African Mbira Music: An Experiential Learning Class

Building and performing one of Africa's most popular musical instruments, the mbira (a kalimba or "finger piano"). Ethnomusicological readings on the instrument's history, role in society, and meaning for musicians. Analysis of musical examples; learning the mbira's repertory and mastering skills common to many forms of African music, including performance of polyrhythms, responsive integration of instrumental and vocal patters, and formulation of unique renditions of pieces through improvisation. Weekly class labs. Course requires no prior experience with music or woodworking.

Sound, Music, and the Moving Image

Introduction to film studies with emphasis on uses and functions of sound, film music, sound and other aural objects such as the voice, through a selected body of works. Topics include representations of sound, music and voice, the functions of pre-existing music and their relations with the moving image in cinema and television; gendered representations of music and voice in pop and rock music videos; Hollywood practices and non-Hollywood practices.

Course Objectives:

Research Independent Study

Admission will be subject to the approval of the director of undergraduate studies and the instructor. The instructor and course content will be established in accordance with the individual student’s interests and capacities. Individual research and/or theoretical analysis in a field of special interest, under the supervision of a faculty member, resulting in a substantial paper that contains significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies required. One course.

Music, Sound, and Style

This course is a study of the components of music (e.g. rhythm, melody,  harmony, form, etc.) by listening to styles from different places and times, ranging from current popular artists to classical, jazz, and world music.

Students will attend concerts offered at Duke and the surrounding communities, offering written commentary on the musical phenomena witnessed or experienced during listening experiences.

Aspects of Performance

Course designed as academic companion to large performance projects. Includes exploration of topics related to the composer, the work, and its performance history and practice. Enrollment not restricted to ensemble members. Half course.