What is World Music?
An overview of the term “World Music” and what it means today. World Music festivals are held in many different countries, and there is probably one near you! Just what are the defining factors that makes something “World Music”? This lesson provides a great introduction
Africa is such a huge continent, with hundreds of different languages and cultures. This lesson just touches on the huge amount of music learned in Africa. Students will discuss colonialism in Africa, the trading of African slaves and the impact that this has had on the musical development of the rest of the World.
The Gamelan orchestra’s of Java and Bali are one of the most fascinating world music styles that one can be exposed to. Students will learn about all the different Gamelan instruments, and explore scales that give the music such a unique sound. There is even opportunity for students to play their own percussion instruments in Gamelan scales!
How many Westerners know the names of traditional Chinese musical instruments? I certainly didn’t know anything about an Erhu, a Guquin or a Pipa until I started preparing these lessons! In this lesson students will also learn a little about China’s political history, and the impact that this has had on the development of popular music styles.
Traditional Indian music, using the sitar, tabla and other instruments has basically not changed for hundreds of years. With this amount of culture and background behind it students will discover what it would take to become a master on one of these instruments, and the influence that it has had on Western popular music.
In this lesson students will learn about the foot tapping, hand clapping infectious rhythm of Irish jigs that is so popular in many countries today.
This lesson was going to be about “middle eastern music”, but with that topic so broad, and an opportunity to get a lesson written by an expert in Turkish musical styles we decided to just make it about Turkey – a country that geographically is like a “bridge” between the east and the west, and really is like that with its music as well.
European Folk Music
This is one of the biggest lessons in the module, and could even be spread over a couple of weeks, it covers so much material. Students will learn about the different regions of Europe, and the different instruments and musical styles that are prevalent in each region.
What world music subject would be complete without talking about the birthplace of the guitar, Spain. The students will discover the important musical styles of Spain, including Flamenco and Tango, and how they have influenced other countries and styles.
Once again we started with the idea of “West Indian music”, and found the subject way too broad given the differences and range of influences around the Caribbean islands. for this reason we discuss just one style found in the Caribbean – Calypso, and discover one of the most interesting instruments developed in the last hundred years – the steel drum.
Another country with an amazingly rich traditional culture – Japan has so many gifts to give us with music. From the amazing and energetic taiko drumming to the peaceful and almost trancelike music of the Koto and Shamisen
Possibly one of the most important lessons of this module, as it gives some of the background of many of the Latin American dance styles that are so popular today. Students will discover the background of the Conga and Bongo drums, and learn to play the clave – the five note pattern which is the basis of many styles.
This lesson focusses on the samba style of Brazil, and particularly the street samba performed in the yearly Carnival. This is truly of the most biggest and most interesting festivals held in the world, and being able to expose students to the music featured in it is a brilliant opportunity.
Mexico in central America has a very interesting musical tradition. It’s much more than three mariachi guys standing there in big hats playing the guitar! Students will discover the different musical styles that make up Mariachi, and the instruments used in them.