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160039 VO Music of Central Asia (2016W)



Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 25.11. 14:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal 1 Musikwissenschaft UniCampus Hof 9, 3G-EG-09
Saturday 26.11. 10:00 - 14:00 Hörsaal 1 Musikwissenschaft UniCampus Hof 9, 3G-EG-09
Friday 09.12. 14:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal 1 Musikwissenschaft UniCampus Hof 9, 3G-EG-09
Saturday 10.12. 10:00 - 14:00 Hörsaal 1 Musikwissenschaft UniCampus Hof 9, 3G-EG-09
Friday 16.12. 14:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal 1 Musikwissenschaft UniCampus Hof 9, 3G-EG-09
Saturday 17.12. 10:00 - 14:00 Hörsaal 1 Musikwissenschaft UniCampus Hof 9, 3G-EG-09


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course offers a broad introduction to the musical traditions of Central Asia, here taken to include the former Soviet states, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, Mongolian People’s Republic and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. It maps the musical landscape of the region by surveying major instruments, performance repertoires, genres and styles in the two socio-cultural realms of Central Asia: the nomadic world and the world of sedentary-dwellers. Structural and aesthetic aspects of music and sound are explored in relation to wider aspects of culture and social life in the region. The dynamic of musical change and the interplay of tradition and innovation in contemporary creativity are considered in the light of the region’s political history, the impact of socialist policies and nation-building in post-Soviet states, and the effects of globalization, migratory processes and cultural revitalization initiatives on Central Asian music and musicians.

The course is based on the new textbook, The Music of Central Asia (Indiana University Press, 2016), co-edited by Saida Daukeyeva together with Theodore Levin and Elmira Köchümkulova. Created by an international team of music specialists from Central Asia, Europe and North America, the textbook presents a series of ethnographic studies focusing on particular musical traditions from across the region. It is accompanied by a website featuring audio and video examples and a glossary of musical instruments. Listening guides and study questions are provided to promote students’ engagement with both audio-visual and textual material. Coursework will include reading and listening/viewing assignments based on the music examples and written tests on the material surveyed in the course. By the end of the course students will gain a general knowledge of music in Central Asia; become familiar with a variety of local musical instruments, repertoires, genres and styles; engage in critical thinking about the role of music in society and its relationship to ideology and power; develop a basic understanding of music structures, aural and analytical skills.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written tests

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Final written test on 15 examination topics (see provisional list below): 40-35 points (very good), 34-31 points (good), 30-25 points (satisfying), 24-20 points (passed), 19-0 points (not passed).

Examination topics

1. Musical geographies of Central Asia
2. Music, religiosity and spirituality in Central Asia
3. Musicians in Central Asia: social roles, status and gender through history
4. Musical instruments in Central Asia: typology and classification
5. Music in the world of Central Asian nomads
6. Oral epic traditions
7. Art singing and poetic improvisation by bards
8. Narrative instrumental performance
9. Music among Central Asian sedentary dwellers
10. Classical vocal and instrumental repertoires
11. Music and culture in Badakhshan
12. Music, socialist culture policies and nation-building in Central Asia
13. Central Asian music in the era of globalization: neo-traditionalism and innovation
14. Contemporary professional music
15. Estrada, pop and world music

Reading list

Theodore Levin, Saida Daukeyeva, and Elmira Köchümkulova (eds). 2016. The Music of Central Asia. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Association in the course directory

BA (2016): ETH-V
BA (2011): B04, B11
MA: M02, M08
EC MdW 2c

Last modified: Tu 17.12.2019 16:54