Welcome to "Music & The History of Asia" -- with MusicAtOurHouse!

Below are resources and recommended recordings for the different components of the course:

Music of the Middle East   .....  Homework 1-4     Homework 5-9
Holiday Music   .....   Homework
Music of India   .....  Homework
Music of China   .....  Homework
Music of Japan   .....  Homework

Submit homework writing on the dicussion forum here.
To access the recorded classes, visit:
Elementary Level
Jr/Sr High Level

To subscribe to the course, or our prior course on the History of Western Music, visit:

Course Description
Many parents and children have enjoyed the “History through Art” segment Mr. Powell has included in many of his HistoryAtOurHouse courses, using great paintings to vividly illuminate the people and events of history. We’re pleased to announce that this enhancement will be expanded this year to include integration with MusicAtOurHouse.

MusicAtOurHouse this fall (2012-13) will present “Music & the History of Asia”–a program integrated with HistoryAtOurHouse, covering the cultures of the Middle East, India, China, and Japan. MusicAtOurHouse will study the indigenous musics of these cultures, as well as the Asian influences which have inspired Western composers. Although this MusicAtOurHouse course can also stand on its own for those not joining Mr. Powell’s class, the connection of content is a unique opportunity.

We’ll study an ancient Hurrian Cult Song which had been notated on cuneiform tablets in Mesopotamia around 1400 BC. We’ll study the sounds of ancient Judaism, including the flavor of traditional Klezmer music. We’ll study the style and emotions of the 3000-year-old tradition of Indian Classical Music. We’ll hear Chinese and Japanese folk sounds and discuss the ways in which this music expresses the character of these peoples.

We will explore the influences of Asia on Western music, delving into the the great operas using asian subjects and influences–such as Verdi’s Aida, which was commissioned to celebrate the new Opera House in Cairo, a symbol of modernization and Westernization–such as Handel’s Xerxes, set in Persia and based on the Achaemenid King–such as Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, set in a Turkish Harem–such as Bizet’s Pearl Fishers, set in Sri Lanka where two men’s vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for the same woman, a woman whose own dilemma is the conflict between secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess.

We’ll hear bold and colorful orchestral music inspired by Eastern subjects, such as Richard Strauss’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra” and Carl Nielsen’s “Aladdin” Suite. We’ll come to understand the Asian influences on French Impressionism, as in the music of Ravel and Debussy.

Underlying the course will be the distinctive MusicAtOurHouse approach: the Characterological Approach to Music–the idea that music expresses the character of its maker–that it encapsulates the mindset, moral qualities and psychological nature of a people. This approach offers a unique opportunity to learn by contrast about an enormous range of the world’s cultures!

Join us in using music to add a new dimension to your child’s understanding of world history!
Mr. Johnson & Mr. Powell