Unit 6 – Take a Musical Trip

Take a Musical Trip

Learning Objectives

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify music that represents a specific cultural heritage outside of mainstream American and European culture. CLO#6, CLO#7
  2. Examine and present research related to a specific culture. CLO#4
  3. Present two performances related to the specific culture. CLO#14,  
  4. Define basic information for the two musical compositions presented in the selected performances. CLO#7
  5. Identify and analyze prominent musical elements in the presented performances. CLO#3
  6. Explain how identified elements contribute to a distinctive sound that defines the music’s cultural differences from mainstream American or European music. CLO#3, CLO#4, CLO#6
  7. Express an aesthetic opinion related to the analysis of the musical elements.   CLO#8, CLO#5
  8. Present research with an appropriate citation in MLA format. CLO# 16
  9. Describe their own opinion on the works presented by other students. CLO#15
  10. Propose other musical elements, research, or musical selections that could be examined in response to analysis by other students. CLO#15, CLO#3

Unit 6 Instructor Lecture

Many cultures have their own particular music. For this assignment, you will be researching and presenting music outside of mainstream American and European culture.

Checklist of Learning Activities for this Unit

  1. Review Instructor Lecture.
  2. Browse Suggested Topics.
  3. Read Assignment Instructions – Take a Musical Trip.
  4. Research music from another culture that is not American or European mainstream culture. LO# 1, 2
  5. Select 2 or more musical performances that represent the culture selected. LO#3
  6. Read Blog Requirements – Take a Musical Trip.
  7. Create a Take a Musical Trip blog post
  8. Submit the URL of your blog post on Bb.
  9. Read Assignment Instruction – Take a Musical Trip Comments.
  10. Comment on 2 classmates “Take a Musical Trip’ posts offering your opinions and additional learning. LO#  9, 10, 11
  11. Copy your comments and submit them via Blackboard.

Take a Musical Trip Checklist   – a downloadable copy

Suggested Topics -Take a Musical Trip

Suggested topics, with some resource links….

The above list is simply a starting point for students that might not already have a starting point for research.

Other Suggestions

Music of Thailand, Inupiaq Music, Songs of the Tlingit, Saami Music, Music from any one of the Polynesian Islands, including Hawaii. Aboriginal Australian Music, Greek Folk Music, Klezmer Bands, Traditional Music of Korea…..etc.

Do be aware, that Western Music can be found in most parts of the globe. Just because the lyrics are in a foreign language, doesn’t make the music necessarily global. You will need to focus on the aspects of music that are particular to a region AND culture.

I created a sample of a video blog based on this assignment – VIEW HERE

Instructions - Take a Musical Trip - Blog Post

Take a Musical Trip   Click on the link for a downloadable copy.

Pick a Topic

For this assignment, you are going to explore the music of another culture. The links in the  Instructor Lecture  for this assignment are a starting point. You are encouraged to explore further. The internet is great — but periodicals and books are also wonderful sources. You have been given some topics in the Instructor Lecture, but you are not limited to those topics. There is so much to explore!!! Follow your own inclinations. Ask your instructor if you aren’t sure your topic is a good one.

Why Does This Music Sound Different?

Use the elements of music to explain why the music you selected has a distinctive flavor that sets it apart. Timbre, harmony, texture, rhythms, etc. all lend themselves to creating a distinctive sound. Is there a social or cultural aspect? Music serves different functions in different cultures. Make sure you address this important aspect.

It’s All About the Music — of course

Reading about music only gets you so far. Your blog is going to need to provide some “real’ music. You will need at least 2 selections of music for this blog. Your readers and instructor need to be able to get to these examples with ease.

Your Opinion

Use your musical elements vocabulary to describe your personal reaction to the selections you provided.


Like your previous blogs, you will need at least two cited sources. What reputable sources did you use? Who wrote the music? Make sure you include the basic information about each work you feature in your blog.


Good writing counts. Penalties for poor editing will be applied. Same thing for video. Don’t ramble. Have a script or an outline to follow.

Grading Criteria - Take a Musical Trip Blog

In this analysis assignment, you will be graded on the following:

  1. Basic Information — Title (in italics if necessary), date, composer, country of origin — 10 points
  2. Describing and illustrating the distinctive sound found in the genre you selected, and specifically in the works you presented. Social/cultural aspects need to be included, and your opinion— 50 points
  3. Citing your research, and utilizing quality sources — 20 points
  4. Presentation — 20 points

Blog Post Requirements - Take a Musical Trip

  1. A clear title presents the blog, which includes “Global” or “Musical Trip” in the title.
  2. A link to the songs or works being analyzed. A minimum of 2 are required.
  3. Titles of the songs or works (usually in italics), composers (if unknown – state this), the date (again – it might be unknown, but that should be stated) it was written or released, and country of origin clearly supplied in the text of the blog post.
  4. A summary presentation of the research conducted into your chosen topic. A minimum of two  reputable sources required.
  5. A clearly formatted analysis of at least two musical elements found in each of the musical selections chosen that contribute to the distinctive cultural sound.
  6. A statement of your  personal  aesthetic reaction related to the analysis of the transformation of the musical elements presented
  7. Carefully  edit  your blog post.
  8. Sources are cited below the article in  MLA style. All internet sources must include a working hyperlink to the source material.
  9. The blog has visual interest. An image or an embedded video is included
  10. The blog post URL is submitted through Blackboard, Assignment Submit link ‘Unit 6 – Take a Musical Trip Blog’ with a working hyperlink. If your hyperlink doesn’t work, you will be given a zero with a chance to resubmit with a working hyperlink. Late penalties apply.

General Blog Requirement Checklist  – Click on this link for a downloadable copy. It will take you to a new page, and then you need to click on the General Blog Requirements Checklist again.

Instructions - Take a Musical Trip Comments

Comments – Take a Musical Trip

You can learn a great deal by reading what your fellow students wrote.  You might hear music you’ve never experienced before.  You might hear something you already know in a different light.  As part of the EXPLORATION component in this course, you are required to comment on 2 of your fellow student’s blog posts.  Your comments  need to include the following:

  1. Agreement or disagreement. Did you like the same things that they liked? Why or why not. Be polite. If we all liked the same things, music would never evolve.
  2. Add to the discussion. Did you notice something was missing from the assignment? Did you notice another musical element that wasn’t considered? Could you direct them to another work or style? Maybe there is an article that would be helpful?
  3. Submit your comments on Blackboard for grading  using the Assignment Submit link ‘Unit 6 – Take a Musical Trip Comments’
  4. Proper submission formatting.
    1. Use the  Assignment Submission section of Blackboard to submit your comments.
    2. Do not use the  Add Comments  area of Blackboard.
    3. Submit the URL of each blog you commented on and hyperlink it in Blackboard.
    4. Cut and paste your comment below the hyperlinked URL.

Click Here to see an annotated guide to comments.

Grading Criteria for Comments

  1.  All comments must be submitted properly. If not, then you will receive a zero, with a request to resubmit properly – 1 point.
  2. Opinion stated – 4 points for each comment.
  3. Explanation of option – 4 points for each comment.
  4. Adding to the discussion/exploration/learning – 4 points for each comment.

Preparation for the Next Unit

The next unit in this course will look at performers who interpret music written by others. There are tons of musicians who don’t write their own music. Who are these performers and why do we need them? This will be the focus of the upcoming Role of the Performer assignment.