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What exactly is World Music?

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  • What exactly is World Music?

    Here's a short article I thought I would share.

    http://www.oscarvandillen.com/tools_...s/world_music/

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  • #2
    I would agree with the article. The composer David Amram devoted a lot of his time to music of the world late in his career. When I was in my late teens and early twenties and still in music school I had no interest. Now in my sixties I have interest and own some music in this broad genre.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
      I would agree with the article. The composer David Amram devoted a lot of his time to music of the world late in his career. When I was in my late teens and early twenties and still in music school I had no interest. Now in my sixties I have interest and own some music in this broad genre.
      Can you list a few of those?

      How would you classify artists like Loreena McKennitt or even Enya? I've seen both World Music and New Age labels attached.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
        Here's a short article I thought I would share.

        http://www.oscarvandillen.com/tools_...s/world_music/
        I guess for me it's music from other countries utilizing different, non-traditional Western musical structures. (after all countries are just an arbitrary designation.)

        One famous song that drew for example from "world music" was Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" from his album Time Out. (that is actually 3+2/5 as I understand).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Five

        You also have "Blue Rondo a la Turk" also from that album that derives its musical structure from those Turkish street musicians. Here you have a structure of 2+2+2+3 interspersed with 3+3+3 measure (9/4).

        Not to mention the influence of Indian music on the Beatles. And so on and so on.....
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        • Johnny Vinyl
          Johnny Vinyl commented
          Editing a comment
          Add to that some of the works from Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Ry Cooder, etc.

      • #5
        I wouldn't include anything other than non traditional western music in the category. So for example, I wouldn't include western music incorporating rhythms or harmonies from the world category such as Mozart operas and symphonies or Jazz like the Brazilian rage of the 60 and 70s. There have been many periods in western culture which have used elements of other cultures in their arts. To me it's a perversion of sorts and not part of the subject. I would include Traditional Asian music, Fado, Flamenco, to name a few.
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        • #6
          Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
          I wouldn't include anything other than non traditional western music in the category. So for example, I wouldn't include western music incorporating rhythms or harmonies from the world category such as Mozart operas and symphonies or Jazz like the Brazilian rage of the 60 and 70s. There have been many periods in western culture which have used elements of other cultures in their arts. To me it's a perversion of sorts and not part of the subject. I would include Traditional Asian music, Fado, Flamenco, to name a few.
          Ok but Turkey is a gateway to many cultures. And again, countries are an artificial construct.
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          • #7
            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

            Ok but Turkey is a gateway to many cultures. And again, countries are an artificial construct.
            To me it isn't so much about cultures but the scales employed, form, harmony, instruments used , etc. BTW, I know that you Myles know that in the great melting pot, USA, culture and the arts are evolving and where it all goes will be anybody's guess musically speaking. Socially too.
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            • #8
              Peter Gabriel is a big proponent of the world music genre.
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              • #9
                Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post

                To me it isn't so much about cultures but the scales employed, form, harmony, instruments used , etc. BTW, I know that you Myles know that in the great melting pot, USA, culture and the arts are evolving and where it all goes will be anybody's guess musically speaking. Socially too.

                I totally agree and that's what I was trying to point out above. But it comes back in some ways to a premise in Daniel Levitan's first book This is Your Brain on Music that society and music are inseparable ("even the most primitive societies have music"). Hence almost all (?all) all cultures have their own form of music.
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                ________________________________________

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                • #10
                  There is a very funny bit that was caught on video some years ago when Tommy Tedesco (one of the guitarists who made up the notorious Wrecking Crew) was filmed giving a pro-guitar workshop. He explained that he got a call from a film producer/music director who needed some Bolivian music for a scene shot in the mountains involving country people. Tommy then demonstrates to his workshop the riff he provided. Then, Tommy says, I get a call from a guy who needs some Mexican bandito music. Tommy then proceeds to play exactly the same riff to his audience. Then, Tommy says, somebody needs Spanish bullfighting music. Same lick.
                  We will go hear David Lindley later this week. He will play a variety of instruments from around the world- http://www.davidlindley.com/instruments.html He can pull amazing sounds- Indian, Turkish, African, Russian to American homespun-- from these things, but to me, it's his technique and his genius that make it fascinating and different. One of the early proponents of world music, commercially, was Chris Blackwell. Having grown up part of the time in Jamaica, and having been hugely successful with Bob Marley--turning reggae from an exotic, Caribbean flavored niche into a a widely recognized style of "rock," he went on to explore and support a variety of other performers, lesser known, from Africa and other parts of the world. When you listen to some of the Dead Can Dance stuff, they are blending a variety of motifs and cultural styles into something that almost defies definition.
                  Last edited by Bill Hart; 04-11-2016, 07:48 AM.

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                  • #11
                    The best description I've heard is it's "international music", like "International House of Pancakes." :-)

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                    • MylesBAstor
                      MylesBAstor commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah but as you get older, you grow out of IHOP!

                  • #12
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                    Ok but Turkey is a gateway to many cultures. And again, countries are an artificial construct.
                    But "homeland" may not be.
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                    • #13
                      I always thought of World music to be any non-Western music genre.
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