World Musics and Cultures Program

World Musics and Cultures Program

Why study world music and culture

Studying the Balinese drum

The study of music and culture reveals the importance of music in the everyday life of the people’s of the world. Students come to understand what is music both as a cultural practice and a system of organized sound. These concepts are then explored in diverse musics from around the world. Through discussion of reading and listening assignments, enhanced by hands-on exposure to different ways of making music, students increase their understanding of the connection between society and music and the ways in which musical elements come together from at times divergent sources to form unique styles. Students will ultimately gain the vocabulary and listening skills necessary to engage with music of the world as an integral component of culture.

World Musics and Cultures at Union

A World Musics course

The World Musics and Cultures Program at Union College is an interdisciplinary program offering courses, concerts and performance opportunities that explore the diversity of the world’s people and the music that we make in a vibrant academic setting. Grounded in the Departments of Music and Anthropology, students can take a range of courses that reveal the intersection of music and cultural anthropology, develop skills in ethnographic methods, and encounter specific styles through both hands-on performance and academic study of the musics and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora, Asia (Central, East, South and South East), Europe, Latin America, and North America. Through the study of music, students gain a unique understanding of culture!

World Musics and Cultures in concert

Zakuro-Daiko, the Union College Japanese drumming ensemble

Students may participate in the Union College Jazz ensemble, which performs a wide variety of styles from Bebop to Latin and regularly gigs on and off campus. Zakuro-Daiko, the Union College Japanese drumming ensemble, features not only Japanese musical styles, but also incorporates diverse musics from such varied areas as South Asia, the Caribbean, and Indonesia. In addition to these faculty-lead student ensembles, Union College regularly welcomes renowned global artists to perform on campus. Students may also pursue private study of world instruments.

Taylor Music Center

World Musics and Cultures Program

Taylor Music Center 208