Sound, Society & Self in World Music

UNSW Sydney

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sound, Society & Self in World Music

  • Host University

    UNSW Sydney

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Music, Music Performance, Music Technology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    30 units of credit at Level 1

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Music is part of the life of people everywhere, and as George Eliot once said, there is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. Universal though these truths might appear to be, the various musical expressions of the world?s peoples are as diverse, unique, and sometimes strange, as the natural and cultural worlds that make them. Today we can access that musical diversity easily. We can buy it, download it, iPod it. But just how much do we know about the peoples, histories, sentiments, and lives of the musicians and singers that produce this music? How much do we grasp the beauty, the yearning, and the spirituality in that music? What can we learn that will deepen our appreciation, understanding, and perhaps performance of the many musical expressions available to us today?
    This World Music course surveys and examines the relationships between music, the society in which it is performed, and individual selves. It explores both traditional and contemporary music of Aboriginal Australia, South-east Asia, India, Central Asia and the Middle East, West Africa and the Caribbean, and marginal Europe. It examines how musical practices express, shape, and allow for the individual and collective construction and negotiation of identity, ethnicity, gender, spirituality and class. It investigates how transformations in music both as social practice and as sound chart responses to modernity, state intervention, globalisation, conflict, dispossession and migration. The course also fosters direct experience of music in diverse cultural contexts through field work.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.