Music of Asia
UCSD — Fall — MUS13AS
General Information
  • lecture time/location:
  • requirements:

  • instructor:
  • office hours:

  • Section 1 & 2 TA:
  • A01:
  • A02:
  • office hours:

  • Section 3 & 4 TA:
  • A03:
  • A04:
  • office hours:

  • Section 5 & 6 TA:
  • A05:
  • A06:
  • office hours:

  • final exam time/location:
  • Tuesday / Thursday, 9:30am - 10:50am; WLH 2005
  • Internet Access (PDFs & Streaming Audio)

  • Andrew Allen ( )
  • Tues. & Thurs., 11:00am to 12:00pm; "Stone Bear" Coffee Shop

  • Jon Forshee ( )
  • Monday 10:00am - 10:50am WLH 2136
  • Monday 11:00am - 11:50am WLH 2136
  • Tuesday 2:00pm - 3:00pm Espresso Roma

  • Phil Skaller ( )
  • Wednesday 12:00pm - 12:50pm WLH 2136
  • Wednesday 1:00pm - 1:50pm WLH 2136
  • Wednesday 2:00pm - 3:00pm Mandeville Coffee Cart

  • Chris Golinski ( )
  • Friday 9:00am - 9:50am WLH 2136
  • Friday 10:00am - 10:50am WLH 2136
  • Tuesday 11:00am - 12:00pm CPMC 245

  • (No Midterm/Final Exam, see below)

In this quarter, we will cover music and cultural topics of the past and present from, around and concerning various regions of Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, India, Tibet, and Mongolia. We will discuss in-depth how these musics work (both structurally and culturally), as well as how they relate to larger global contexts. Students will be tested primarily on their critical listening and analysis skills and will be expected to produce a scholarly research paper in a Asian musical topic of their choice. (See "Paper" under "Assignments" below for more details on paper requirement). All required listenings will be posted online, attached to this syllabus. Please note that lecture materials such as lecture notes, powerpoint slides, etc. will NOT be posted online.


Academic honesty is extremely important. Failure to acknowledge your sources for quotations, paraphrases, or ideas consistently and completely is plagiarism. You are expected to produce original work in this course. If you copy the words of another author (from a book, article, website, etc.) without quoting and citing the source, you are committing plagiarism--the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as your original work. If you buy or borrow a paper written by another person, you are cheating and plagiarizing. Neither will be tolerated under any circumstances. If you are uncertain about proper documentation of sources, please consult your TA or instructor. You may wish to use online tools such as to help clarify plagiarism and how to avoid it.

NOTE: Any form of academic dishonesty, including copying homework answers, cheating during quizzes, plagiarism on the paper or any other form of willfull cheating will immediately result in an F in the course and a report of the dishonesty to the Academic Integrity Office.

I. This description of plagiarism and the examples noted come from examples at


Students will be expected to practice their listening skills daily via playlists posted to the syllabus website. They will be tested on their listening comphrehension with several in-lecture pop quizzes and evaluated on their critical analysis skills with a short scholarly research paper on some aspect of Asian music. They are also expected to participate in section discussions and complete section assignments.

  • Pop Quizzes:
  • TA Section:
  • Final Paper:
  • Total:
  • 50%
  • 25%
  • 25%
  • 100%
Grading Rubric
  • 90 - 100:
  • 85 - 89:
  • 80 - 84:
  • 75 - 79:
  • 70 - 74:
  • 65 - 69:
  • 60 - 64:
  • 0 - 59:
  • A
  • B plus
  • B
  • C plus
  • C
  • D plus
  • D
  • F
Listening Quizzes

During lecture, we will have several short pop quizzes that will ask students to identify one or two musical features from short excerpts (i.e. name of song and artist, world region and instrumentation, etc.). Students should be prepared to identify and briefly describe any of the required listenings since the last pop quiz. The quizzes will consist of 3-5 questions asking the student to identify or describe a short (30-45 seconds) musical excerpt. You will hear each musical excerpt two times per question. All required listenings will be posted to the syllabus website.

Section Assignments

TAs will hold weekly discussions of lecture material and will engage the students in group discussions and projects preparing them for their final paper. Section Attendance is MANDATORY. Readings may be assigned in section as well. TAs will also hold office hours. The instructor will also be available to meet on a first-come-first-serve basis twice a week after Tues & Thurs class from 11:00am to 12:00pm.


For this class, a paper will serve to replace the final exam requirement. Students will complete a short (5-page) research and analysis paper on an Asian musical topic of their choice. Students will develop their topics with their TAs during section times. The paper should demonstrate some form of critical analysis of the topic's musical and sociopolitical/cultural content. The paper should be in MLA or Chicago format and have at least 3 academic sources. The paper format should adhre to the following requirements:

  • Word Processor only (no handwritten)
  • 12-pt Times New Roman
  • double-spaced, single-sided
  • 1" (inch) margins all around
  • bibliography / works cited page
  • printed and stapled
  • Paper is due: December 6th (on the final lecture day)

Extra Credit

Attendance and summary of an Asian musical or theatrical event will benefit the student with up to 5 points added to your final grade. A concert review outlining the pieces on the concert as well as a copy of any ticket stub/concert programs passed out or some other form of proof of attendance must be turned in to your TA no later than 12/6 to receive extra credit. In order to receive full extra credit, your concert review must effectively evaluate the cultural and musical significance of the musicians involved in the concert (no less than two pages, 12pt Times Double-Spaced, Single-sided). Please confirm with your TA or myself whether the concert you wish to attend qualifies before seeking this EC.

CAPE Evaluations are incredibly important to help me teach you better. I appreciate your feedback and always try to incorporate suggestions each class I teach. If 2/3rds of the class completes CAPE, I will drop your lowest pop quiz grade. If 3/4ths of the class completes CAPE, I will drop your lowest two pop quiz grades.

9/27: Introduction

Overview of the class, introduction to upcoming topics, discussion of various musical and ethnographical terms used in the class.

10/2: World Music

Overview of "World" music and it's place in global music markets. Discussion and Analysis of World Artists.

10/4: Folk Musics I

Overview of Folk musics of Tuva and China. Discussion and Analysis follow.

10/9: Folk Music II
10/11: "Sentimental Ballad" Music
10/16: Pop Music I
10/18: Music of Fiji (Guest Lecture)

Special Guest Lecturers Stephen Solook and Tiffany DuMouchelle. Overview of Folk musics of Oceania and Fiji. Discussion and Analysis follow.

10/23: Pop Music II

Overview of current trends in mainstream Asian pop and upcoming pop centers. Analysis of several current songs' lyrics and musical form as well as current artists' stage personas.

10/25: Court Musics I
10/30: Court Musics II
11/1: NO CLASS

- NO CLASS - (Professor Absent Due To Sickness)

11/6: Concert Music
11/8: Religious Sounds I

Overview of sound in Tibetan and Japanese religious practices. Theory, Analysis and Discussion of several practices.

11/13: Religious Sounds II

Overview of sound in Chinese, Korean and Indian religious "musics". Theory, Analysis and Discussion of several practices.

11/15: Story-Telling Narratives I
11/20: Story-Telling Narratives II

Overview of traditional theatre from Japan. Theory, Analysis and Discussion.

11/27: Story-Telling Narratives III

Overview of traditional theatre from China and Korea. Theory, Analysis and Discussion.

11/29: Club Music

Overview of music for the club, including Punk, "Underground", Electronica and Hip-Hop acts in Indonesia, Korea and Japan.

12/4: Media Music

Overview of music for media, including film music, video game music, commercial jingles, music for TV/animated series. Discussion and Analysis of several examples.

12/6: Final Class

Final Papers due. Plus: A surprise.