Cultural differences as an issue of the past essay

Professor Geert Hofstede on cultural differences 1. He describes these differences on the basis of six levels, which he calls the 6D-model: These terms will be discussed later. It shows that the hierarchy in organizations is established for convenience.

Cultural differences as an issue of the past essay

This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series "Missions and Music" Read more posts by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. A missionary cannot properly evaluate the differences among cultural expressions until he has understood their universals. At the root of the most thoughtful defenses of contemporary worship today is an appeal based on a missions philosophy that stresses indigenous ministry.

James Dobson makes this kind of argument in defense of using contemporary American pop music in American churches: We understand this principle when we send missionaries to other countries.

These missionaries seek first to learn the language and the culture of the places to which they go. We would never send an English-speaking missionary to a Spanish-speaking county [sic] to minister exclusively in English.

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That would be irrational, not to mention stupid. Must a missionary take such differences into consideration as he seeks to evangelize and plant churches? But I would suggest that universals in music far outweigh the differences, and I would even go so far as to insist that a missionary cannot properly evaluate the differences among cultural expressions until he has understood their universals.

Even secular musicologist Leonard B. Meyer makes this point: My premise is simple: Because we are all products of a special Cultural differences as an issue of the past essay limited time and space, our behavior and beliefs are invariably influenced by the cultural and personal circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Oriental music, for example, just sounds strange to Western ears. Such differences usually account for why certain music is associated with particular ethnicities. The kinds of differences that make music from different cultures distinguishable are many, but I would like to highlight the three most salient: For a variety of reasons some of which will be discussed belowmusic of different ethnic groups possesses specific timbral characteristics that we then often associate with those ethnic groups.

The most obvious reason for this is instrumentation; some cultures use certain instruments more than others, and thus develop their own unique sound. The other reason for this is differences between vocal timbre among ethnic groups.

Because of the tonal language of the Chinese, for example, their vocal timbre differs from other ethnicities. Help send copies of A Conservative Christian Declaration to Kenya Harmony Different kinds of harmonies are also unique to various cultures.

Harmony is simply the sound created when two or more pitches are played or sung simultaneously. Western Classical culture developed a very complex harmonic system over hundreds of years, while other cultures have very little functional harmony, their music being more centered in melody.

For example, Oriental music is often associate with the pentatonic scalewhich possesses no harmonic dissonance. It is important to recognize here, however, that much music across the world is based on the pentatonic scale, including American folk music and, consequently, many American hymns.

What gives Oriental its unique sound is not just the harmonies of a pentatonic scale, but also certain common instrumental and vocal timbres that accompany it. More on this below. Rhythm Particular rhythms are also often associate with specific ethnic music.

We might associate certain rhythmic patterns with Latin music, African music, or European music. Sound Perception Although differences in timbre exist among cultures, how those timbres are perceived by human ears is universal. All humans can recognize the differences between different instruments and voices, and all humans describe the unique characteristics of various sounds similarly.

Cultural differences as an issue of the past essay

No one, for example, describes the sound of a flute as reedy or brash and the sound of an oboe as sweet and pure. Furthermore, the kinds of sounds and range of pitches that humans can hear or would want to hear!

Scale Structures While certain kinds of scales and harmonic structures predominate in various ethnic groups, most musicologists agree that all cultures possess some kind of scale structure in their music.

This assertion includes three elements, namely, that all cultures recognize the basic idea of an octave, all cultures base their music on a system of discrete scale pitches, and all cultures recognize a tonic or tonal center in their music.

Furthermore, there are limits as to the length of melodic ideas that will be retained in the memories of most humans, which sets restraints on composers. But I would argue that 20th century music runs against fundamental universals, and this is why it is not often accepted by the average public.

Why there are Universals Each of these cases of musical universals and there are more exists because they are rooted in the natural created order, specifically human physiology.

The reason all human hear pitches similarly and recognize the octave and tonic is due to similarities is their physical makeup. All human share basic physical characteristics.

Harwood explains one example of this: Do we have a biblically grounded objection rooted in our personal experiences, or have we merely baptized a secular prejudice and called it Christian ethics? I marvel when Christians deny universals in music and quote certain contemporary musicologists in defense of their argument.

It is true that many philosophers and musicologists today deny musical universals.Analytical observation by Geert Hofstede. Professor Geert Hofstede did many studies about cultural differences.

He describes these differences on the basis of six levels, which he calls the 6D-model: power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, pragmatism and indulgence.

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