MUSV1100 - Music and Motion: Africa, the Atlantic and Globalisation


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

This is a course that examines the transatlantic flow of music from Africa to other parts of the world, especially the Americas. From the slave trade (15th-19th century), through the colonial era (up to the 20th century), to the period of analogue and digital technologies (up to the present), there has been a flow and exchange of musical elements between Africa and the Americas, and this course highlights how this dynamic is multi-directional, complex, and continuous. We will explore different musical genres, such as Cuban rumba and Ghanaian highlife, that are important for understanding transnational musical motion. We will also critically attend to Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Afrobeat and its influence on contemporary Afrobeats music in Africa and other parts of the world. Key to the course are certain concepts and ideas - such as syncretism, creolization, diaspora, globalisation, indigenisation, Africanisation - which interrelate and diverge in interesting ways. Aiming for holistic appreciation, the course is based around audio-visual examples, weekly readings, and practical performance elements.

Learning outcome


Students who complete this course will have:

  • obtained knowledge about the continuous transatlantic flow and exchange of musical elements between Africa and other parts of the world
  • examined and analysed specific genres that emanated from these transatlantic musical exchanges
  • acquired an understanding of theoretical ideas and concepts that explicate the themes explored in this course


Students who complete this course will have:

  • developed the ability to cogently articulate their knowledge of the subject of study
  • deepened their aural knowledge and appreciation of specific genres of music examined in this course
  • developed critical skills with which to engage with academic theories that this course underscores
  • further deepened their academic writing skills

Learning methods and activities

This course will consist of lectures based on readings as well as audio-visual case studies. It is expected that students will do the readings and engage with the audio-visual materials before class, as these will serve as basis for the class discussions.

Compulsory assignments

  • Listening test
  • Group project

Further on evaluation

Students are required to submit one semester essay which will be due at the end of the course. The essay should be 6 - 8 pages long, with font size 12, line spacing 1.5.

Students are required to do listening quizzes as the course develops, which will culminate in a listening exam in the middle of the course. Students are required to participate in a group project that will incorporate written and performative elements. Class attendance and participation are key assessment criteria for this course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
MUSV2000 7.5 AUTUMN 2022
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Foundation courses, level I



Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Musicology
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


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