Thursday, April 26, 2012

Music from Cambodia

The music of Cambodia is derived both from traditions dating back to the ancient Khmer Empire and from the rapid Westernization of the popular music scene in modern times ... Cambodian Art music is highly influenced by ancient forms as well as Hindu forms. Religious dancing, many of which depict stories and ancient myths, are common. Some dances are accompanied by a pinpeat orchestra, which includes a ching (cymbal), roneat (bamboo xylophone), pai au (flute), sralai(oboe), chapey (bass banjo), gong (bronze gong), tro (fiddle), and various kinds of drums. Each movement the dancer makes refers to a specific idea, including abstract concepts like today (pointing a finger upwards). The 1950s saw a revival in classical dance, led by queen Sisowath Kossamak Nearyrath. 
From Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Done with the B's!

Just a couple of days ago I posted music from Burkina Faso, thereby finishing the B's. At this point, I need to decide to either continue alphabetically, or mix things up a bit moving from country to country as I see fit. While music doesn't necessarily interact with world events in all situations, I've found that discovering music from countries that are in the news (e.g. Sudan) provides a deeper connection with the human element.

Regardless of which way I go with this project, I love seeing the map fill up - note that the setup I have now is (hopefully) temporary, as I'm an amateur when it comes to getting Google Maps to work how I want it to.

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Music from Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is home to some 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music. The country has produced very little popular music compared to its neighbors, which includes African musical giants like Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Burkinabé traditional music, however, has continued to thrive in spite of the influx of popular styles, and the country's cultural, and musical, output remains quite diverse.
The national anthem of Burkina Faso is "Une Seule Nuit", written by Thomas Sankara. It has been the official anthem of the country since 1984, when Upper Volta became known as Burkina Faso. It remains even after Sankara was murdered in a coup, the leader of which remains in power.  
From Wikipedia

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Music from Burma (Myanmar)

Traditional music from Burma is melodious, generally without harmony, and usually in 4/4 time (na-yi-se) or 2/4 (wa-let-se) or 8/16 (wa-let-a-myan). There are "the segments combined into patterns, combined into verses, combined into songs [that] make Burmese music a multileveled hierarchical system...The Burmese musician manipulates the various levels of the hierarchy to create the song..." (Becker 1969, p. 272) 
From Wikipedia

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Music from Burundi

 is a Central African nation that is closely linked with Rwanda, geographically, historically and culturally. The drum such as the karyenda is one of central importance. Internationally, the country has produced the music group Royal Drummers of Burundi.
Burundian-Belgian musicians like Éric Baranyanka from the Burundese royal family, Ciza Muhirwa and, especially, Khadja Nin, have more recently gained prominence. Since the music is from the mind and soul, it mainly expresses what the people in Burundi feel and what they think when they beat the drums. One feature of Burundian men's folk songs is the inanga accompaniment [1] 
From Wikipedia

Friday, April 20, 2012

Music from Bulgaria

The music of Bulgaria refers to all forms of music associated with Bulgaria like classical, folk, popular music, etc. Bulgarian music is part of the Balkan tradition, which stretches across Southeastern Europe, and has its own distinctive sound. Traditional Bulgarian music has had more international success, due to the breakout international success of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, a woman's choir that has toppedworld music charts across Europe and even farther abroad.[1]  
From Wikipedia

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Music from Brunei

 is a southeast Asian country located on Borneo between the states of Sabah and Sarawak which are part of Malaysia. There is a wide array of native folk music, and dance. Brunei shares some Cultural perspectives and links with the countries of South East Asia such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines. Although Brunei has similarities with others, there are significant differences in terms of culture and heritage including its folk music, folk dance, and folk stories. The strong Islamic influence means that dance performances and music are somewhat restricted. 
From Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Music from Brazil

The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by AfricanEuropean and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as sambazouk-lambadalambadachorobossa novafrevoforrómaracatuMPBfunk cariocaRAPsertanejoBrazilian rockpagodeaxébrega, and others. Samba has become the best known form of Brazilian music worldwide, especially because of the country's carnival, although bossa nova, which had Antônio Carlos Jobim as one of its most acclaimed composers and performers, have received much attention abroad since the 1950s, when the song "Desafinado", interpreted by João Gilberto, was first released. Instrumental music is also largely practiced in Brazil, with styles ranging from classical to popular and jazzinfluenced forms, featuring composers like Heitor Villa-LobosPixinguinha and Hermeto Pascoal. The country also has a growing community of modern/experimental composition, including electroacoustic music.

From Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Music from Botswana

Botswana is an African country made up of numerous ethnic groups, though the Batswana are the most numerous. Music is an omnipresent part of Botswana culture, and include popular and folk forms. Batswanachurch choirs are common across the country. Music education is an integral part of the Botswana educational system. Children of all ages are taught traditional songs and dances.
From Wikipedia

Monday, April 16, 2012

Music from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Like the surrounding Balkan countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a turbulent past marked by frequent foreign invasions and occupation. As a result, Bosnian music is now a mixture of the national Slavic folklore with some Turkish influences along with influences from the western part of the world.
From Wikipedia

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Music from Bolivia

The music of Bolivia has a long history. Out of all the Andean countries, Bolivia remains perhaps the most culturally linked to the indigenous peoples. Like most of its neighbors, Bolivia was long dominated by Spain and its attendant culture. Even after independence, Bolivian music was largely based on European forms. In 1952, a revolution established nationalistic reforms which included cultural and political awareness of the Aymara and Quechua natives. Intellectuals in the country began wearing ponchos and otherwise associating themselves with native cultures, and the new government promoted native folklore by, among other methods, establishing a folklore department in the Bolivian Ministry of Education. 
From Wikipedia.

Music from Bhutan

The music of Bhutan is an integral part of its culture and plays a leading role in transmitting social values. Traditional Bhutanese music includes a spectrum of subgenres, ranging from folk to religious song and music. Some genres of traditional Bhutanese music intertwine vocals, instrumentation, and theatre and dance, while others are mainly vocal or instrumental. The much older traditional genres are distinguished from modern popular music such as rigsar.[1]

From Wikipedia 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Music from Sudan

I'm temporarily abandoning B's to jump all the way to Sudan. While I had intended to keep this blog focused only on the music coming out of various regions, music exists within a context. For Sudan, this context is genocide.

Yesterday Unreported World aired an excellent episode called Terror in Sudan, which can be streamed for free (at least in some areas). At one point in the program Sudanese rebels are able to capture a UAV which shows that al-Bashir is indisputably targeting civilians in bombing runs (as if any bombing run isn't detestable). Only hours ago five more people were killed in a clash between the north and South Sudanese forces. The point I'm getting at is that genocide is real, and it's going on right now.

Beginning with the imposition of strict sharia law in 1989, many of the country's most prominent musicians and poets, like poets Mahjoub Sharif, were imprisoned while others, like Mohammed el Amin and Mohammed Wardi (Mohammed el amin returned to Sudan in 1991 and Mohammed Wardi returned to Sudan in 2003), fled to Cairo. Traditional music suffered too, with traditional Zār ceremonies being interrupted and drums confiscated.[1] At the same time, however, the European militaries contributed to the development of Sudanese music by introducing new instruments and styles; military bands, especially the Scottish bagpipes, were renowned, and set traditional music to military march music. The march March Shulkawi No 1, is an example, set to the sounds of the Shilluk. Sudan is very diverse, with five hundred plus ethnic groups spread across the country's territory, which is the largest in Africa. The country has been a crossroads between North, East and West Africa for hundreds of years, and is inhabited by a mixture of Sub-Saharan Arabs and Africans.From Wikipedia.

One commenter on this video explains, "Duop is a member of the Nuer tribe in Southern Sudan and sings in his mother tongue. As far as I understand, he celebrates or endorses the peace for the whole of Sudan, including Khartoum..."

Needless to say we will revisit Sudan at a later date.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Music from Benin

Benin has played an important role in the African music scene, producing one of the biggest stars to come out of the continent in Angélique Kidjo. Post-independence, the country was home to a vibrant and innovative music scene, where native folk music combined with Ghanaian highlife,French cabaretAmerican rockfunk and soul, and Congolese rumbaIgnacio Blazio Osho was perhaps the most influential musician of this period, alongside Pedro Gnonnas y sus PanchosLes Volcans de la Capitale and Picoby Band d'Abomey. Pedro produced the song Feso Jaiye,[1] which became a hit and was performed by many bands at the 2nd All-Africa Games in 1973.
From Wikipedia.

Music from Belize

The music of Belize has a mix of KriolMestizoGarifuna, and Maya influences. After many centuries of Maya habitation, British colonizers arrived in the area in the 17th century. Belize was Britain's only colony in Spanish-dominated Central America until self-government in 1964 and gaining full Independence in 1981. Belize is still part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Far more influential than this presence, however, was the importation of African slaves. 
From Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Music from Belgium

From Wikipedia:
The music of Belgium is a cultural crossroads where Flemish Dutch-speaking and Walloon French-speaking traditions mix with those of German minorities and of immigrant communities from Democratic Republic of the Congo and other distant countries.

Music from Belarus

From Wikipedia:
Belarus is an Eastern European country with a rich tradition of folk and religious music. The country's folk music traditions can be traced back to the times of theGrand Duchy of Lithuania. In the 20th century, the Soviet control of the country somewhat limited musical development because nationally oriented music was considered subversive and dangerous to the Soviet authority. The country's musical traditions spread with its people to countries like RussiaCanadaUnited States,KazakhstanLatvia and Ukraine [1]. The people of Belarus were exposed mostly to Russian pop music during this period and also after independence in 1991. In 2002, however, Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree requiring 50% of all FMbroadcast music to be Belarusian in origin, and since January 1, 2005 the rule was made even stricter (75% of daily broadcast music must be Belarusian). Though it doesn't regulate songs language, so most of broadcast music is still in Russian.
BelarusGuide looks like it has a great page on the music of Belarus, too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Music from Bangladesh

From Wikipedia:
Bangladesh is traditionally very rich in its musical heritage. From the ancient times, music documented the lives of the people and was widely patronized by the rulers.
Bengali music in ancient times was mostly linked to prayer. Most folk songs are related to some sort of praise of the gods and their creation. Songs were associated with particular groups of people, such as fishermen, cart-drivers, hermits and so on. Most songs were based on classical themes.

Music from Barbados

From Wikipedia:
The music of Barbados includes distinctive national styles of folk and popular music, including elements of Western classical and religious music. The culture of Barbados is a syncretic mix of African and British elements, and the island's music reflects this mix through song types and styles, instrumentation, dances, and aesthetic principles.
Barbadian folk traditions include the Landship movement, which is a satirical, informal organization based on the British navy, tea meetingstuk bands and numerous traditional songs and dances. In modern Barbados, popular styles include calypsospougecontemporary folk and world music. Barbados is, along with Trinidad, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, one of the few centers for Caribbean jazz.[1]