What in the World is Music? investigates the nature and meaning of music through its widely shared uses and purposes, providing students with strong points of connection to the ways it affects their own lives. The text explores the ways humans experience and organize sound, and the contexts in which music takes place. Examining how people use music deepens students' insight both into its nature and the nature of those who make it, enjoy it, move to it, and live surrounded by it. What in the World is Music? takes a global approach informed by both musicological and ethnomusicological modes of inquiry, and combines musical examples and concepts from around the world including the traditional Western canon. What in the World is Music? is divided into four parts that highlight similarities across cultures and examine shared musical practices. Unit 1: The Foundations of Music presents an inquiry-guided approach to understanding and engaging with music as a universal form of human expression, and explores the elements, origins, and functions of music from a global perspective. Unit 2: Music and Identity examines how music operates in the shaping, negotiating, and projecting of human identity. The discussion is organized around four broad conceptual frames: the individual, the group, hybridity, and conflict. Unit 3: Music and the Sacred considers how music is used in religious practices throughout the world: as a medium for the chanting of sacred texts and for communal singing, as a vehicle for religious experience, and as a demarcator of ritual space and time. Unit 4: Music and Social Life explores a variety of narrative and theatrical forms, and demonstrates how music symbolizes characters and situations, heightens emotion, and connects stories to broader cultural values and traditions. The unit also investigates music's relationships to sound recording and cinema technologies, and its contributions to nightlife, festivals, and sporting events. The package includes one-year access to a full-color interactive eTextbook version with streaming audio and video, making this an ideal text for distance learning courses.