This free course has introduced you to different kinds of musical knowledge and their relationship with various musical practices (performance, listening, and composition); and to some of the methods and resources for studying music, within the context of the digital humanities.
It has also introduced you, though, to an area of music study (music and politics) that raises some interesting issues about what exactly we mean by studying ‘music’. Looking at the way in which music and politics can be connected calls into question the assumptions we may have about the identity of music - about the boundaries and edges of what constitutes ‘the music itself’. From the activities of performers, listeners, composers, and musicologists, it seems that it is frequently difficult to divorce discussion of ‘the music’ from its worldly contexts. Although (some) music analysts or music aestheticians may still maintain that there is such a thing as ‘the music itself’ or argue that music has no meaning beyond its aesthetic meaning as music, there can be little doubt that to ignore these interactions between music and politics is to close the door on rich and fascinating areas of study.