MSU offers new minor in music and culture

Contact: Camille Carskadon

MSU Professor Robert Damm, performing on the marimba
MSU Professor Robert Damm, pictured performing on the marimba, developed the curriculum and will provide advising for students in the Department of Music’s new minor in music and culture, to be offered at the university beginning this fall. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s College of Education is establishing a new minor for students interested in music.

The Department of Music’s minor in music and culture begins this fall at the Starkville campus. Intended for those with an interest in non-Western music, especially the music of Africa and the African Diaspora, the program offers students from any major the opportunity to study how human cultural diversity is represented through music.

Featuring an interdisciplinary approach, the minor supports MSU’s vision of diversity and global involvement and is distinct from other existing degrees, offering an anthropological approach that does not rely heavily on musical performance skills.

Professor of Music Robert Damm explained the program’s focus provides a framework for understanding the creativity of the global practice of music within a cultural and historical context. Students can choose from a variety of courses that will enhance their major.

“This new minor enables students to engage critically with music and diverse cultures of the world and prepares them for graduate study, work abroad or careers in the global market,” Damm said. “This curriculum is wonderful for all students who enjoy music or want to learn more about it.”

Damm, who also will serve as advisor for the minor, developed the curriculum and four new courses, including Music of Africa, Music of Latin America, African American Music and Native American Music. Students also may choose up to two Western music and culture electives, along with other requirements to complete the required 18 or 19 hours.

For more information on the minor, contact Damm by email at

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