I developed this course with Syracuse University's student population in mind. "Go Orange!" drives a lot of student life, so why not offer a course that harnesses this student interest and uses it for their educational good!

Course Description:

We often think about sports visually, but music creates an invisible and powerful connection between athletes, fans, officials, and audiences. Music can motivate sports, from pump-me-up workout playlists and rock-and-roll half marathons to team fight songs and pep bands. Music also has commercial relationships with sports, such as the Super Bowl halftime show and the Olympic opening ceremonies. While all sports have a degree of aesthetics to them (“Wow, that was a beautiful shot!), the presence of music sometimes highlights the fuzzy lines between sports and art forms like figure skating, ice dancing, synchronized swimming, and gymnastics.


This course considers what we can learn about the sensory, emotional, and social connections between sound and sport. We will delve into the theory and science behind questions like “Why do soccer fans sing during matches but American football fans do not?” and “How exactly does my MP3 player impact my 5k time? Can music really make me faster or stronger?” We'll address questions like these through a combination of theory and hands-on practice (Don’t worry – no athletic ability is required!) We will explore readings in the ethnomusicology and anthropology of sport, cognition, and popular music. We will also go out into the world of sports to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in order to test theories and observe music and sports in action. In the end, we'll learn strategies for research and writing to investigate, critique, and analyze the sounds of sport in North American public life.



Syracuse 2015 Music and Sports class gets a behind-the-scenes tour of the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse 2015 Music and Sports class gets a visit from the Syracuse Capoeira Club. http://www.syracusecapoeira.com/

Learning Outcomes:

By taking "Music and Sports" with me, students:

·         Have a broader understanding of historical, social and political developments regarding music and sports

·         Learn the significance of various music repertories, traditions, and significant artists

·         Develop analytical tools, critical thinking, and effective means of writing about music and culture

·         Learn to engage in scholarly dialogue and debate with academic colleagues