COURSE OBJECTIVESBrooklyn College course description of "Global Music in America":
During this semester we will:
The transnational roots of America's vernacular music traditions. The diaspora of folk and popular styles from Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia, and the transformation and hybridization of those music styles in diverse U.S. ethnic and cultural communities. Loops of ongoing transnational interaction between contemporary U.S.music styles and urban musics around the world
1) Trace the diaspora of folk and popular music traditions to the U.S. from various parts of the world.
2) Analyze the survival, transformation, and hybridization of those musical practices and their impact on American popular music.
3) Explore how and why American music is globalized; the role of the Internet and mass media in this process; and the ways in which local cultures around the world adapt American music to their own society and traditions.
COURSE ORGANIZATIONThis website includes into nine sections. This semester's course will include a subset of these.
AFRICAN MUSICAL TRADITIONS AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC
A review of African musical traditions, their preservation, transformation, and hybridization in the United States through 1970.
IRISH AND IRISH-AMERICAN MUSIC
Traditional music and folk music of Ireland, the music of Irish Americans, and globalization of Irish and Irish-American music.
MUSIC OF THE ARAB WORLD AND ARAB AMERICANS
Traditional music of Arab countries and the music of Arab emigrants to the U.S.; the means by which Arabic music traditions have been preserved and extended by Arab Americans; and hybrid forms that mix Arabic and American music.
GLOBAL RAP AND HIP HOP
The global spread of American hip hop culture in Europe, Asia, and/or Africa, and the ways in which hip hop culture is adapted to local contexts.
CUBAN MUSIC IN AMERICA
Interaction of Cuban and American music in the twentieth century. Salsa, Afro-Cuban jazz, Spanish rap, reggaetón.
SOUTH KOREAN POPULAR MUSIC
Influence of American music in South Korea. The development of K-Pop after 1992, its characteristics, its connections to U.S. music and musicians, and its global spread. Rap and hip hop in South Korea.
The rediscovery and revival of klezmer in the United States, and recent hybrid forms.
MUSICA NORTENA & TEJANO MUSIC
The transnational music of Northern Mexico and Texas. The influence of mainstream American popular music on the music of Mexican Americans, and the growing popularity and presence of Mexican culture in the United States.
CALYPSO, SOCA, AND CARNIVAL
The unique forms of carnival celebration in Trinidad and Tobago and their perpetuation in the West Indian communities in New York City. Soca and its derivatives. Contemporary steel pan music.
READING AND CLASS DISCUSSION — WHAT IS CULTURAL GLOBALIZATION?Reading: Lane Crothers, "Cultural Globalization," in Globalization and American Popular Culture, 4th edition (2018) Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD. (click here for PDF)
PROS AND CONS OF CULTURAL GLOBALIZATIONPros of Cultural Globalization
- Access to new cultural products (art, entertainment, education)
- Better understanding of foreign values and attitudes. Less stereotyping and fewer misconceptions about other people and cultures
- Instant access to information from anywhere in the world
- Capacity to communicate and defend one’s values and ideals globally
- Customization or adaptation of global cultural trends to local environment (cultural mixing)
- Spread of commodity-based consumer culture
- Dangers of cultural homogenization
- Westernization, cultural imperialism or cultural colonialism
- Some small cultures may lose their distinct features
- Dangerous or violent ideals can also spread faster
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