Music 320

Global Rhythm and Human Consicousness



Godfried Toussaint's book, The Geometry of Musical Rhythm, is filled with voluminous notes on almost every page, containing hundreds of references on topics that range very widely and cover music from across the globe.

Normally, unless we are ourselves scholars, reviewers or editors, we do not take the time to look further into the references or check their reliability. But what will we find if we do?

Choose five references that intrigue you from anywhere in the text, and follow them through.
"Go back to the source,” write a critique, and argue for or against Toussaint's claim (if applicable; there might not be a specific claim in his text, but rather, a pointer to more information on the subject). Flesh out the reference, and fill in any gaps you may find.

In other words, see where they lead you. The references you investigate can be from anywhere in the book (including sections we did not discuss). Also, they do not need to be related to each other, but if you want to connect them you can. Keep a list of all the references that you attempt to locate, whether they were available locally, via interlibrary loan, etc. With any effort, you should be able to find 5 references that are of personal interest to you, since they cover so many diverse topics and diverse kinds of music. The paper should be 5-10 pages long.

NOTE: Because the book’s references point in all sorts of directions, there may or may not be an “argument” that you can specifically refute in your text. If there is, you should spend a few minutes trying to figure out what his claim is so you can evaluate it, at least briefly. But if he is just pointing the reader to more detail on a particular subject, then it’s perfectly OK if your text is basically a brief investigation into the reference; it doesn’t have to argue for or against the text if there’s nothing to refute.