1st Edition

Towards a Global Music Theory
Practical Concepts and Methods for the Analysis of Music Across Human Cultures

ISBN 9781138252172
Published November 9, 2016 by Routledge
248 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the cross-pollenization of world musical materials and practices has accelerated precipitously, due in large part to advances in higher-speed communications and travel. We live now in a world of global musical practice that will only continue to blossom and develop through the twenty-first century and beyond. Yet music theory as an academic discipline is only just beginning to respond to such a milieu. Conferences, workshops and curricula are for the first time beginning to develop around the theme of 'world music theory', as students, teachers and researchers recognize the need for analytical concepts and methods applicable to a wider range of human musics, not least the hybrid musics that influence (and increasingly define) more and more of the world's musical practices. Towards a Global Music Theory proposes a number of such concepts and methods stemming from durational and acoustic relationships between 'twos' and 'threes' as manifested in various interrelated aspects of music, including rhythm, melody, harmony, process, texture, timbre and tuning, and offers suggestions for how such concepts and methods might be applied effectively to the understanding of music in a variety of contexts. While some of the bases for this foray into possible methods for a twenty-first century music theory lie along well established acoustical and psycho-acoustical lines, Dr Mark Hijleh presents a broad attempt to apply them conceptually and comprehensively to a variety of musics in a relevant way that can be readily apprehended and applied by students, scholars and teachers.

Table of Contents

Contents: Global music theory: issues, possibilities and fundamental concepts; Global rhythm; Global melody; Global harmony; Global synergy in musical processes and products; Global analytical examples: comparisons and connections across musical cultures; Further implications and conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Mark Hijleh has taught music theory and composition at the university level for more than 15 years. Currently Professor of Music at Houghton College, he holds the MA in World Music with distinction from the University of Sheffield; the DMA in Composition from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University; the MM in Composition and Conducting from Ithaca College, and the BS in Music with Honors from William Jewell College. Recently he has spoken and written about world music theory though the College Music Society, the International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music, and the Society for Ethnomusicology. An active composer, Hijleh has also studied shakuhachi with Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin.


'...[a] fascinating book for specialists...Recommended.' Choice 'Hijleh's ideas are intellectually engaging, his writing full of musical insights, and his suggestions always educationally practicable. Towards a Global Music Theory crafts a globally aware approach to understanding music, specifically shaping it to the actualities of the here-and-now. It's a book I'll use very often in my teaching in the years ahead, and a genuinely significant discipline-building contribution at the interface of music education, music theory, and ethnomusicology.' Jonathan P. J. Stock, University College Cork, Ireland 'Hijleh [...] fashions a workable system addressing rhythm, pitch, texture, timbre, and harmony... This is a first brave attempt to construct a music theory that can be applied globally.' Choice