A Field Guide to Musical Instruments of the WorldThis course will examine the different classes of instruments and the forms they have taken in various world cultures. Contemporary, folk, and historical instruments will be included in this survey of the many ways people have found to produce music and how instruments have evolved across centuries and cultures. Recordings, photographs, and videos will introduce students to instruments from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Since not all cultures follow the same musical rules, an introductory session on music theory will be included to help explain the principles behind different instruments and the sounds they produce.
Melvin Lee, with degrees from Bridgewater College and JMU, did historical interpretation for National Park Service. He plays variety of folk and early instruments, and his interest in many forms of traditional music has led to lifelong personal research. Melvin produced and hosted public radio folk music programming for over 20 years.
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