Global Music in Michiana was initiated at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, in Fall 2015. Coordinated by Dr. Emily J.R. McManus, this project catalogs the musical and cultural diversity of the Michiana region through student designed and implemented ethnography projects. Students registered in MUS 275 “Global Music” spend the semester learning about the complex interrelationship between music, culture, and society by reading and discussing musical case studies from around the globe. They also learn and apply the methods that ethnomusicologists use to investigate how music both informs and reflects culture, thus allowing students to engage directly with the musical and cultural diversity of their local communities.
For this project, students are required to select a musical community with whom they will work closely throughout the semester. How we define music, however, is quite broad. Students are first required to learn what is (and is not) defined as music within an individual community or to an individual, and then must apply that definition to their research design and implementation. As a result, our students may decide to focus their projects on a wide variety of performance, including traditionally defined music,religious chanting, sound or noise, poetry readings or slams, dance, ritual, and performance art, among others.