Classes -- Ensembles -- Photo Gallery III

In addition to teaching Western Music courses including Music 101: Introduction to Music, Music 105/6: Fundamentals of Music, Musiciaship Sequence 201, 301 and 302: Music Theory Section of Musicianship, when I joined Wabash College I introduced to the College curriculum several ethnomusicology-related courses that I teach. They are:

This course offers the participants an introduction to the various world musical cultures and practices found outside the Western Classical Art tradition. The course gives an overview of music genres, instrumental types and resources, forms, and styles that originate from selected world music traditions in sub-Saharan Africa, Arabic Africa, Middle East, Near East, North America, South/Latin America, and the Caribbean region. Musical practices are studied in terms of structure, performance, aesthetic values, cross-cultural contacts, contextual function, and significance. Coursework includes weekly reading and listening assignments, musical demonstrations, and hands-on experience, as well as the acquisition and development of listening skills. It is open to all students. This course is offered in the fall semester.

This course is an introduction to world-music instrumental cultures with an emphasis on organology. A wide selection of traditional instruments will provide a basis for the study of cultural, scientific, and artistic aspects of instrumental music. Specific cultures are illuminated by the examination of aesthetic principles valued by each tradition, the role of musical instruments in culture, the theory of each tradition, and the visual representation of the instrument as both a sound and an art object. The course culminates in a final course project. For this project, students may choose to write a term paper, give a class paper presentation, perform on a traditional instrument, or design and build an instrument. To build an instrument, the students have the option of constructing either a) a replica of an existing instrument, or (b) modified traditional instrument, or (c) creating a totally new musical instrument design. This course is offered in the spring semester.

The 2006 spring semester Music 202 class below, designed and constructed 4 chordophones, 2 idiophones, 2 aerophones, and 1 membranophone.

One Membranophone:

Bodhrán (an Irish drum) by Ben Abratigue '06

Two Idiophones:
Steel Drum (a Trinidad/Tobago drum) by Jay Brouwer '09
Steel Pan (a Trinidad/Tobago drum) by Travis Moore '06

Two Aerophones:
Didgeridoo (an Aboriginal horn) by Marcus Cooke '09
Printer's Pipe (an American reed fife/flute) by Tim Barnes '06

Four Chordophones:
Bouzouki (a Turkish lute) by Andrew Brimm '09)
Classical Sitjo (a sitar-banjo) combination by Curtis Eilers '06
(a Turkish spike fiddle) by Bernard Meyer '07)
(a Madagascan tubular zither) by Kyle Greaves '09

Spring 2006 Final Course Projects Display
and the
Music 202 Course Instructor, Dr. James Makubuya

This Course is designed to develop the students’ awareness and analytical appreciation of global music diversity found within a variety of world music cultures. The course will seek to develop students’ awareness of the existence of global music cultures and the ways in which those music cultures differ. In addition, it will also encourage self-reflection of students’ own cultural music perspectives. Furthermore, the course will develop an awareness of the extent to which the various music cultures could also serve as resources for the understanding of the identities of the people that use the covered music systems (as case studies).

This course offers students an opportunity to pursue advanced study in organology with special focus on the folk musical instruments of East Africa. Permission for the independent work and study must be granted before registering. Previous topics have included “Endongo (8-string bowl lyre) Advanced Performance Skills;” “ Amadinda (12-slab log xylophone) of the Baganda: Its Origin and Evolutionary Development;” “Advanced Plucking Technique of the Adungu (9-string bow harp of the Alur),” and "The Building of the Cone-shaped Ngoma (drums) of the Baganda."One-half or one course credit; This course is offered in the fall and spring semesters.

This is an advanced topics course, which changes from year to year. Previous topics have included American Music, Choral Literature, Major Figures of Jazz and Selected Topics in Ethnomusicology (or World Music). This course may be repeated for credit when a different topic is offered. To take the advanced seminar in ethnomusicology, a student needs permission of the instructor.

During the spring semester, the freshmen who take this course attempt to examine the Global contextual meaning and significance of music in folk {or traditional} societies. A random sampling of the folk societies’ definition of music appears to extend way beyond the basic dictionary definition of the ‘vocal and/or instrumental sounds as well as notation.’ By examining folk society events from a variety of cultures, this tutorial searches for and examines the defining characteristics of this global form of expression in the context of folk societies. The tutorial further explores the similarities and differences between the ways different societies use music as an essential ingredient of their life styles. The focus of the course is on the weekly listening and reading assignments as well as videos given in class and the syllabus. The results of the class work is intended to pave way for meaningful oral class presentations, as well as written analytic and research papers. The classes examine musical practices in terms of structure, performance, aesthetic values, contextual meaning, function and significance. Coursework includes in-class instruction, oral discussion, analysis of cultural/societal events (rituals, rites, and ceremonies) enhanced by/with musical performances. With the use of video and audio illustrations, the class examines the how’s and why’s in the way different cultures perform and use music in the various context/s and/for multipurpose ends.

is the Wabash College World Music Performance ensemble. Although it was originally founded “for those interested in exploring the artistic and scientific myths and mysteries of Sub-Saharan African music” James Makubuya, Founder, September 20, 2000, the ensemble has since expanded to offer a forum for members to extend their talents to music and dances of cultures from different parts of the globe as well. The unique musical instruments introduced so far to the Wamidan active participating members include East African lyres, harps, thumb pianos, tube fiddles, log xylophones, panpipes, conical and cylindrical drums – and most recently Australian Aboriginal didgeridoos. The ensemble is open to students, members of staff and faculty as well as the community of the city of Crawfordsville. No previous experience is required to join this ensemble.

Instrumental Music
Wamidan instrumental music is taught with two different but related objectives and formats in mind. One is that of training players to learn the skills necessary to and perform items in large ensembles and play as a large group. The second one offers an opportunity to members who are interested in even more advanced skills that would eventually enable them to perform chamber-like music ensembles of quartets, trios, duets or solos.

Adungu (bow harp) Ensemble in Concert

Endongo (bowl lyre) Ensemble in Concert

Folk/Traditional Dancing
Because of the common inter-relatedness (in folk performances) between instrumental music, singing and dance, Wamidan repertoires encourage practice and active participation that lead to the masterly of performance skills in both instrumental music, singing, and dancing.

Wamidan Dancers Performing Aije at the Cincinnati Folk Festival

Wamidan Dancers Performing Olukhun in Concert

Photo Gallery III


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