In my list of courses, found on the left side of the blog under “Pages” and below, you will find more course outlines and key readings that are extensions of my core courses devoted to introductory examinations of ethnomusicology and popular music.

Study of Dance
The dance syllabus is particularly interesting, considering that dance is a surprisingly blind spot in the Arts Faculty and School of Music, despite its enormous importance to the student body as a form of socializing and recreation.

Canada’s First Nations Music and Dance
The First Nations music syllabus is a pioneering effort designed for the needs of First Nations people, and the student body in general, separately and conceivably in the future, together. An appreciation of First Nations music and dance could propel Canadian students to a whole new level of discovery and respect. Naturally, the course would be conducted in partnership with the First Nations Studies department, and constantly reference its information with First Nations elders.

The Study of Music in Canada
In the 21st century, it is no longer possible to describe the transplanted musics of Canada’s two founding nations, Britain and France, as “Canadian Music”, leave alone the obvious argument that Canada’s First Nations are the true source of music born and bred exclusively in Canada. This purview of this course is much broader as it reviews the music of the First Nations, “Second Nations” in the form of the pioneer sounds of ex-pat Brits and Francophones, and then case studies of the musics of early and later minorities. Finally, the effects of popular music will be examined, given its global reach and multinational commercialization.  Issues of musical hybridity, homogenization and relativism will be illuminated in the light of Canada’s multicultural imperatives.

England’s Vernacular Music and Dance
My ongoing interest in English vernacular music and dance is the source of two interesting programs of learning. One course is an overview of English folk music and dance, soon to be an equal partner with the other members of our multicultural society.

England’s Seasonal Music and Dance
The syllabi describing seasonal music and dance from England is especially fascinating because it allows the students to explore the roots and evolution of many of the seasonal celebrations conducted here in Canada. Everybody loves to complain how Christmas for example, has become so commercialized. My course shows how that happened, and what can be done about it.

The Shakuhachi and Its Buddhist Roots
Japan, and especially its magnificent flute, the shakuhachi, is presented in a course that investigates the Buddhist motivations that have propelled the shakuhachi into the imagination of modern-day listeners and players. One unique feature of the course is the triangulation I bring to the shakuhachi by introducing the South Asian bansuri, the Middle Eastern nay and even the Baroque flute of the West.

Applied Sociomusicology
Applied sociomusicology is a bold attempt to utilize the lessons learned in the world of ethnomusicology and to legitimize and strengthen the place of amateur music-making in our country. Essentially, the goal of the course is to scourge the word “mediocrity” from the lexicon of our crucially important music-hobbyists, and put them in the centre of the picture, perhaps even displacing professional Western Art Music ensembles until a proper balance can be re-attained.

Folk Music
The study of folk music is seen as an antique subject by some, and yet it was the centre of research for decades in Canada and elsewhere. Now we can benefit from comparisons with the study of folk music in different music cultures around the world. Canada has three, if not more, centres for folk culture studies in Newfoundland, Quebec and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. My course is unique in British Columbia academe, despite the thriving folk music scene here on the Coast.

Ethnomusicology at Home: Ensembles
Finally, you will see a list of ensembles that might add a new dimension to the already existing excellent programs. Given that we are familiar with the Chinese-music ensemble, Balinese ensemble, Korean ensemble, Brazilian ensemble, and African ensemble, is it time for a Canadian music ensemble?

Music Appreciation for the 21st Century
One of the most popular courses in almost all major universities is “Music Appreciation” for non-music students. Hundreds of students enroll in this kind of course for a relief from their intense non-music studies and an entertaining way to acquire three extra credits. But what is listed as music appreciation is almost always Western art music appreciation – Bach, Beethoven, Brahms – with occasional tangents into the music of Other. These latter add-ons are usually brief because the course is already too crowded with information from the vast domain of Western art music. I believe that the music appreciation slate must be wiped clean as we enter the 21st century. Western art music is now identified as a niche culture, albeit with high cultural capital in some circles, existing alongside the much greater domains of popular music and world music. The instructional material in this course is applicable to any and all musics around the world, including the concert hall.

Graduate Seminars
There is nothing more enriching and stimulating than full and welcome participation in round-table discussions and debates with fellow graduate students, following a relevant lecture. I have created a select group of seminar courses that are an extension of my own experiences in graduate studies in combination with my own unique research and teaching history. In keeping with the 21st century they combine music theory with social analyses. With this grounding, the next stage in a career path would be the selection of area studies such as the ones outlined in my list of syllabi.

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