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Please answer the following questions in short essay form. This is an open book, open note exam, so feel free to use any of the course materials as you wish. Make sure to reference the readings, lectures and media for guidance, and provide appropriate evidence where possible. Questions 1-3 are worth eight points each, 4-6 are worth twelve points each, and 7 is worth fifteen points, for a total of 75 points possible.

1. Reflection Essay – As a means for wrapping up our eight week global musical odyssey, and making some sense of the sights, sounds and ideas we have come across, please take a moment to consider your experiences these last two months. Provide an essay that reflects on two specific things you learned in this class, or that were new to you in some way. Consider something that you found useful, relevant or important; or something you would consider further educating yourself on. I’m not looking for personal kudos, just course topics or material that left an impression in some way, and to explain how or why. (250 words)

2. Begin by reviewing the two articles posted below, and originally from week 1, and then respond to the following questions. What do ethnomusicologists mean when they say, “Music is universal, but it is not a universal language”? In what ways does the study of world music require an interdisciplinary approach? How might an “insider” to a musical tradition hear it differently from an “outsider”? Are both perspectives necessary for a complete picture? (250 words)

Reading – Chapter 1 Before the Trip Begins.pdf


Reading – Chapter 3 Cultural Considerations.pdf


3. Bob Marley’s iconic song “I Shot the Sheriff” (1973) describes a violent altercation between a citizen and law enforcement, resulting in the death of a sheriff. Without researching the song, please listen to it and provide a short analysis that includes the following: What do you think the main message is, and what is the strategy Marley seems to be using to convey his message or appeal to his audience? Contrast I Shot the Sheriff” with Ice T and Body Count’s “Cop Killer” (1992), both of which deal with the killing of law enforcement officers, and consider what is different between Marley’s approach and Ice T/ Body Count’s approach, and what if anything is the same. (250 words)

Lyrics to both songs… lyrics.docx 


Bob Marley/ Wailers – “I Shot the Sheriff”

I Shot The Sheriff (Links to an external site.)I Shot The Sheriff

Ice T/ Body Count – “Cop Killer”

Body Count – Cop Killer (Links to an external site.)Body Count - Cop Killer

4. Begin by watching the two clips posted below, and then answer the following question. The first clip is an example of Melanesian women of Vanuatu performing a type of water music referred to as ëtëtung. The second clip is of BaAka women from the Ituri Rainforest in Central Africa, performing a water music called liquindi. How might you account for the similarity in these two performances (and performers), despite the fact that these two groups, separated by more than 10,000 miles, have never had contact with each other? And what might it say about the role of women in making music, in some cultures? More broadly, discuss what you have learned about the role of gender and how this might affect access to, and music making around the globe. (400 words)

Ëtëtung Water Music (Vanuatu, Melanesia)

vanuatu water music (Links to an external site.)vanuatu water music

Liquindi Water Music (Ituri Rainforest, Central Africa)

Liquindi – Baka women water drumming (Links to an external site.)Liquindi - Baka women water drumming

5. One theme we have explored all quarter is the role musicians have played in addressing and responding to various forms of political, social and cultural oppression and unrest. These music revolutionary’s used their music and platform to challenge systematic tyranny and oppression, and to bring about or actively support radical social or cultural change, often in the face of danger and in some cases threat to life. Begin by discussing what you have learned about the capacity of music to express discontent and challenge authority. Using the class lectures posted in Modules, identify two non American world music revolutionaries (not named Fela Kuti or Bob Marley) from two different continents, and discuss specifically how your two chosen musicians exhibit the Music Revolutionary ideal. Consider what was important or pioneering about each individual. What was the nature of their rebellion or protest, how effective were they in their course of action, and what repercussions did they face for their actions? How might the experiences of the music revolutionaries you selected, be different than the experiences of music revolutionaries in the United States?  (400 words)

6. Another theme we have frequently returned to throughout the quarter is the spiritual significance of music, and the role of music to inspire spiritual or religious expression; and to reflect and affect beliefs and values of any particular cultural group or individual. Or as Ravi Shankar once said, the highest form in music is spirituality. Begin by discussing what you have learned about the connection between music and spirituality, and the capacity of music to assist in the expression of human spirituality, ritual or religious experience. Using the class lectures posted in Modules, identify two specific examples from different regions of the globe, and discuss how they reflect this deep connection between music and the supernatural; and how the music is used to facilitate spiritual practice. Also consider how this connection between music and spirituality might also be problematic for some. How might the examples of music spiritualism you selected, be similar of different than examples of music and spirituality in the United States?  (400 words)

7. Global Mix – This is your opportunity to be the producer of a mixtape. In 1977 NASA launched the Voyager I and II  space probes, each of which included a Voyager Golden Record containing a variety of Earth sounds intended as a time capsule to portray the diversity of life and culture on this big blue dot we call home, when these records are found by some funky alien, about 40,000 years from now as they pass through the constellation Camelopardalis. The songs were selected by a committee chaired by the late Carl Sagan, and while I think they did a fine job overall, an argument could be made for more diversity of global representation. Some believe there was over-representation of Western classical music. Here is the complete Voyager record…Voyager Golden Record.docx


Your task is to construct your own eight song Voyager mixtape. No easy thing to do really, as we have experienced a lot of music this quarter. Review the course lectures and select eight songs you think would be necessary representative recordings highlighting the diversity of music making on Earth. Seek a broad representation of music making by considering how songs sound; how they are performed and by whom; and what they may mean, or the purpose they serve within the culture they are from. Then provide a 75 word explanation for each song choice. All songs selected must be from course lectures either the Required or Recommended media. (600 words total)

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