This assignment explores Cultural Prism Model. It also touches on aspects of ethnomusicological investigation. So, it should be clear by now that the ‘context’ of music making is paramount to understanding new musical traditions.

Cultural Prism Model-aspects of ethnomusicological investigation

This course has focused on taking an ethnomusicological approach to studying and understanding different musical traditions from around the world. It should be clear by now that the ‘context’ of music making is paramount to understanding new musical traditions. This is also one of the most difficult aspects of ethnomusicological investigation. With that in mind, many different approaches have developed to help with examining these various contexts in an effective way. So, one approach that is useful to examine the context of music making  called the ‘Cultural Prism Model.’ I have adapted this model for your final assignment.

 Cultural Prism Model-aspects of ethnomusicological investigation

Below, you will find an adaptation of the Cultural Prism Model with a list of questions that you can use to complete your final assignment. You do not need to answer ALL of these questions. Also, they are there to help guide you in discussing the context of the assigned musical tradition. Use the questions that are most relevant for your discussion.

Cultural Prism Model*

 Musical Beginnings

Who created the music? Also, when was it created? Where? What inspired the creation of this type of music? Besides, are there gender rules or norms around its performance? How was it performed: with expectations of quiet listening, dancing, marching, or ‘background’?

Musical Transmission

Who performs it now? What qualifications do the performers have?Also,  does it always sound same or is there flexibility in the tradition for personal interpretation? Then, who teaches it? How it learned? Are there gender rules around who is allowed to learn it?Lastly,  are there recordings?

Detailed Instructions


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