The Era of World Music

Due to the influence of western pop music, traditional songs and music are losing their place in society. The terms traditional, folk, or cultural music are now replaced by what is known as world music; which is a broad term used to describe music relating to cultures, history, ethnic groups, and indigenous people.

World music is all encompassing, ranges from indigenous forms of music in various parts of the world to culture fusion music such as new age music. Western pop and western classical music are not considered world music.

Some characteristics of world music include:

o The music is representative of a culture or lifestyle, or is for festive celebrations.

o It is communal and is accompanied by dances, rituals, or games.

o The repetition of rhythms, chords, and melodies is common.

o Specific musical instruments are used to play the music.

o The performances place more emphasis on group performances than individual singing.

With globalization and the world getting smaller, people move from place to place and bring their music along with them. As world music gains popularity, world music concerts or festivals become a trend in different parts of the world. People from different cultural backgrounds come to know about it and participate in related festivals; most don’t really concern themselves with the origin of the music and just love the music for what it is.

World music is never on the top of pop songs charts and was never meant to be. However, it will always provide one of the best means for people to express their feelings, thoughts, cultures, dreams, and so on, through music.