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Musical cultures: the singer and the song

by The Open University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

This is a broad ranging introductory look at performance, composition, and the cultural and ethnic context of different musical traditions. The learning pathway starts by following a student training to sing in the classical opera tradition.

The vocal production techniques, and emotional and language repertoires, are looked at through the example of the Countess’s tragic aria in Mozart's ‘Marriage of Figaro’. Continuing the exploration of Western classical music the pathway includes an introduction to German Lieder (‘songs’), which shows how Schubert set Goethe’s poems to music.

The pathway takes a change in direction to explore the tradition of English folk singing through the performance of the internationally renowned exponent of the folk tradition, Norma Waterson (accompanied on the guitar by her equally well known husband, Martin Carthy).

From England, the pathway moves to Canada, to experience the performance of the unique Inuit technique of throat singing, set within the cultural context of a traditional hunting community. The folk traditional of Northern India offers a final performance and cultural contrast in this diverse musical journey.

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Musical cultures: the singer and the song
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  • Category: Music
  • Language: English

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