In this class, we’ll listen to the classical musical systems of the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, while looking at the basic scales of dastgah, maqam, raga, and pathet. We’ll unpack the concept of mode in cross-cultural perspective, looking at how a simple series of notes can have myriad meanings. Through examining performances, improvisations, venues, historical documents, and associational taxonomies, we’ll build a rich concept of mode through a comparative cultural approach. We will sing, write, and develop our own notational systems for understanding these traditions. No previous musical knowledge is necessary.