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.