This course focuses on several musical traditions of the French- and English-speaking Caribbean. Of necessity during a fifteen-week semester, our coverage will be selective and introductory. It will address selected musical practices in relation to the distinct histories in which they emerge.
Throughout this course, we will address music in terms of sound (e.g., form, musical instrumentation, arrangement, lyrics, melody) and material culture (e.g., instruments, recording technologies, marketing budgets). We will also explore how, in addition to sounds and materials, music helps articulate multiple and at times contrasting identities and senses of belonging. To do so, we will examine how particular musics are deeply informed by power relations articulated around the issues of race, gender, and class, to name only a few. The overall goal is to develop our ability to hear and appreciate the multiple entanglements that make music the terrain of competing interests and sensibilities.