What exactly is World Music?

The word, “Western Music” includes genres of music originating in the Western world (which includes Europe) that are differentiated through music from the Orient or Middle East. Put simply, Western music, in most cases, is built on major, minor, and pentatonic scales.

There is liberal use of octaves, fourths, and fifths. Music from the Orient or the Middle Eastern employs a larger group of scales which includes those built on five records (rather than seven) and one fourth tones (rather than semitones). These differences, though not understood by layperson, go a long way in generating music that is noticeably different and unique to each culture.

Music from different countries and nationalities can be dramatically different. Latin songs, for example , is known for its use of a variety of percussion instruments including congas, claves, timbales and hand drums. This music, often used for dances, is definitely lively, very rhythmic, and often dramatic. Mexican music, on the other had, often includes a mariachi band which usually consists of guitar, bass, violin plus horns such as trumpets.

Strikingly different, music from Japan is often played on interesting instruments with interesting names such as shamisen, taiko drums, and a flute called shakuhachi, which is made of bamboo. The music is very meditative and is often used for ceremonies and marking certain passages in life. Hawaii music is very simple in rhythm plus melody and has a distinct sound performed by ukuleles and guitars. “Slack key” guitar, a finger selecting style played with unusual tunings, began in Hawaii in the 1960s and is still heard today. Music through Israel is a mix of music through Jewish and non-Jewish traditions.
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Additionally, you will hear a mix of Klezmer and Hebrew folk music.

The United States, being a fairly young country, and one that is made up of virtually all ethnics groups, has a music of its own – jazz — and it’s derivatives. You can hear Dixieland swing in New Orleans plus hard-charging blues in the night clubs associated with Chicago. The U. S. is considered the birthplace of both rock-and-roll and Country music, both sharing their own beginnings with folk music (which some insist had its roots in Europe).

The term “world music” is a most often used to describe a broad and eclectic collection of music plus musicians. There are many world music celebrations throughout the year with musicians and their particular support staff traveling thousands of kilometers for a single performance. Music mags like “Song Lines” are devoted to world music with each duplicate containing a CD of songs from around the globe.

Music from a specific culture (or country) is often impacted by what instruments are traditionally played and readily available. For example , Irish music is deeply rooted in the fiddle, where Spanish music depends a great deal on the guitar and it’s versatility.