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Music in Other Cultures

This presentation is to introduce students to different instruments in the music of other cultures.
by

Leslie Albright

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of Music in Other Cultures

Instruments in other cultures India Indonesia Caribbean China & Japan Africa India's music has a distinct "twangy" sound One instrument used in Indian music is called a Sitar. It is slightly similar to a guitar, but it only has two strings. It usually is used to play melodic lines. Music played on a Sitar is generally improvised. One other instrument in Indian culture is called a Tabla. It is composed of two drums, each tuned to a different pitch. Each drum has three different playing areas that plays three different pitches. The Tabla is used to play a complicated rhythm pattern to accompany the Sitar and theTanpura. Another instrument used in Indian music is called a Tanpura. It is used to play a constant drone under the Sitar's melodic line. Brazilian music involves many different types of percussion instruments. Brazilian music also has a very lively dance feel. Brazil Repinique, Surdo, and Caixa de guerro are all drum-like instruments. The Repinique is a small, high pitched drum used to play cues such as call and response. The Surdo is a large bass drum that keeps a steady beat that alternates between low and high pitches. The Caixa de guerro is similar to a snare drum. The Apito is a small whistle used by the leader of the group for signals such as the beginning and end of pieces. The Chocolo and Reco-reco generally play the same time values. The Chocolo is a shaker that plays notes throughout the entire piece. The Reco-reco is a scraper. The Ago-go is a cowbell with two pitches, high and low. It is played by being struck with a drumstick. Caribbean music is a mixture of African and Western music. Its African influences include syncopated rhythms, call and response and repetition. Its Western influences include the tonal system of harmony. Caribbean music has many different genres including reggae, Calypso, Mento and Ska. Reggae music started in Jamaica in the 1970's. It has a slow feel and harmonies are generally limited to one to two chords that are repeatedly played. Reggae is best recognized by loud bass rifts on the bass guitar. Calypso music usually has lyrics about people and issues. It can be described as carnival music. Calypso music uses a lot of synocpated rhythms and steel bands. Today's popular Calypso music is arranged for trumpets, saxophones, electric guitar, keyboards and percussion. Ska music emerged in the 1960's. Its lyrics are about local issues. It has a fast beat with syncopated rhythms. It uses amplified and electric instruments. Mento music is generally played to bring music to urban centres. It is usually accompanied by banjos or guitars. The banjo or guitar plays a fast, syncopated rhythm while the other instruments play their own syncopated rhythms. Popular Mento melodies are also played on a fife, a bamboo flute. Chinese and Japanese music sound similar, however Chinese music follows a pentatonic scale and Japanese music has no chordal harmony; it will sound dissonant Chinese music uses an instrument called a Hsaio, a type of flute. Japanese music uses an instrument called a Ryuteki that is a kind of bamboo flute. Chinese music also has an instrument called a Sheng that is a type mouth organ. Chinese music also has an instrument called a Yueh-Ch'in that is like a twangy guitar. Chinese music uses an instrument called an Erh-Hu that is a two string fiddle. Japanese music also uses an instrument called a Shamisen that is a string instrument you play by plucking the strings. The Koto is another Japanese string instrument played by plucking, it is just much larger. Japanese music uses an instrument called the Taiko that is a very large drum. Most African instruments are wooden percussion instruments. Most African instruments are portable. Drums are often played by hand orwith big wooden beaters. African shakers are either gourds made from dry fruits or shakers with beads or shells attached to the outside. Instruments can contain metal elements like thumb pianos. The metal is used for sound, not construction purposes. Traditional music in Indonesia is played on a Gamelan. A Gamelan is a collection of gongs and chime bars that are played together by over twenty people, similar to an American orchestra. All Gamelan instruments are metallic.
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