Caribbean Music Journey: Dominican Routes and Roots

Dominican Republic
Caribbean Music Journey: Dominican Routes and Roots
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Dates, Deadlines, and Costs
TermApp DeadlineStart DateEnd DateCost
SummerFeb 15early Juneearly JulyBudget
Program Information
  • GPA
  • 2.75
  • Language of Instruction
  • Spanish
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • Yes
  • Class Eligibility
  • Junior, Senior, Sophomore
  • Program Open To
  • UA and Non-UA Students
  • Credit Type
  • UA Direct Credit
  • Level of Study
  • Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Housing Options
  • Hotel
  • Program Type
  • UA Faculty-led
Program Overview

This hands-on ethnomusicology course is unique not only at the U of A but also in the Caribbean region. Learning songs and rhythms from master musicians, classroom discussion and readings, collaborative learning with Dominican students, and visits to live music performances will facilitate students’ understanding of the role of music in this society, as well as its relationship to larger issues like nationalism, migration, race, and urbanization.


Tentaive 2016 dates: June 5 - June 29

The course combines music-making, collaborative field research, and classrooms discussions with leading researchers on hot topics in Caribbean music to give students a well-rounded picture of Dominican musical life as well as the field of ethnomusicology. Students can visit cockfights, dance to Afro-Dominican rhythms, and study with local masters of merengue ​típico, palos and more while improving their Spanish skills.​ US students will study alongside Dominican colleagues. 

Students will earn 6 upper division credits:

MUS/LAS 468/568 - 3 units

Practical training in Dominican music and dance combined with classroom study of Dominican ethnomusicology.

MUS 494/694 - 3 units

Practicum: field research in Caribbean music and dance. Practice field methods and conduct a collaborative fieldwork project with classmates. 


The hands-on course is taught and hosted with local musicians at the Centro León in Santiago de Caballeros, Dominica Republic, a renowned museum and research center. Santiago is Dominican Republic's second largest city. Students will also visit village celebrations and the country's 16th-century capital city. 


Students will stay in shared hotel rooms. 


Sydney Hutchinson (assistant professor, ethnomusicology, Syracuse University) leads the course. She has conducted research on Dominican music traditions since 2001 and published extensively on Caribbean music and dance. Additional faculty include Dr. Martha Ellen Davis, Dr. Angelina Tallaj and Edis ​Sánchez; master musicians include Rafaelito Román and Grupo Mello.  

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