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Sacred Music - Unity and Diversity
What is “sacred music”? The answer depends on the individual perspective, denominational affiliation, and also personal musical taste. The course will take an ethnographic approach and explore the use, understanding, and function of sacred music in different local congregations in New Haven. The work in the classroom will provide the theoretical and methodological basis, while each student will visit one local congregation from a denomination different from their own over several weeks. The students will observe the musical practices and engage with members of the clergy and community about questions of “the sacred in music” and the function of music in worship and devotional life. A particular focus of the course will be on music that does not represent the Western musical canon.
The students will conduct and evaluate their research during the semester and present their results in a small symposium at the end of the term.
No specific background is required.
In addition to attending the classes and doing the assigned readings, the participants are expected to observe a congregation for 5 weeks.
Participation and attendance: 20%
Final paper: 50%