Latin American Music and Culture

Subject MUSI20155 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Melanie Plesch



Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the musical traditions of Spanish-speaking Latin America, focusing on the intersections of music, culture and language. A number of selected musical traditions will be examined including expressions from the Caribbean, Andean and River Plate regions such as Cuban son, Argentine tango, protest song and art music, among others. These repertoires will be approached from a twofold perspective, concentrating on the different musical genres and their original cultural contexts, as well as critically examining their representations in mainstream Western culture through an analysis of the presence of Latin American music in media.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Aurally analyse different expressions of Latin American music according to their musical characteristics and be able to situate them in their socio-historical context.
  • Discriminate between different Latin American musical traditions and be able to support your opinion with relevant musical evidence
  • Articulate historical, social and musical data in coherent narratives applying an adequate technical and scholarly vocabulary
  • Evaluate and criticise mainstream representations of Latin American music
  • Engage critically with the relevant literature in the field of Latin American music studies.

Two 20 minute listening tests in weeks 6 and 11 (10% each), one 15 minute group oral class presentation plus 500 word summary (20%) in the second half of the semester, an essay of 2500 words, due at end of semester (50%), attendance and class participation (10%).

Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be available for purchase from the Bookroom prior to the commencement of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed

  • an enhanced capacity to value the music of different cultures
  • critical thinking and analytical skills
  • ability to seek out, organise and evaluate relevant information
  • advance communication s skills, both oral and written
  • collaborative skills
  • capacity for independent, self-reflective and critical enquiry
  • the ability to apply appropriate critical skills to evaluate diverse musical and cultural phenomena.
  • the ability to communicate specific musical content in an academic context both in oral and written form.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Academic Electives
Graduate Diploma and Certificate Elective subjects

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