Filed Under (Ethnomusicology) by Rob on 20-05-2011

I recently returned from Nigeria, where I taught a two-week course entitled ‘Music and the Arts’.

Many of you may be asking:

“What do you do on a course like this? And what’s the point (apart from having fun)?”

Well, although it was fun, it was also hard work and we covered an enormous amount of material. Here’s a brief summary of the topics we cover on a course like this:

* Why do we have the arts? What rôles can they play?
* A history of church music in Africa.
* A Biblical basis for using the arts in missions.
* Organology: the study and classification of musical instruments.
* Verbal expressions: stories/proverbs/riddles etc.
* The visual arts: how these are also non-universal.
* Contextualization and how to do it.
* Researching the arts in a given location.
* Ethno-drama: examples and practical task.
* Music and Trance: possession in African music.
* How to run a song-writing workshop.
* Song composition: practical task.
* Field recording techniques.

We also had a few visiting arty folk, including a an ethnic music group, a story-teller and a very talented ethno-dance group (oh, and Indian puppetry from my colleague…)

Finally, there was lots of singing, dancing and playing music, particularly during breaktimes, with a good range of different ethnic instruments:

Being an ethnomucologist/arts worker is a great job and loads of fun but also has a HUGE impact on entire communities in a way other forms of communication can not.

Could YOU be an ethno-arts worker?

Do you know anyone who might fit the bill?

If so, get in touch! We’re running a similar (but more in-depth) course in the UK this summer. I’ll be teaching one some of it too!

Have a look at the course info here: ETP Ethno-Arts Course 2011

Finally watch this video and be inspired:

Thanks for reading!

2 Comments posted on "Music and the Arts"
anne on May 22nd, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

sounds like fun & everyone looks v happy.

Rachel Harley on May 25th, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

This was a truly amazing, inspiring, wacky time! I have already heard back from one of the students that he performed the song he composed on the course during church & they loved it! His community was really pleased that he’d had the chance to do the course. Mungode Allah – we thank the Lord for making it possible 😉