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Music and Culture

15 January, 2016 - 09:13
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Exploring the non-musical aspects of a musical event can be a rewarding approach to learning more about music.

There are many different Ways of Knowing about Music. Some of them require music-specific capabilities, such as a well-trained ear or ability to read music. Understanding the cultural aspects of music, on the other hand, requires no specific musical training. This can be a rewarding approach to understanding music, whether you are a musical novice or an expert. You can use this approach to learn about the music of other cultures, to learn about unfamiliar music that is part of your own culture or heritage, or to become more aware of the historical and cultural aspects of familiar music.

A cultural approach can also provide an entryway into beginning to understand and appreciate some of the more technical aspects of music. For example, if you know that jazz audiences applaud enthusiastically following a particularly good improvised solo, hearing that applause at jazz events helps you begin to hear, identify, and appreciate the musical qualities of good improvisation. The Inquiry into Music: Course Home in this module takes you through a process of deliberately learning more about the cultural aspects of music that most intrigue you.