This page focuses on the course 21M.S53 Chinese Popular Musics in Dialogue as it was taught by Dr. Meredith Schweig in Spring 2014.
This course introduced students to the major popular music cultures of the Chinese-speaking world. Emphasis was placed on listening beyond the notion of a monolithic “Chinese popular music” to something more dynamic, multivocal, and translocal. Interactive experiences, including contributing to a class blog, creating multimedia compositions through the use of Scalar, and conducting participant observation at a concert, were at the core of this course.
Course Goals for Students
- Gain familiarity with the repertoire of Chinese popular musics
- Become conversant in the recent scholarship about Chinese popular musics, and consider how the field might be pushed in new and interesting directions
- Develop popular music analysis and research skills, including the critical use and evaluation of online sources
- Learn how to integrate writing and rich media content in publications about popular musics
Permission of Instructor
21M.S53 Chinese Popular Musics in Dialogue was offered for the first time in Spring 2014 as an experimental special subject, not part of the regular department curriculum.
The students' grades were based on the following activities:
Breakdown by Year
Typical Student Background
The class was open to students with a variety of background experiences. No musical background was assumed. Likewise, it was not expected that students would have familiarity with the localities under discussion or knowledge of Mandarin. Source readings were in English, with translations provided whenever possible for non-English content.
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hour every week; 26 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
- Sessions involved active class discussions and occasional in-class diagnostic quizzes.
Out of Class
- Class blog contributions
- Essay writing
- Curated mix tape creation
- Multimedia research project preparation