Final Playlist Project

DUE Monday 12/18

Your final assignment is to create an annotated playlist related to ‘world music’ in some respect. As opposed to previous playlists, you will be responsible not just for compiling and annotating the individual selections, but also for coming up with the concept that serves as the basis for the playlist itself. In addition, you will be required to write an introduction that explains the concept behind the playlist and which describes/analyzes the process of conceiving, researching, compiling, and producing the playlist.

One suggestion is to think of yourself as the producer of a CD-length compilation (45-74 minutes) such as the well-known “Rough Guide” series of world music comps. Likewise, you can think of your annotations, and the introduction, as the liner notes for the CD booklet (or the digital version thereof). Compared to previous playlists, rather than focusing in large part on personal impressions, your annotations for this playlist should place greater emphasis on factual information and musical/cultural analysis with personal impressions as a secondary consideration (again, think of what you would expect to read in a CD booklet). In addition to providing a “guide” to your chosen musical subject, do your best to draw compelling links and to make revealing comparisons among your selections. Final grades will be assigned based on thoroughness, creativity, and level of insight.

The parameters for your playlist are limited only by your imagination. It could be framed in terms of region, ethnicity, diaspora or minority community, other markers of identity (women’s world music), musical genre or non-genre (world music mashups), musical parameters (polyrhythms of the world), emotional association (the world’s saddest music), societal function (dance music, trance music, etc.), cross-geographic or cross-genre influence  (world music influences in jazz), specific media (international film music), methods of circulation (world music samples in hip hop), political association (protest music, nationalistic music), or any other parameters you can devise. It’s up to you whether to get wildly creative with your framework or to keep it relatively simple; whether to cover an expansive range of musics or to keep the playlist tightly focused.

A proposal for the final assignment is due by our next class meeting on 11/28. In no more than one or two pages describe the parameters of your playlist, other key ideas/concepts to be explored in the ‘liner notes,’ strategies for finding, compiling, and researching the playlist, and any other considerations you feel will come into play. Send your proposal to on or before 11/28.