What in the World is Music? - Enhanced E-Book & Print Book Pack: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

What in the World is Music? - Enhanced E-Book & Print Book Pack

1st Edition

By Alison E. Arnold, Jonathan C. Kramer


290 pages

Companion Website
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Paperback: 9781138790254
pub: 2015-08-18
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What in the World is Music? is an undergraduate, interactive e-textbook that incorporates more than 300 video and audio links to music from around the world. The text investigates the nature and meaning of music as a universal human practice, while providing students with strong points of connection to the ways it affects their own lives. Merging the study of Western music tradition along with the ethnomusicological approach to non-Western music, and with a range of examples from both, What in the World is Music? explores how humans organize and experience sound, and the contexts in which music takes place. 

What in the World is Music? is set within a thematic framework that highlights similarities across cultures and examines shared musical practices.

  • Unit 1: The Foundations of Music presents an inquiry-guided approach to understanding and engaging with music based on four fundamental questions: What is music? (Definitions), What is it made of? (Elements), Where does it come from? (Origins), and What is it for? (Functions).  
  • Unit 2: Music and Identity examines how music operates in the shaping, negotiating, and projecting of human identity. The discussion is organized around four broad conceptual frames: the individual, the group, hybridity, and conflict.
  • Unit 3: Music and the Sacred considers how music is used in religious practices throughout the world: for chanting sacred texts and singing devotional verses, for inspiring religious experience such as ecstasy and trance, and for marking and shaping ritual space and time.
  • Unit 4: Music and Social Life explores the uses of music in storytelling, theater, and film; delves into the contributions of sound recording and digital technologies; and looks at the many ways music enhances nightlife, public ceremonies, and festivals.

This Routledge interactive textbook package, 978-1-138-79025-4, includes a printed book to supplement the online e-text, which is also available as a stand-alone under ISBN 978-1-315-76430-6.

Please view this informercial video, featuring the authors: https://www.routledgetextbooks.com/textbooks/9781138790254/infomercial.php

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: The Foundations of Music 1. What Is Music? 2. What Is Music Made Of? 3. Where Does Music Come From? The Origins of Music 4. What Is Music For? The Functions of Music Part 2: Music and Identity 5. Music and Individual Identity 6. Music and Group Identity 7. Music and Hybrid Identity 8. Music and Oppositional Identity Part 3: Music and the Sacred 9. Sacred Chant and Sacred Song 10. Sacred Embodiment and Sacred Enactment 11. Sacred Space and Sacred Time Part 4: Music and Social Life 12. Bardic Traditions 13. Musical Theater and Film 14. Music in Public Spaces

About the Authors

Alison Arnold, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor of Music and Arts Studies at North Carolina State University. She edited the South Asia Volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and was Editorial Consultant for the South Asia Volume’s Concise Edition. She performs Celtic Music on Irish flute and whistles, and is director of the Irish Music Session at North Carolina State University.

Jonathan Kramer, Ph.D. is Teaching Professor of Music and Arts Studies, North Carolina State University and Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology, Duke University. He is a two time Fulbright Fellow (India and South Korea) and a former cellist with the San Francisco Opera and North Carolina Symphony.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Instruction & Study / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / General