Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Music in World Cultures

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeMUG105
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits

15 sp

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

This course presents a survey of music in selected cultures of the world, drawing from areas including Native America, Africa, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Middle East, and Latin America. The course will also present an overview of research methods in ethnomusicology, which the students will apply in their own individual fieldwork research projects. The course should be of interest to students in music and other students in the humanities.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes:


The student..

  • can recognize and place specific musical traditions within their cultural, geographical, historical and stylistic contexts
  • has an understanding of the history of ethnomusicology as a field of academic study


The student..

  • can apply ethnomusicological concepts and methods to the study of music in their own society
  • can critically assess pieces of ethnomusicological research in the form of books and articles

General competence

The student¿

  • can reflect on the place of music in social phenomena such as religion, ritual, and caste
  • can reflect on the global circulation of musical pieces and styles

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

Basic knowledge of music theory, but this does not need to be formally documented.

Access to the Course

The course is open for all students at the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

One semester of lectures including listening examples.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Attendance at lectures.
  • Students will carry out and report on, in both written and oral form, a fieldwork project on a local musical culture.

All mandatory instruction must be completed and approved of before the exam. All instruction is compulsory. Absence of more than 20% leads to loss of right to take the exam.

Forms of Assessment

Because of the Covid-19 situastion it has been necessary to make changes in the form of exams and, in some courses, also in obligatory work requirements. These changes have their basis in temporary regulations adopted by UiB.

The program boards have drafted proposals for changes and the proposals have been reviewed by the department head, who has made recommendations. The following decisions are approved by the dean/faculty board:

Form of Assessment

Grading of assignment portfolio. The student will turn in 1 assignment:

  • The assignment is a book review (4-5 pages double-spaced), worth 100 % of the total grade.

New deadline: 30 April

Internal evaluation with at least two examiners. The assignments will be graded passed / not passed.

Under normal circumstances the assements would look like this:

Grading of assignment portfolio. The student will turn in 2 assignments totaling 4000-6000 words (12-15 pages double-spaced):

  • One assignment is a book review (4-5 pages), worth 25% of the total grade.
  • The other assignment is a report (7-10 pages) on a fieldwork project the student will carry out, worth 75% of the total grade.

Internal evaluation with at least two examiners. Both assignments must be completed with a passing grade.

Grading Scale

The assignments will be graded passed / not passed.

Assessment Semester


Reading List

The literature list will be available by 01.06. for the Autumn semester and 01.12. for the Spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated in accordance with the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.

Programme Committee

The Program Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.

Course Administrator

The Grieg Academy ¿ Department of Music at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.


Contact Information

The study adviser can be contacted at: studieveileder@kmd.uib.no

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Portfolio assessment

    Examination system
    Digital exam
    • Exam part: Assignment 1

    • Exam part: Portfolio assignment 2