What is music meant to accomplish? How is music perceived by listeners? Although everyone has different listening habits and preferences, there are some aspects of music that are consistently true across different time periods or styles. Further, as a listener, you have your own musical “esthetic” or the ways in which you use music, how you expect it to sound, and what you want to take from the experience.
When individuals come together in a community, they create communal listening experiences or musical culture. Every society in history, throughout the world, has developed unique relationships with music – how it is used, what it is used for, and what listeners expect to take from it. Since this class is about understanding these musical cultures from a historical perspective, a helpful first step is to think about your own musical tastes. How do you fit into the modern musical culture?
What aspects of music do you value?