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What is World Music

Feb 18, 2023
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World music is a broad term that refers to a wide range of musical styles and genres that originate from various cultures around the world. It is often used to describe music that is traditional or indigenous to a particular region, but it can also include music that blends different styles and influences.

World music can include a diverse range of instruments, rhythms, and vocal styles, and often incorporates unique cultural elements that are specific to the region or community from which the music originates. Some examples of world music genres include African music, Indian classical music, Middle Eastern music, Latin American music, and Celtic music, among many others.

World music has gained popularity and recognition in recent years, as artists and musicians have increasingly blended and experimented with different musical styles and cultural influences, creating unique and innovative sounds that draw from a variety of sources.

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Example of world music genres
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There are many examples of world music genres, each with their own unique characteristics and cultural significance. Here are a few examples:

African music: This includes traditional music from many different countries in Africa, such as West African highlife and Afrobeat, South African mbaqanga and township jazz, and East African benga and taarab.

Indian classical music: This is a genre of classical music that is specific to India and has a rich history and tradition dating back thousands of years. It includes many different styles and sub-genres, such as Hindustani classical music and Carnatic classical music.

Middle Eastern music: This encompasses music from countries such as Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon, and features unique instruments like the oud, qanun, and ney. Popular sub-genres include Arabic pop and traditional music.

Latin American music: This includes a wide range of musical styles from different countries in Latin America, such as salsa, reggaeton, tango, and samba.

Celtic music: This is a genre of traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, and other countries in the Celtic regions of Europe. It features instruments such as the fiddle, bagpipes, and bodhran, and includes sub-genres such as Irish traditional music and Scottish folk music.

These are just a few examples of world music genres, and there are many more styles and sub-genres that are unique to different regions and cultures around the world.

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Famous world music artists
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There are many famous world music artists who have made significant contributions to the genre and helped to popularize it around the world. Here are some examples:

Miriam Makeba - a South African singer and political activist known as "Mama Africa" who popularized African music around the world.

Ravi Shankar - an Indian sitar player and composer who helped to introduce Indian classical music to Western audiences and collaborated with many famous musicians, including The Beatles.

Ali Farka Touré - a Malian guitarist and singer who is known for his unique blend of traditional African music and blues.

Youssou N'Dour - a Senegalese singer and songwriter who has been called the "king of African pop" and has collaborated with many famous musicians, including Peter Gabriel.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - a Pakistani musician who was known for his powerful qawwali singing, a type of devotional music popular in South Asia.

Buena Vista Social Club - a group of Cuban musicians who were brought together by American musician Ry Cooder and achieved international fame for their traditional Cuban music.

Loreena McKennitt - a Canadian singer and composer who has blended Celtic, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean influences into her music.

These are just a few examples of famous world music artists, and there are many more musicians who have made important contributions to the genre.