DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2017 - 2018

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

A module designed to explore the evolution of music in the Americas from the perspective of its African musical roots, evolving primarily from the interaction of African and European cultures. Music from the Caribbean, Cuba, Brazil and other areas of the Americas will be explored . Learners will deepen their understanding of the cultural and contextual aspects of the music of the African Diaspora through reading key texts, and extensive listening.

Learning Outcomes

1. Outline how a big part of music in the Americas has evolved from past practices driven primarily by the interaction of African and European cultures.
2. Develop a factual and conceptual framework for understanding the development of music in the Americas from its roots in pre-15th century Africa.
3. Analyse individual styles of music from the Americas in their appropriate social, historical, and aesthetic context

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Weekly, A two-hour group lecture
Independent Study66Research on the music of the African Diaspora through listening and reading
Assignment Completion35Essay on chosen topic
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Survey of the connections between the music of the Americas and their origins in the music of West Africa
A thorough survey of the connections between the music of various traditions in the Americas and their origins in the music of West Africa. The evolution of these musics through the interaction between music of European and African cultures will also be surveyed and the social context of the various styles will be explored. The module will be studied in the form of regional styles encompassing the music of the following regions: ° Brazil ° Caribbean (excluding Cuba) ° Cuba ° South America (excluding Brazil) ° North America (excluding jazz which will be dealt with in a separate module)

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Samuel A. Floyd, Jr: 1996, The power of Black music, Oxford University Press, New York, 9780195109757
  • LeRoi Jones: 1999, Blues people, William Morrow, New York, 068818474X
  • Braggs, Rashida K.: 2016, Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music, and Migration in Post-World War II Paris, University of California Press, 9780520279353
  • Timothy Rommen: 0, Funky Nassau: Roots, Routes, and Representation in Bahamian Popular Music, University of California Press, 0520265696
  • Martin Munro: 2010, Different drummers, University of California Press, Berkeley, 0520262824
Other Resources

28082, CD, Various, 0, Cuba, Putamayo Records PUT-1492, 28083, CD, Various, 0, Samba, Bossa Nova, Putamayo Records PUT-1438, 28084, CD, Various, 0, Latin Jazz, Putamayo Records PUT-1462, 28085, CD, George Mitchell, 0, George Mitchell Collection – Country Blues, Fat Possum Records,
Programme or List of Programmes