Music at Muhlenberg College
In describing her newest course, Dr. Karen Hiles tells us: “Music is a worldwide phenomenon. As listeners, we enjoy sounds from around the world every day, from flamenco to hip-hop, bluegrass to bhangra, Jay-Z to the Eurovision Song Contest. Designed for majors and non-majors, Global Pop will engage the students in listening, thinking, and discussing the music of their world.
“Popular music has emerged as a primary site for understanding and participating in global culture as it participates in identity formation, globalization, consumerism, and cultural imperialism. This course will introduce students to new musics and places and encourage them to think more critically about their roles as consumers of music in a global marketplace.
"Questions the course will ask are: What is the relationship between local and global music? How are indigenous and folk musics transformed when they begin to reach mass audiences? What role do technology and commercialism play in constructing local identity (even self-identity) on a global stage?
"The course will culminate in an individual project on a contemporary pop artist of the student’s choice who enjoys global acclaim and yet is rooted in a local identity.”