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MUS3200 - Neo-Traditional Musics and their Socio-Cultural Interpretation

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Graeme Smith


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Neo-traditional musical genres combine features of established local musical traditions with modern and western genres. Musics such as Bulgarian Wedding Music, many localised Country Musics, Thai Phleng Luk Thung, Hungarian Tanz-haus, Argentinian tango, Zulu Isicathimiya, Yoruba Ju-Ju, share many characteristics. Some are entertainment genres for particular groups, others may be culturally emblematic. In many cases their social and political status is complex and contentious. This unit will study these and similar musics and students will critically evaluate theories of musical fusion, cultural appropriation and globalisation, cultural revival, musical subcultures and micromusics, nationalism and localism which are relevant to understanding their formation and development.


On successful completion of this unit, the students:

  1. Will have studied in detail of a number of neo-traditional music styles of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and investigated their relationship to political and social movements.
  2. They will have advanced their skill in critically evaluating interpretations of musical forms, and have learnt to listen for and to identify significant features in unfamiliar musics.
  3. They will have enhanced their ability to locate and evaluate information on cultural activities.
  4. They will understand relevant socio-cultural theoretical approaches to popular culture and critically comment and argue for their relevance to interpreting the social significance and meaning of neo-traditional musics.


Assignment 1 : Genre Study (1000 words) : 20%
In-class tests (4 @ 125 words) (500) : 10%
Examination Written with listening component (1.5 hours) : 40%
Comparative Essay (1500 words) : 30%

Contact hours

1 two-hour lecture per week