Latin American Music and Culture

Subject MUSI40090 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours, comprising two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Melanie Plesch


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 a sophisticated technical and scholarly vocabulary
  • Evaluate and criticise a body of empirical data and identify its theoretical context
  • Conduct independent research on music and cultural representations of Latin America
  • Two (2) listening tests (20 minutes each) - During Semester (2 x 15% each: Total 30%)
  • In-class presentation equivalent to 1,000 words - Second Half of Semester (20%)
  • Essay of 4,000 words - End of Semester (40%)
  • Attendance and class participation - Ongoing (10%)
Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be available for purchase from the Co-Op Bookshop prior to the commencement of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

On completion of this subject students will have further 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 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: Composition Specialisation (BH-MUS)
Graduate Diploma and Certificate Elective subjects
Musicology/Ethnomusicology Specialisation (BH-MUS)
Performance Specialisation (BH-MUS)
Tailored Program (BH-MUS)

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