Module WXM-1006:
Music Cultures of the World

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Jochen Eisentraut

Overall aims and purpose

  • To introduce students to a selection of world music cultures.
  • To equip students with the necessary intellectual tools for studying the various aspects of music in its cultural context.
  • To develop students' ability to evaluate and analyse aspects of world music traditions

Course content

The rise of 'world music' has opened our ears to the enormous diversity of creative sounds produced by the world's peoples. This course offers a broad introduction to the various forms of musical expression found across the globe, with classes focusing on a selection of music cultures, such as Indonesian gamelan, Portuguese fado, or the music of a Brazilian city. Students will be introduced to an ethnomusicological approach to the study music, examining the part played by music in its cultural context and exploring the types of questions commonly asked by ethnomusicologists. The module will include practical workshops on instruments from various cultures and usually a guest speaker, performer or workshop leader.

Assessment Criteria


Be able to describe intelligibly something of the music cultures covered and demonstrate an understanding of relevant research methods.


Be able to explain coherently significant aspects of the music cultures covered and demonstrate a good understanding of relevant research methods.


Be able to critically discuss significant aspects of the music cultures covered and demonstrate a good understanding of relevant research methods and concepts.

Learning outcomes

  1. demonstrated a knowledge and appreciation of the diverse forms of musical expression found in different parts of the globe;

  2. demonstrated an understanding of the importance and relevance of considering music and music-making in relation to its cultural context;

  3. shown that they have acquired the intellectual perspectives which will allow them to analyse and evaluate aspects of world traditions in an informed and useful manner; both verbally and in writing

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Assignment 1 25
EXAM Exam 25
CLASS PARTICIPATION Seminar contributions 25
ESSAY Assignment 2 25

Teaching and Learning Strategy


5 seminars (1 hour each) per semester, held fortnightly


11 lectures (1 hour each) per semester, held weekly

Private study 168

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: