Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Music from Finland

The music of Finland can be roughly divided in the following three categories.
Folk music is typically influenced by Karelian traditional tunes and lyrics of the Kalevala metre. Karelian heritage has traditionally been perceived as the purest expression of Finnic myths and beliefs, thought to be spared from Germanic and Slavic influences. In the west of the country, more mainstream Nordic folk music traditions prevail. The Sami people of northern Finland have their own musical traditions, collectively Sami music. Finnish folk music has undergone a roots revival in the recent decades, and has also become a part of popular music.
In the field of classical music, Finland has produced a proportionally exceptional number of artists.
Contemporary music includes e.g. a renowned metal music scene, in common with the other Nordic countries, as well as a number of prominent rock and pop bands, jazz musicians, hip hop performers and makers of dance music. A Schlager scene with bandstand dancing exists where Finnish tango, somewhat modified from the Argentinian, is also popular. 
From Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Music from Fiji

Fiji is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Though geographically Melanesian, the music of Fiji is more Polynesian in character. Nevertheless, Fijian folk styles are distinct in their fusion of Polynesian and Melanesian traditions. Folk music is dominated by vocal church music, as well as dances characterized by rich harmony and complex percussion made from slit drums or natural materials. 
From Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Music from Ethiopia

The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia's ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Some forms of traditional music are strongly influenced by folk music from elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia. However, Ethiopian religious music also has an ancient Christian element, traced to Yared, who lived during the reign of Gabra Masqal. In northeastern Ethiopia, in Wollo, a Muslim musical form called manzuma developed. Sung in Amharic, manzuma has spread to Harar and Jimma, where it is now sung in the Oromo language. In the Ethiopian Highlands, traditional secular music is played by itinerant musicians called azmaris, who are regarded with both suspicion and respect in Ethiopian society.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Music from Estonia

The earliest mentioning of Estonian singing and dancing dates back to Saxo GrammaticusGesta Danorum (c. 1179). Saxo speaks of Estonian warriors who sang at night while waiting for an epic battle. The Estonian folk music tradition is broadly divided into 2 periods. The older folksongs are also referred to as runic songs, songs in the poetic metre regivärss the tradition shared by all Baltic-Finnic peoples. Runic singing was widespread among Estonians until the 18th century, when it started to be replaced by rhythmic folksongs. Professional Estonian musicians emerged in the late 19th-century at the time of Estonian national awakening. Nowadays the most known Estonian composers are Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis. 
From Wikipedia

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music from Eritrea

Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa. Perhaps the most famous Eritrean musicians in history are Eng. Asghedom W.MichealBereket MengisteabYemane BariaOsman AbderrehimAlamin Abdeletif & Atowe Birhan Segid, some of whose music were banned by the Ethiopian government in the 1970s. Also of note is Bereket Mengistab, who has had a lengthy career, and 60s legends Haile Ghebru and Tewolde Redda. The latter was one of the first electric guitar players in East Africa, and a singer and writer of the famous 'allegedly' Eritrea's independence song "Shigey habuni" with love theme as coded message for political freedom ( - whether the attribution of a lot of the songs of this period to the desire for political expression/freedom was true or if it was just the wild fancy of a repressed people who zealously wanting expression to their deep secret political desire, were only eagerly extracting secret political meanings from what has to be run-o-the-mill universal love songs/folk ballads and nothing else - is not certain).  
Eritrean music has a unique rhythm that sets it apart from the rest of Africa. Modern popular stars include Bereket Mengistab,Teklé Tesfa-Ezighe Tekele Kifle Mariam (Wedi Tukul), Tesfai Mehari (Fihira), Osman AbderrehimAbrar OsmanAbraham AfwerkiYemane GhebremichaelIdris Mohamed AliAlamin AbdeletifTsehaytu BerakiAtewebrhan Segid and Berekhet Mengisteab.
From Wikipedia

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Music from Equatorial Guinea

The largest ethnic group are the Fang, though there are also numerous Bubi and smaller populations of BisioBujebaNdoweCombe and Annobónese people. The Fang are known for their mvet, a cross between a zither and a harp. The mvet can have up to fifteen strings. The semi-spherical part of this instrument is made of bamboo and the strings are attached to the center by fibers. Music for the mvet is written in a form of musical notation that can only be learned by initiates of the bebom-mvet society. Music is typically call and response with a chorus and drums alternating. Musicians like Eyi Moan Ndong have helped to popularize folk styles.
The balélé and the risque ibanga are two of the many dances in Equatorial Guinea, most of which are accompanied by a three or four person orchestra consisting of some arrangement of sanzaxylophonedrumszithers and bow harps.[1]Another popular instrument is the tam-tam, which is a wooden box covered with animal skin. In its center, there are bamboo keys installed with complete musical scales. A second type of tam-tam has two different levels of musical keys. Generally, wooden musical instruments are decorated with fauna images and geometric drawings. Drums are covered with animal skins or animal drawings. 
From Wikipedia.

A wonderful demonstration of the mvet, though from Cameroon.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Music from El Salvador

The music of El Salvador has a mixture of MayanAfricanPipilLenca and Spanish influences. This music includes religious songs (mostly Roman Catholic) used to celebrate Christmas and other holidays, especially feast days of the saints. Satirical and rural lyrical themes are common. Popular styles in modern El Salvador include salsacumbiahip hopand reggaeton.
From Wikipedia

Friday, October 5, 2012

Music from Egypt

The music of Egypt has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians credited one of their gods Hathor with the invention of music, which Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to civilize the world. The earliest material and representational evidence of Egyptian musical instruments dates to the Predynastic period, but the evidence is more securely attested in the Old Kingdom when harpsflutes anddouble clarinets were played.[1] Percussion instrumentslyres and lutes were added to orchestras by the Middle KingdomCymbals[2] frequently accompanied music and dance, much as they still do in Egypt today. Egyptian folk music, including the traditional Sufidhikr rituals, are the closest contemporary music genre to ancient Egyptian music, having preserved many of its features, rhythms and instruments. 
From Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Music from Ecuador

The music of Ecuador has a long history. Pasillo is a genre of indigenous Latin music. It is extremely popular in Ecuador, where it is the "national genre of music." Pasillo as a genre is also present in the highland regions of Colombia, and Panama and Venezuela, to a lesser extent.
Today, it has incorporated more European features of classical dance, such as a waltz. As it spread during the Gran Chaco period, pasillo also absorbed the individual characteristics of isolated villages. This gives it an eclectic feel; however, the style, tone, and tempo of the music differ in each village. 
From Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Music from East Timor

East Timor's music reflects its history under the control of both Portugal and Indonesia, who have imported music like gamelan and fado. The most widespread form of native folk music was the likurai dance, performed by women to welcome home men after war. They used a small drum and sometimes carried enemy heads in processions through villages; a modern version of the dance is used by women incourtship.
In the modern era, East Timorese music has been closely associated with the independence movement; for example, the band Dili Allstars released a song that became an anthem in the build-up to thereferendum on independence in 2000, while the United Nations commissioned a song called "Hakotu Ba" (by Lahane) to encourage people to register to vote in the referendum.)

From Wikipedia

Music from the Dominican Republic

The music of the Dominican Republic is known primarily for merengue, though bachata and other forms are also popular.
From Wikipedia.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Music from Dominica

The music of Dominica plays an important role in the social and culture life of the Antillean island of Dominica. The Nature island boasts of Cadence-lypso, a genre developed in Dominica and made popular in the French departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe. It spread through France and was very popular there during the 1970s. Cadence has influenced many other genres including zoukbouyon (another Dominican creation) and even soca.
Today Dominica's music scene boasts of a variety of genres including all the popular genres of the world. Popular music is widespread, with a number of native Dominican performers gaining national fame in imported genres like calypsoreggaesocakompazouk and rock and roll. In addition, Dominica's own popular music industry has created a form called bouyon, which combines elements from several styles and has achieved a wide fanbase in Dominica, especially the group WCK (Windward Caribbean Kulture) and KKK (Triple k International). Native musicians in various forms, like reggae (Nasio FontaineLazo), Brother Matthew Luke), soca (Derick St. Rose-De HunterYoung Bull), zouk (Ophelia MarieMichele Henderson), Cadence-Lypso (Exile One),(Grammacks) and calypso (The Wizzard), Levi "Super L" Loblack, have also become stars at home and abroad. From Wikipedia.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Music from Djibouti

Djibouti, is made up of two closely related ethnic groups: the Somali and Afar. There are also a number of Arab and French citizens. Traditional Afar music resembles the folk music of other parts of the Horn of Africa such as Ethiopia; it also contains elements of Arabic music. The history of Djibouti is recorded in poetry and in songs of its nomadic people and goes back thousands of years to a time when the peoples of Djibouti traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt,India and China. Afar oral literature is also quite musical, and comes in many varieties, including songs for weddings, war, praise and boasting.[1]
Somalis have a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali folklore. Most Somali songs are pentatonic; that is, they only use five pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note) scale such as the major scale. At first listen, Somali music might be mistaken for the sounds of nearby regions such as Ethiopia, Sudan or the Arabian Peninsula, but it is ultimately recognizable by its own unique tunes and styles. Somali songs are usually the product of collaboration between lyricists(midho), songwriters (laxan) and singers (codka or "voice"). Balwo is Somali musical style centered on love themes that is popular in Djibouti. 
From Wikipedia. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Music from Denmark

Denmark's most famous classical composer is Carl Nielsen, especially remembered for his six symphonies while the Royal Danish Ballet specializes in the work of Danish choreographer August Bournonville. Danes have distinguished themselves as jazz musicians, and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has acquired an international reputation. The modern pop and rock scene has produced a few names of note, including Tina DicoAquaThe RaveonettesMichael Learns to RockAlphabeatMedinaOh LandKashmir and Mew. All together, Lars Ulrich has become the first Danish musician to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 
From Wikipedia.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Music from the Czech Republic

The traditional music of Bohemia and Moravia has been well documented and influenced the work of composers like Leoš JanáčekAntonín DvořákBedřich Smetana, and Bohuslav Martinů. Janáček made his recordings at an auspicious time. The 1880s saw the decline of traditional music; however, Janáček brought a Moravian string band to the 1895 Ethnographical Exhibition in Prague, which led to increased feelings of national pride and identity, and a resurgence in traditional music.
The most famous classical music pieces from Czech Republic include The New World Symphony from Dvořák, Má vlast from Smetana and Sinfonietta from Janáček. Some pieces of classical music have actually been made more famous than the composer himself, for example Entry of the Gladiators by Julius Fučík, better known just as the circus music. Through the centuries, Czech composers were usually heavily influenced by traditional music from their country, which can be seen especially when listening to Smetana. Although the most popular classical music from Czech Republic comes from the Romantic era, Classical and Baroque composers should not be overlooked. These composers include Adam MichnaHeinrich BiberJan Dismas ZelenkaJohann Wenzel Stamitz and Johann Ladislaus Dussek.
From Wikipedia.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Music from Cyprus

The music of Cyprus includes a variety of classical, folk and popular genres. Cypriot folk music is similar to the folk music of Greece and includes dances like soustasyrtostatsiaantikristos and zeimbekiko. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Music from Cuba

The Caribbean island of Cuba has developed a wide range of creolized musical styles, based on its cultural origins in Europe and Africa. Since the 19th century its music has been hugely popular and influential throughout the world. It has been perhaps the most popular form of world music since the introduction of recording technology.
The music of Cuba, including the instruments and the dances, is mostly of European (Spanish) and African origin. Most forms of the present day are creolized fusions and mixtures of these two sources. Almost nothing remains of the original Indian traditions.[1] 
From Wikipedia 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Music from Croatia

The music of Croatia, like the divisions of the country itself, has two major influences: a Central European one, present in central and northern parts of the country and in Slavonia, and a Mediterranean one, present in coastal regions of Dalmatia and Istria.
In Croatia both pop and rock are popular, as well as pop music influenced by Dalmatian or Slavonian folk elements.
From the mid-20th century onwards, so-called schlager music and chanson-inspired music have formed the backbone of the Croatian popular music. 
From Wikipedia.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Music from Côte d'Ivoire (The Ivory Coast)

Each of the more than sixty ethnic groups of Ivory Coast has its own folk music traditions, most showing strong vocal polyphony (a common characteristic of African music), especially the BaouléTalking drums are also common, especially among the Appollo, who are also known for their abissa purification dance, part of the popular Zoblazo dance music of MeiwayPolyrhythm, another African characteristic, is found throughout Ivory Coast, and is especially common in the southwest. 
From Wikipedia