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jordym84's avatar

What comes to mind when you hear the term "world music"?

Asked by jordym84 (4742points) December 15th, 2012

Wikipedia describes world music as “a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the world, including traditional music, quasi-traditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition intermingle” as well as “local music from out there.” What is world music to you? Do you have a favorite singer or a song in particular that exemplifies this musical category? Care to share some links?

For me, world music is any song that has the ability to transport me to some faraway place and make me feel as if I’m there in the culture, even if I don’t understand the language in which it is being sung.

Here are some of my favorites:
-Desert Rose (I’ve been listening to this song for years now and it just does something to me, especially the video…I can’t really explain it, but it makes me want to hop on an airplane with just a backpack and travel to and through exotic places and be part of the local culture).
-Boas Festas (this is a song I grew up listening to every single year during the holidays…I can’t even begin to explain the effect it has on me! It brings back so many happy memories and seems to transport me back to my childhood and my family’s Christmas celebrations).
-The following are all from my home country and listening to them makes me feel like I’m home: Sodade, Preto é mi, Dança ma mi criola, Nha pretinha, Encomenda de terra, Yamore.
-Solta-se o beijo (by one of my favorite Portuguese bands)
-Onde o Rio é mais baiano (by Caetano Veloso, a favorite from Brazil).
-Samba de mon coeur qui bat (French lyrics set to Brazilian rhythms? Yes, please!)

My list is endless, but I’ll stop here. What are some of your favorite world music songs?

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12 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Paul Simon has ripped off taken advantage of paid homage to a number of different cultures in music.

bookish1's avatar

As a proud biracial, bicultural mutt, I love fusion music. My two favorite world fusion groups are:

Afro Celt Sound System!


Tabla Beat Science!

mazingerz88's avatar

Exotic. Weird. Twangy. Following this question and will check out all links later. : )

Jeruba's avatar

Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Ravi Shankar. If you just mean what are my first thoughts.

bookish1's avatar

Two fantastic Algerian musicians in the world music movement:

Rachid Taha

DJ Cheb i Sabbah

ucme's avatar

Uranus trumpets?

Sunny2's avatar

What comes to mind? A cornucopia of sounds, words, and rhythms. I’ve been lucky to have to learn songs from many parts of the world and have enjoyed most of them. Some of the sounds are difficult to reproduce, like the African back of the throat clicks and Hebrew ch sounds. Each language seems to have sounds that are more easily learned as one grows up so that the difficult sounds become part of ones palette early.

Bellatrix's avatar

Music from alternative cultures and communities. Music from outside the realm of the mass produced and commercially driven dross we are normally subjected to.

janbb's avatar

That it’s a very simplistic and Western-centric term.

bookish1's avatar

@janbb : I’ve got to agree with you; it is often very Western-centric in the way it is used. When I hear ‘world music’ I automatically think of world fusion, which is a combination of different genres from different cultures, or traditional and modern musical styles, but it certainly is often used to mean just “music that’s not from the Anglophone world.” Just like how Americans say “ethnic food” to generalize anything that’s not… I don’t know… biscuits and gravy. Shudders I HATE THAT PHRASE!

wundayatta's avatar

I listen to music from all over the world, and the music is so different. I listen to Nigerian music, South African music, Turkish music, Moroccan music, Iranian music, Japanese music, Tibetan music, Indonesian Gamelon music, Cambodian music, Tuvan throat singers, Chilean music, Native American flutes, Australian dijeridu, and on and on.

I’m American, yet I play Australian instruments, several kinds of African drums, Native American fluts styles, and the way I play my trumpets is probably a mix of very many influences I’ve had in my life. My music is most like world music in that it is a catchall of many styles, most based on improvisation.

I think the idea of world music is kind of silly. I think it just means that there are so many different styles, and it is too hard to remember the names of all of them. I find the same to be true of various rock styles. I really have no clue when it comes to all these new genres of rock. No idea what they sound like at all. Like most people probably don’t know what a Gamelon sounds like. Or what Babatunde Olatunje’s music sounds like. How many people know what Tuvan throat singing is like? Three wildly different styles, all part of world music, simply because they don’t come from America or Europe.

Blackberry's avatar

Thievery Corporation.

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