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MUSC 269: Music in the Community

Professor Evan Feldman
Mondays, 2:30-4:00 pm


What kind of impact can our work as musicians have on the communities we live and work in? How does music shape our identity?

Hands Clasped

These are just a couple of the questions that MUSC 269 attempts to answer. Music embodies and articulates the concerns and worldviews of individuals and communities in all cultures and societies. Music’s performance and production unites as well as distinguishes groups of people along various societal and cultural dimensions, including ethnic and national identity, political interests, socio-economic conditions, and environmental concerns. Our UNC community and its surrounding areas are home to lively and diverse musical scenes, including old-time, bluegrass, swing, gospel, blues, classical, jazz, indie rock, country, hip hop, salsa, Mexican regional, Hindustani, Middle Eastern, West African, and much, much more. Additionally, technology has allowed for virtual music communities to form and proliferate through the internet. Whether in Chapel Hill or online, music meets important needs for many communities, and this course will consider the richness and diversity of these music communities and the ways in which music impacts and intersects with the above topics.

This course seeks to integrate academic learning, experiential education / service-learning, and reflection. It relies on a classroom environment in which students engage in discussion every session. Each student’s success will depend on initiative, creativity, passion, and responsibility in engaging with music in and out of the classroom. As part of this course, each student is required to meet a minimum 30-hour experiential education / service-learning component. Experiential education / service-learning is not an “add-on” to the course; it is a fundamental component. Students will work in and out of the classroom to engage with music’s relationship to a particular community. Each student will design and implement a music-based project for, or in collaboration with a “community” on or off campus. This course defines “community” to include any group of people already integrated (in part or in its entirety) by music, or is open to including music as an important part of their group identification.

This course fullfills the EE- Field Work general education requirement and provides 3 credit hours towards graduation upon completion. There are no prerequisites.

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