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Unit 36: Studying Music From Around The World

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Mia Mulvaney-Walls

on 26 June 2014

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Transcript of Unit 36: Studying Music From Around The World

Unit 36:
Studying Music From Around The World

What is World Music?
World music is a genre including many different styles of music from around the world, including traditional music and music where multiple cultural traditions are mixed. It is hard to put a specific definition on World music as it is such a wide topic and there are many branches of it. World music is a vague term with a large number of sub-genres ,all faing under the term of world music to capture musical trends of combined ethnic style and texture, including Western elements.

Chinese Opera
Chinese opera has been named as one of the oldest dramatic art forms in the world. During the tang dynasty, Emperor Taizong opened an opera school and named it Liyuan (pear garden). From then on Chinese opera performers were known as ‘Disciples of the pear garden’.
During the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), it became fashionable amongst all people and Performances were held in tearooms, restaurants, and around makeshift stages.
It evolved from many kinds of dramatic art including folk songs, dances, talking, antimasque (a comic or grotesque dance, presented between the acts of a ‘masque’ which is a form of amateur dramatic entertainment), and especially distinctive dialectical music.
Typical Instruments
The Erhu
The Gong
The Pipa
A two stringed bowed instrument.
Tuned to 5th interval
Played sitting down
Right hand=Tension
Left hand=Pitch
made of copper-based alloy, bronze or brass.
were used to clear the way for important officials
Four-stringed instrument
Plucked, varied No. Frets
Tuned A-D-E-A
An example...
African Music
A traditional style of sub-Saharan music important to everyday life.
There are many different kinds which are specific to their region.
A large amount of their influence came from the slave trade.
Rope tuned
Skin covered
Volume increases with skin tension
Strike with palm & flat fingers
Djembe Example
Keyed percussion idiophone
Strike tuned keys with two paddle sticks
Usually has 17-21 keys
Tuned to tetratonic, pentatonic or heptatonic scale
typically made from bamboo or giant cane
length of tube determines frequency

Bafalon example
Panpipes example
Tempo changes throughout the songs
Polyrhythmic texture
Syncopated & criss cross Rhythms, syncopated vocals
No melodic accompaniment to vocals
Call and Response, homophonic chorus
Repeated phrases
It is a part of everday activities like group singing and dancing.
Its also plays at important ceremonies and is a community activity which brings the people together.
It is also used spiritually, as many african people believe it can heal the sick through drumming ceremonies.
An example...
The Opera has different sections, "chang"(singing),"nian"(dialogue),"zuo"(acting) and "da"(martial arts) as the basic performance forms.
"chang" is mainly performed in the tunes of "xipi" which is used for expressing strong emotions and "erhuang" which is used for expressing deep and sorrowful feelings.
Japanese Pop Music
J-pop can be linked to jazz music, which revived many of the instruments used traditionally only in classical Japanese music and band marches
1956 saw the start of the rock-and-roll craze. This was due to a country music group, “Kosaka Kazuya and the Wagon Masters” who covered the song “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley. When this movement began to decline in America, it was followed shortly by japan due to their heavy reliance on the western culture to influence their styles. After this time, Japanese artists instead created “Cover Pop”, where the Japanese artist would sing the American songs but simply translate the lyrics into their own language.
During the early 70s to the mid-80s the contents of the instrumentation changed, from simple songs with single accompaniments to more complex arrangements including rhythmic features etc. This was known as New Music. The songs focused more on a romantic theme and the events of the artist’s life rather than the more traditional social contexts of the piece.
By the 1990s, J-pop became the common term to describe most popular songs.
The instruments in J-Pop are common features of most pop music around the world.
Electric Guitar
6 Stringed instrument
Tuned to E
Drum Kit
5 standard drums included
Struck with sticks
Loud sound
An Example
Typical Features
As J-pop is a variation of typical pop music, and as such contains some of the typical features of this genre overall:

Traditional Structure: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus
Appeals to a broad audience
Around 3 minutes duration
Chorus contrasts to verses
Constant tempo - no change
Harmonic vocals
Build ups to chorus part
repeated sections
jazz music era of the Sho-wa period.
Instruments in Japan that had previously been used to perform classical music.

This brought anelement of fun to the style, which had previously been more formal and strict.
The USA influences after the second world war, during their occupation of Japan - Mambo, Blues and modern Country.
To Conclude
The elements in all of these genres allcontribute and incluence each other, and all other genres of music around the world. The features of Chinese opera were influential in changing and modifying the way that modern opera all around the world is performed.

The influences from America on Japanese Pop is undeniable, with the pop culture style being started from this, as well as the musical features and style. They adapted their traditional instruments and styles and combined them with these modern influences to create this modern genre.

Pop music is undeniably the predominant genre in western countries, with its tendancy to "Please the masses" and its typical features, but it was influenced by many different genres to begin with. It took vocal harmonisation influences from Gospel music, Intrumentation from Rock and Jazz and Rhythm from Dance and Hip-hop. All of these genres from around the world combined to make western Pop music that has bencome the most popular genre of music not only in the west but all over the world.

The influence of world music on different genres has helped to evolve and shape the music we know today.
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