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The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts

Music in the World: Asian American Music

Fall 2018!

MUS 330 001 Music in the World: Asian American Music

TR 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. | FA 107
Dr. Donna Kwon

Welcome to Music in the World: Asian American Music. This course will be a critical study of the Asian American experience through the lens of music. Because the term “Asian American” has a relatively short history and can be considered either inclusive, exclusive, and/or overwhelmingly broad, we will spend time interrogating the history of this term as well as examine the musical cultures of specific ethnic groups such as Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Korean Americans, and Indian Americans. Along these lines, this course will introduce several prominent musical traditions practiced by these above communities such as the Chinese guzheng zither, Japanese taiko, Korean samulnori drumming, and Indian bharatanatym dance. A choice of workshops in Chinese Music, Balinese Gamelan, Korean drumming or either K-pop or Indian classical dance will be incorporated and result in a culminating in-class performance. In addition, we will explore the various social and political themes within the Asian American movement as expressed through various contemporary genres such as indie-pop, rap, and jazz. These themes include issues of race and immigration, the model minority myth, the Japanese American internment during WWII and issues of representation in popular culture. We will not only focus on the structural forces that shape Asian American lives but also examine how Asian Americans negotiate and often resist such forces through political and creative means of expression.