tests within the time frames and by the dates indicated in this outline. Exemption or deferral of an assignment or term test is only permitted for a medical or personal emergency or due to religious observance (requests for the latter must be received within first two weeks of the course). The instructor must be notified by e-mail prior to the due date or test date, and the appropriate documentation must be submitted by one week after the due date at the very latest. For absence on medical or religious observance grounds, official forms may be downloaded from the Ryerson website at

Academic Integrity:
Ryerson University is committed to the principles of academic integrity as outlined in the Student Code of Academic Conduct. Students are strongly encouraged to review the student guide to academic integrity, including penalties for misconduct, on the academic integrity website at and the Student Code of Academic Conduct at The Ryerson Code of Academic Conduct defines plagiarism and the sanctions against students who plagiarize. All students are strongly encouraged to go to the academic integrity website and complete the tutorial on plagiarism.

Feedback and grades will be provided in a timely manner on all tests and papers submitted.

Note for students with disabilities:
Students with a disability or health consideration are encouraged to contact the University’s Student Learning Support Centre at 416-979-5290 (phone), 416-979-5274 (TDD), or (e-mail) . If a student requires special accommodation, she/he must be formally registered with the Centre ( ).

The Ryerson library contains many good sources on all genres of music, including books, journals, recordings, and videos. Consult the Ryerson Library Music Research Guide for access to online sources such as the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and databases of journals and articles in music and other disciplines, many of which will be useful for your research topics. Some of these sources, and methods for accessing them, will be discussed further in class.

Music Research Guide: Ryerson Academic Policies:

For more information on Ryerson’s academic policies, visit the Senate website at Course Management Policy No. 145
Student Code of Academic Conduct No. 60
Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct No. 61
Examination Policy No. 135
Policy on Grading, Promotion, and Academic Standing Policy No. 46
Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals Policy No. 134
Accommodation of Student Religious Observance Obligations Policy No. 150
Accommodation of Students with Disabilities Policy No. 159

*The dates for the Faculty Course Survey will be announced in class.*

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