Throughout the semester, various styles of music and the aspects of culture associated with these styles have been analyzed. Musical elements such as dynamics, texture, form, timbre, melody, instruments, etc., have been used to thoroughly explore each kind of music from different areas of the world, with an emphasis in music from Africa, India and Indonesia. These aspects of music go far beyond just music itself. Culture also plays a huge role in music and the accompanying musical elements. Each country and culture has a different style and distinctiveness that add to what makes the music of that certain culture unique. Music in Africa may differ dramatically from music in Indonesia or India not only due to those certain elements but also due to how it is interpreted by people and what it represents for those people. In addition to this, what one may consider music in one culture may not be music to another. These differences have been made apparent in the several demonstrations that we have been exposed to in class.
One of the very first things taught in this class was the concept of the Qur'anic recitation. It is a practice reciting different passages in the Quran. Much to the frustration of those who take part in this practice, it is often mistaken for music by those who are not very familiar with the idea. Music in this culture, however, is considered a nonreligious thing and is thought to be “secular” and “profane”. I found this extremely different from music in Africa, for example, where music plays a huge role in religion. Praise dances are very common in West African cultures where music and religion go hand in hand. Music is most often present in worship and passage rites, as well.
African music within itself is very ...
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...eral of these ragas have the same melodious theme in common.
During the course of this semester, the several musical styles that have been discussed and analyzed have displayed various similarities and differences. These differences in certain musical elements have accounted for the distinctiveness and uniqueness of each style of music. The culture behind these countries’ music adds even more to their individualism. Cultural aspects such as religion play a huge role in the music of each country as well. Styles of music in Africa might be more upbeat than certain styles in India, for example. Some cultures use music in religion, while others may not. Aspects such as dance are important factors in all three types of music. Despite the differences and similarities, however, without music, these cultures would perhaps not be as fascinating and unique as they are now.
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