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Creating the Critical Listener – The Caribbean Basin

Creating the Critical Listener - 61712 - MUSI 1300 - H01 D0X – The Caribbean Basin

MWF 10-10:50am M222 School of Music

Includes May 17-26 field trip to COSTA RICA


Drawing on western classical, folk, popular, non-western, and U.S. and North American music traditions, and emphasizing multi-cultural encounters in the Caribbean Basin, Creating the Critical Listener seeks to develop a set of analytical and contemplative tools that will enable us not only to listen, read, speak, think, and write analytically and accurately about vernacular music and dance, but also to develop awareness and sensitivity to the comparative ways in which history and culture predispose us to listen to, understand, use, and participate in music. This course will be of particular interest not only to music performers and students with a musical background, but also to non-musicians with a strong commitment to the enhancement and development of their musical and cultural literacy. MUSI 1300 satisfies three hours of the Creative Arts requirement in the Core Curriculum. Additionally, the course satisfies the TTU multicultural graduation requirement.

Drawing on lectures, reading, listening, audio/visual sources, in-class performances, and individual research, this course provides students with an enhanced learning experience combining approaches from folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural and literary history, performance studies, anthropology, geography, and more. Exploring the interaction between music, and a range of cultural expression—talking, reading, listening, playing, moving, and singing together—we will discover African, indigenous, and European cultural streams as they meet, competed, and evolved in the complex social and colonial histories of the Caribbean.

LIMITED TO 12 STUDENTS ONLY. Open to distance-learning synchronous participation by TTU-CR students; streaming requirements will be posted.

May be contracted for Honors Credit.

Creating the Critical Listener Abroad

A final component of the learning experience will be a spring intersession trip (approx. May 17-26) to the TTU campus in San José, Costa Rica, immediately following Spring graduation, during which Dr Smith and collaborating faculty will lead workshops, musical expeditions, and roaming seminars on music, movement, and cultural history in the region. Participation in this trip (which requires separate registration and fees) is a mandatory corollary of the course and must be enrolled in tandem with MUSI1300. Study Abroad scholarship assistance and financial aid counseling is available.

Cost of the trip, which includes air-fare, accommodations, all transport (coach, ferries, rental vehicles, etc), all event fees and tickets, and 1 meal per day, is estimated at $1500 maximum. This cost is assessed as a course fee (like a lab fee) by SBS and can be paid using financial or other monies. Any surplus not spent on the trip is returned to students during the course of the trip.

Priority for enrollment in the course is given to (1) graduating seniors and graduate students and (2) music majors.

Contact for more details



Chris Smith


School of Music

Event Information
Time: 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Event Date: 1/15/2020

M222 School of Music