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World Music

World Music
Everything you need to know about Music. The newest news, articles, how-to information and resources.


Instrumental Music
2007-10-09 14:39:00
Music that consists of no vocals is known as instrumental music. There are mainly 2 kinds of instrumental music, hip-hop and rock and roll. But you could cut off the words from any song and play the music, it is nothing but instrumental then.Sometimes just music sounds soothing and relaxes the soul; you could hear it all day tirelessly and fall off to sleep. Infact instrumental music is the perfect way to put yourself to sleep. Even babies can be put to sleep with instrumental music instead of lullabies. The music that is crafted is either of the DJ or the producer. The DJ breaks up the percussion from the funk and disco as the beats are what gets you to shake your leg. He would play 2 copies of a song and mix it on a turntable. Bringing beats of the song simultaneously keeping the rhythm and energy intact. As the people began to applaud the music style, more and more got in to the profession of DJing. Sometimes the DJ would speak over the music, introducing himself and a little abo...
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Country Music
2007-10-09 14:39:00
Arms akimbo and let your feet flow with the beats. You can do the polka or waltz; the beats are on the same rhythm. Country music though founded in the rural areas of the whites in America is now in every music lover’s home around the world.It gained importance with singers like Jimmie Rodgers and The Cater Family and recently by youngsters who have added their own style that make it acceptable by people of different lifestyles. The music is said to have descended by the native tribes of the Southern Appalachian Mountains that moved into South America. There were the Mexican, Spanish, groups from central Europe and the British Isles, as these communities mixed with one another, their customs and traditions were strongly mixed. The traits that were founded between them then lived and became their customs. The Appalachian bands of the 20th century mostly played with the fiddle, banjo and guitar. The other instruments include the dulcimer of German origin, the mandolin from Italy, th...
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Greek Music
2007-10-09 14:38:00
Greek music is a legacy by itself. Like the Greek culture that had reached its peak even its music has enjoyed the heights of popularity in and around the area. It begins from the ancient world when theatre was the heart of the country. But only dialogues were not entertaining and hence music was invented. Changes in the style of music occurred as different empires came to reign in the country. In the beginning it was only men that could sing and perform in theatres. Later women too were allowed to sing and mixed gender choruses reverberated in music halls. The instruments then used were the double reed aulos, the lyre and the special one of its kind called the kithara. Not only was the Greek culture influential it was also the music that was influenced, thus their notational system in music was wide spread in Greece. Not only Rome but even the western world is known to have used the musical modes created by the Greeks. Music was such an important aspect in Greece that children were...
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Ethiopian Music
2007-10-09 14:38:00
Ethiopia’s ethnic diversity has closely been associated with some unique and often indigenous sounds. Ethiopia is a long established and accepted musical country. Ethiopian music has been open to all kinds of music influences, even from the West. The people listen and accept traditional folk music to the latest popular styles. Brass bands also became largely popular during the reign of Haile Selassie. From the 1950’s till the 70’s, Ethiopian music incorporated some of the biggest names in the music industry namely Alemu Aga, Kassa Tessema, Bezunesh Bekele, Mulatu Astatke, Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, Hirut Bekele, Kiros Alemayehu, Tilahun Gessesse and Mary Armede. Leading and well known Ethiopian record labels included Amha Records, Kaifa Records, and Philips-Ethiopia.However things changed for this famine ridden country by the coming of communist dictator Mengitsu between 1974 and 1991who reduced the people and their culture. Music that was recorded during this time frame...
Iranian music
2007-10-09 14:36:00
From ancient times till date, Iranian s have continued to place emphasis on poetry and other forms of music. Monophonic in nature, it usually consists of a soloist or a duet with an accompaniment. Iranian classical music has a whole set of melodies known as the Radif, seven larger connotations known as the Dastagh and five smaller sub-sets known as avaz or maqam. The term "Khonyâ-ye Bâstâni Irâni" is better known today as Iranian Classical Music . However performances are more often improvisations to other various melodic theoretical precedents. These melodies are known as gushe-s which is grouped together in a form. Performance is based on the idea of a suite or a collection of classical poetry, certain instruments and various musical compositions.With poetry available from ancient times till the present day, one has a large choice to choose from. However sometimes based on the performance the gushe-s may have a slower rhythm or an improvised one. These have been passed down from...
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Arabic Music
2007-10-09 14:36:00
Arabic music has suddenly mesmerised people all over the world. It has ascended to a level of compatibility with people of other ethnics and religion. The industry has also been able to capture the western market with the music and lyrics like never before.Well one can also see the imprints on the Indian music industry as today Arabic music is introduced in the verse and sometimes even in the chorus. How has this industry gotten big all of a sudden, to know more read on. Arabic music in the early centuries was greatly influenced by Egyptians, Sumerians and Assyrians. Most of the instruments used today are the modern versions of what it was in the decades gone by. The main characteristics of Arabic music are florid ornamentation, modal homophony and modal rhythm. There were only eight modes in the beginning but were increased to 12 modes in the 11th century.  They were called maqamat by the 13th century. Ornamentation in Arabic music is the use of shakes and trills, appoggiatura...
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Thai Music
2007-10-09 14:36:00
Thailand’s links to the music world are closely connected with that of India and China. Although never colonized by Western imperial powers, Thailand still owes a large of its musical influences to European and American music. Thai’s musical lineage followed a more oral tradition where its distinctive music is said to be a mere 700 years old.  This is because only during the Ayuthaya period did Thai music gain prominence. However with the fall of the dynasty and the burning of its art collections and historical literature by Rama I, the history of Thai music suffered a huge blow. To get back to the fundamentals of Thai music right; it is made of seven equal notes, with its tempo being firm and balanced. Melody in the song is horizontal by structure followed by slower and faster tempos. Tones and semi tones are also incorporated in their music similar to the Western style on musical notes. Importance and prominence is also given to a pulse or group of pulses in the conclusio...
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Ukrainian Music
2007-10-09 14:35:00
Formerly a member of the all powerful Soviet Union, Ukraine’s music today is considered to be well connected to the “Cossacks baroque”. To gain a musical education, centers for learning included the Glukhiv singing school and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. D.Bortnyansky, M.Berezovsky and A.Vedel are just a few names of great artists who spread Ukrainian music. Even though their education meant that they had become knowledgeable in the European styled music, they never stopped emphasizing Ukraine’s melodic traditions and created masterpieces with their compositions and lyrics. In many Slavic churches, spiritual music composed by them is still played. Development in the musical field also lead to the emergence of cappella choir music, made popular by modern day Ukraine.In the city of Chernihiv in Ukraine, archaeologists found mammoth tusks which were considered to be the first musical instruments made in Ukraine. Ukrainians can also be divided into different regional groups owing to the...
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Pashto Music
2007-10-09 14:34:00
It is important to understand who and what are the Pashtuns and how their music originated and grew. Pashtuns also well known as Pathans in Urdu and ethnic Afghans in Persian have populations which hail from southern Afghanistan and in the North-West Frontier Province, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and from provinces in Pakistan. Pakistan is another country which has developed a large array of sounds from traditional Pashtun music. With the penetration of western music in various pockets of these countries, it’s not surprising to find two important genres – traditional eastern music meeting the west.The Pashtuns are characterized by their language, namely Pashto. From the 1980’s, Afghanistan has been facing constant violence with the rise and fall of the Taliban regime, in which the Pashtun community played a large role. During the Taliban regime, music was largely suppressed and condemned, with the banning of instrumental music and destruction of musical instruments. Ka...
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Swahili music
2007-10-09 14:34:00
It is from the eastern coast of Africa where the Swahili civilization sprang up and grew in to what is today Kenya’s offering of a vast variety and diversity of popular music forms. Popular forms of music besides Swahili include Benga, hip hop, reggae, soul, soukous, rock and roll, funk and Europop. The guitar is considered to be the soul of musical instruments across all genres in continental African music; however they also use bass and percussions.With the emergence of radio and television broadcasters Swahili music artists’ performances began to be aired live. The lyrics of various music artists would vary between Swahili and Lingala, but other tribal languages were not given much importance and hence there was no scope for development. Many night clubs in Nairobi started playing rumba music which was very trendy and was a the rage at that time. By the end of 1977, with the East African community splitting, the continuous flow of Tanzanian Swahili performers entering Kenya t...
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Persian Music
2007-10-09 14:34:00
Persia has a refined musical culture known to have been widely influenced by many cultures such as the Greeks, Arabs, Spain and even Japan. With an elaborate musical history, the early Persian Empire started by King Herodotus had great court musicians such as Barbod, Nakissa and Ramtin. Barbod has been credited with devising the first Persian musical system known as the Khosravaani or Royal Modes. Around the 7th century when Persia was invaded by the Arab dynasty, the Arabs discovered a culturally rich musical heritage. During the Abbasid dynasty, Persian musicians living in a secular environment away from Islamist religious leaders opposed to the onslaught of Persian music, and began to perform in different corners of the Islamic Empire. However after the decline of the Abbasid dynasty, and with the rise of Shi'ite clerics there was a gradual decline in musical theory and lack of creative growth.Becoming a mere decorative piece of art, Persian music was reduced to court musicians...
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Vietnamese Music
2007-10-09 14:33:00
An upsurge in the growth of Vietnamese music is not because of a sudden show of creativity but rather because of it being under the thumb of the Chinese and the Japanese respectively. Large amounts of musical influences came not only from these countries but also from India in the form of chamber music as well as Mongolia and Champa. The Vietnamese Music theory is founded upon the Chinese theory as most instruments used by the Vietnamese share a similarity with Chinese instruments. With its large cultural heritage, musical diversity was phenomenal as it also had foreign influences. Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a large number of ethnic minorities which in turn has given rise to a number of musical expressions.Even though musical instruments had Chinese markings, the Vietnamese soon introduced some of their own musical instruments such as the đàn bầu and đàn đáy. Modifications were done to these instruments as well as musical connotati...
Turkish Music
2007-10-09 14:33:00
Turkish music includes diverse elements. This is because Turkey was dominated by various civilizations and hence their art forms have been influenced by the Persians, the Byzantine Empire and even the Balkans. Besides these there is documented evidence of folk music being recorded according to the styles of the Armenians, Jews, Greeks and other communities. People settling in from different parts of the country, gave rise to regional folklore, with each region having its own distinct tradition. Turkey’s music has been broadly segregated into classical art music and folk music. Turkish classical music was brought forth by the Ottoman Empire as they patronized royal court music and its compositions. It is also known as saray music or royal court music. The Hamparsum notation was used till the prologue of Western notation. Their modes and scales were called makam. Some of the major artists who popularized this genre include Dede Efendi, Münir Nurettin Selçuk, Prince Cantemir, Zeki ...
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Portuguese Music
2007-10-09 14:32:00
Portugal is known all over the world for its music. It has the best musicians and singers along with instruments that are indigenous to Portugal. Among the native styles, Fado is a well-known name. It was born in Lisbon among the urban poor. Lyrics included that of sadness, poverty and loneliness, but they were not languidly told as there was a sense of controlled music. These songs were created as husbands of many women sailed to never seen lands while most of them never came back. Fado means fate in Portuguese . Some claim that the Arabic imprints are seen in the use of instruments although the Arabs are known to have left in the 13th century.Fado gained momentum in the 19th century in Coimbra city; it had been refined and sounds majestic. They had been known as songs of those to cherish their illusions not for those who seem to have lost them. Amalia Rodrigues the actress and singer took fado to new heights in 1939. It became an international sensation with her various styles that...
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Korean Music
2007-10-09 14:31:00
Korean music is broadly divided into 2 parts. South Korean and North Korean. The music that dwells in this country is mainly based on shamanistic beliefs and Buddhism. The music that is traditional to Korea is mainly based on four type’s aristocrat, courtly, scholarly and religious. There is also the folk music that is loved by the locals and the rich alike. The music here is very complex but there is a continuous rhythm that is followed called the Jangdam. Mostly all the folk songs are categorized under Dongbu Folk songs, but the vocal and music styles in it are varied, hence scholars are trying to further distinguish the songs to specific categories. Songs from the province of Jeolla and Chungcheong are called Namdo folk songs. This style of songs got more recognition due to the pansori and sanjo musical genres created that won the hearts of many.  It even went international and has got a fan collection in India too. From the island of Jeju we have jeju folk songs that too ...
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Romanian Music
2007-10-09 14:31:00
Romania is in the South Eastern region of Europe. It is bordered by Hungary and Serbia on the west, Moldova and Ukraine lies in the northeast and to the south is Bulgaria. All the bordering counties have influenced Romania in a great way and this is visible in the music of the country. Although the country consists of 90% ethnic Romanian s the remaining 10% are a mix of Hungarians, Germans and Roma (Gypsy), which have given birth to a multicultural Romania. Romanian music has folk music, which has gained popularity all over the world while the modern music comprises of pop, hip-hop, rock and roll and heavy metal. The most well known form of music is Doina, which is often melancholic. Other styles include bocet i.e. lamenting, cand ciobanu si-a pierdut oile i.e. sorrowful songs of the shepherd losing his sheep and cantec batransec i.e. songs for the elders in the community. The music varies from region to region in Romania as the instruments used, widely differ. In Banat, the violin i...
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Croatian Music
2007-10-09 14:31:00
Like Croatia, the music too is influenced from the neighbouring areas like the Mediterranean, Balkans and people that travelled from central and north Europe. The music is available in the traditional folk, there is pop and there is rock too.  The folk music contains the klapa music, which forms a part of the capella singing. Klapa means a group of people and has been founded in church singing. The motif of klapa singing comprises of wine, country and the sea. They basically translate to the elements of music that includes harmony; rhythm does not play a substantial role here.  The group is made of singers that are inseparable to the team. There is the tenor, bass and baritone. You can have 2 of each of them but the tenor has to be only one. On some occasions a few strings of the guitar sound heavenly along with the mandolin. Klapa still lives on from time immemorial, it is sung on festivals by the youth. You will also hear some amateurs crooning on the streets in the even...
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French Music
2007-10-09 14:29:00
France is known as the main centre for music from all over Europe. Along with its traditional folk music Asian, Latin America and African influence of the immigrants present is also visible. France has produced some of the best music composers in the world and is now a boiling pot of hip hop, rock, funk, techno and pop. Organum was the musical composition in the 10th century that was first documented. Music called the motet rose by the end of the 12th century while travelling musicians brought in the style known as troubadours. By the 14th century two notable styles were witnessed in France called the Ars Subtilior and the Ars Nova. Renaissance saw Burgundy rise as the centre for music and hence the Burgandian School was established.The early music before the 20th century is being revived because of the growing tourism who are interested in the rich history of France. Tourists that come to France are made aware of the variations in music that are present that change from region to r...
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Filipino Music
2007-10-09 14:28:00
With more than 3 countries ruling the Philippine islands for over 377 years their music is a blend of Spanish, American and European. The Republic of Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands located in South East Asia and has Manila as its capital. The Philippines descended from the Austronesian culture. But have been influenced by the 3 centuries of Spanish colonial rule and then by the Americans. Most of them are Roman Catholics and Philippine and English are two main languages.The different islands have different music rhythms and use instruments made of brass, wood and bronze. In the southern islands a sophisticated music called kulintang exists where boss gongs are used to create the music. In the northern islands music is played using gongs that are called gangsa and a bit different from the gongs used in the south. Here dance is the main hero and music is played to accompany it, so percussion is mainly what the gongs are here for. Lightly played drums accompany the gongs. Amon...
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Italian Music
2007-10-09 14:27:00
Music is integral to the country of Italy. It has been refined since the ancient world yet not completely modified so hints of the early eras are still very prominent.This is visible in the singing and instruments used in Italian music. As there were many cultures that influenced Italy with the neighbouring countries coming in like the German tribes, Greeks, French and Arabs, the music composed have hints of the contributions made by these countries. Immigrants from the Balkans and North Africa have build large communities in southern Italy especially Sisily. Hence the folk music here is different from elsewhere and stands out prominently. The voices are high pitched and nasal and the expression is of true agony. While singing the throat is inflated and the brows are joined thus expressing grief in highly ornamented styles. This style is visible in opera and other hip-hop music albums. Songs of Italy cater to every class of citizens. There are songs for festivals like Christmas and ...
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Serbian Music
2007-10-09 14:27:00
Serbian music is a blend of the Balkans and the Turkish music that existed in the days of yore as it was heavily influenced by the cultures that ruled over it and with the mix of people that existed in the country. As the Byzantine Empire ruled over Serbia, courtly music was very much in demand. Music ians were known as glumci, sviralnici and praskavinci.Beyond court music, church music has been documented to the medieval era. The music was mostly Osmoglasnik, which were a collection of songs dedicated to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instruments that were used included trumpets, lutes, horns, psalteries, cymbals and drums. Folk music was well differentiated and this is depicted with the instruments used like the flutes, bagpipes, diple, gulse and tamburita. With the entry of the Turks in the 15th century instruments like tapan, kaval and zurle were introduced.In classical music there was Stevan Mokreanjac who stood out as a distinguished musicologist. He was the first person to ...
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English Music
2007-10-09 14:26:00
English music has gained momentum ever since the 50s and had risen to its peak in the 70s and 80s. Today although it does not command a great hold in the market, its popularity has spread even into the remote villages of the world including India.Music in ancient England was purely church music or in the form of ballads and carols that were sung during Christmas. In the 16th century Troubadours were quite popular for their songs. In those days when copyright issues did not exist songs were easily copied. It would be the same music with different lyrics. In the 15th century a wave of polyphony ring tones took over the country. Composers like Leonel Power, Robert Fayrfax and John Dunstaple were acclaimed in that era. But most of the music that had been written down were destroyed by Henry VIII in the mid 15th century. In the 16th century and 17th century leisure time was more accessible and hence music was given more importance. The renaissance also had its share of influence on Engla...
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Kannada Music
2007-10-09 14:25:00
Kannada or Carnatic music is linked deeply into Hinduism with strong ties going back to the Vedic times. During the time when the Vijayanagar Empire grew into prominence, music composed in the south came to be known as ‘Karnataka Sangeetham’. Purandara Dasa or as he is better known as ‘Karnataka Sangitha Pithamaha’ has been credited with being the creative genius behind pioneering Carnatic music. He was instrumental in introducing the Raga Mayamalavagowla for novices and composed simple Gitas as well for them. He contributed to the Hindustani Classical music art form as well during the Haridasa movement.Kannada music draws inspiration from Tamil music as well. It originally began as being an oral tradition which was passed down from one generation to the other. The music is complete with melody and other variations. Vocals are emphasized even if there is an instrumental accompaniment, as the singing performance of the artist is important who is known as the gāyaki.S...
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Malayalam Music
2007-10-09 14:24:00
Kerala is one of the most beautiful states in India. Its lush greenness is par naturalness. No doubt it is called ‘gods own country’. Music ally this country is known as Sopanam. Some famous singers of Kerala are Janadhana Nedungadi, Damodar Marar and Neralattu Rama Poduval.Kerala has musicians that are world renowned, infact L. Athira Krishna granddaughter of Vidwan Gopala Pillai has gone down in history with her 32-hour non-stop violin concert. She has been recorded in the Guinness book of world records.Kerala’s music is unique in its own sense and hence cannot be simply categorized as basic Indian music. There has always been an emotional debate if Kerala’s music can stand independently apart from the entire South Indian music. While some debate the music in the south of India is all the same as it follows similar patterns and rhythm, some argue that it is distinct from karnatic music.The criteria for the differences are rituals, genres, tala system (rhythm), musical instr...
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Punjabi Music
2007-10-09 14:23:00
From the local state of Punjab, in the north of India, music that has been a part of the region like every other has catapulted and spread like fire. So strong has been the influence of Punjabi music that it has shadowed other origins of music in the country to spiral as one of the best in India.Punjabis believe in enjoying every minute of their life and living it to the optimum. This ideology is expressed in their music and songs where you are made to forget all your worries and just immerse yourself in the music.The dramatic influence the music has had is seen in foreign lands where the dhol and balle balle are enjoyed to the optimum. This is because of the energetic beats the songs comprise of. Even though one does not understand the language one can still love the music. High energy signing along with high powered beats and dancing invigorates a sense of exhilaration and participation in the music becomes so forceful, that you will leave your work and put on your dancing shoes. ...
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