Research into 'world music'
I'm Joe, a human geography undergraduate at The University of Sheffield. My dissertation research is looking at opinions, feelings and interpretations of 'world music'.
Why is the term 'world music' such a contentious phrase? How can all countries outside the UK be grouped into one mega-genre? Which music made/recorded in the UK is considered 'world music' and why?
Are British people attracted to global sounds due to its exoticism: listening to 'out there' from 'in here'? Do people from different nationalities living in the UK have different opinions compared to those who are of white British heritage?
Do people choose to listen to music from overseas due to an interest in that country, or is it a pure and simple appreciation of the music itself? Do you think world music broadcast on BBC Radio 3 a fair representation of the multicultural society of the UK? How would you improve the content of world music shows on Radio 3?
Please respond to the issues raised in this post; I'd love to hear your comments. Be as brutally honest, I'm ready for it!
Couldn't agree more Global - Lat'll come and write your thesis for you Joe if you talk nicely to him.
Originally Posted by Globaltruth
I started to listen to music from other parts of the world rather than just UK/US pop/ rock because I realised there was a lot more out there to enjoy. The record that really persuaded me was Orchestra Baobab's classic Pirate's Choice although I had been listening to some stuff before that. I also loved the Indestructible Beat of Soweto records. The records take you somewhere different. There was also some magnificent musicians - Ali Farka Toure, Tony Allen among others - recording and we were only just becoming aware of them. I suppose it takes you past that arrogance that suggests the only people worth listening to exist in the West. Of course you look for some of those roots - the roots of the blues, reggae, bluebeat and it draws you to the way that music moves around the globe and influences itself. And of course the blues heading back across to influence the likes of Ali Farka Toure and Tinariwen - of course Paul Simon and Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder and others have benefited and also opened doors. ....and that's only a small part of the African continent - there's loads more out there. Ali Bain's great series Down Home showed the movement of British and French music across to the States and then back again, changing and influencing.
Joe it's a big topic and I would agree with Global - what are you listening to?
Are you on Spotify as there's some fine playlists we could point you to. This one is 257 songs not in the English Language
>>what are you listening to?
John, it'll be Dub, pound to a penny.
Nowhere near enough heard on our wireless sets nowadays.
So while we're all constructing replies to Joe he might like to listen to this ( amongst other tings )
Music of the world.
Also, is there any reason to divide music up in any way: e.g. classical, folk, jazz, pop, rock - and the various fragmented forms of popular music. Why do we do that, and, if we do (divide it, for example, in those particular genres), why can't music from all parts of the world be divided into those same genres? What genres would fall outside those categories?
[Which, of course, brings us back to why we categorise music anyway.]
Many people who enjoy classical music are open to other listening experiences from outside that genre too. This tradition of eclecticism dates back for centuries, and classical composers have been working the sounds of "non-classical" music into their works for hundreds of years. The experience of live gamelan music had a big impact on western music at the turn of the C19th-C20th. Mozart and Beethoven incorporated the sound of the near-eastern Jannissary bands into their pieces. Bach reproduced the busking of Italian shepherd bagpipe bands when the shepherds make their entrance in The Christmas Oratorio.
So an interest in non-classical musics has been with us for a rather long time
Originally Posted by Paul Sherratt
New to me -thx; right now.
Now why did it remind me of this...[caution - contains lots of bad language]
I chose this subject because I’ve been exposed to world music since I was a child. My parents played a lot of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and took me to WOMAD festival. For the past few years I’ve been organising music events in Sheffield. The music I collect and DJ has heavy ‘worldy’ influences, and we try to showcase varied live bands. Now that I’m studying human geography I’m keen to combine my love of world music in an academic sense. My tutors made sure we knew how much reading and commitment was involved in a dissertation, so I thought I’d chat to people about music and call it work!
I’m trying to talk to as many people as possible. I’m focussing my study on two community radio stations here in Sheffield: they broadcast a lot of global tunes and have many non-native language shows. Plus Sheffield’s demographic is very mixed: with large Somali, Pakistani and Afro-Caribbean communities. The difficulty for me is to obtain the opinion of listeners of the shows. I’ve done lots of academic reading and spoken to some presenters of shows. These sources are very outspoken about the subject area, as they have a vested interest in the topic. Gaining access to listeners in very difficult. I contacted Philip Tagney, Senior Producer of Late Junction on BBC Radio 3 about my project. He was the one to point me in the direction of this forum, for which I’m very grateful!
I listen to a wide range of world music to be honest, from stuff like Telek which I interpret as quite traditional and relaxing; right through to Polish drum and bass, with artists such as Masala Soundsystem. Would you like to listen to a mix I made? It is geared more towards the club nights I organise, but it gives a flavour of the contemporary songs I like. I can post the link to soundcloud if you’re interested.
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Dr Lucy Durán. Does she not present shows on Radio 3? I think I may have seen her at WOMAD before she was live on air!
I hope you read this reply and respond. Thanks for your input.