World music does not include
In musical terms, world music can be roughly defined as music that uses distinctive ethnic scales, modes and musical inflections, and which is usually (though not always) performed on or accompanied by distinctive traditional ethnic instruments, such as the kora (West African harp), the steel drum, the sitar or the didgeridoo.
There are several conflicting definition for world music. One is that it consists of "all the music in the world", though such a broad definition renders the word virtually meaningless. The term also is taken as a classification of music that combines western popular music styles with one of many genres of non-Western music that were previously described as folk music or ethnic music. However, world music does not have to mean traditional folk music, it may refer to the indigenous classical forms of various regions of the world, and to modern, cutting edge pop music styles as well. Succinctly, it can be described as "local music from out there", or "someone else's local music".
Music from around the world exerts wide cross-cultural influence as styles naturally influence one another, and in recent years world music has also been marketed as a successful genre in itself. Academic study of world music, as well as the musical genres and individual artists with which it has been associated, can be found in such disciplines as anthropology, Folkloristics, Performance Studies and ethnomusicology
Examples of popular forms of world music include the various forms of non-European classical music (e.g. Japanese koto music, Indian raga music, Tibetan chants), eastern European folk music (e.g. the village music of Bulgaria) and the many forms of folk and tribal music of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Central and South America.
The broad category of world music includes isolated forms of ethnic music from diverse geographical regions. These dissimilar strains of ethnic music are commonly categorized together by virtue of their indigenous roots. Over the 20th century, the invention of sound recording, low-cost international air travel and common access to global communication among artists and the general public has given rise to a related phenomenon called "cross-over" music. Musicians from diverse cultures and locations could readily access recorded music from around the world, see and hear visiting musicians from other cultures and visit other countries to play their own music, creating a melting pot of stylistic influences.
While communication technology allows greater access to obscure forms of music, the pressures of commercialization also present the risk of increasing musical homogeny, the blurring of regional identities, and the gradual extinction of traditional local music-making practices.
Algerian and Moroccan music have an important presence in the French capital. Hundreds of thousands of Algerian and Moroccan immigrants have settled in Paris, bringing the sounds of Amazigh (Berber), rai, and Gnawa music. Algerian raï also found a large French audience, especially Cheb Mami.
The West African community is also very large, integrated by people from Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Guinea. They have introduced manding jeli music, mbalax and other styles.
Before 1987, although World Music undoubtedly had a following and with this potential market opening up, it was difficult for interested parties to sell their music to the larger music stores; although specialist music stores had been important in developing the genre over many years, the record companies, broadcasters and journalists had been finding it difficult to build a following because the music itself seemed too scarce. They were eyeing the Jazz and Classic markets, watching them develop a cross-over audience and decided that the best way forward would be to collective strategy to bring the music to a wider audience.
At the outset of the 1987 meeting, the musician Roger Armstrong advised why something needed to be done; "(He) felt that the main problem in selling our kind of material lay with the UK retail outlets and specifically the fact that they did not know how to rack it coherently. This discouraged them from stocking the material in any depth and made it more difficult for the record buyers to become acquainted with our catalogues."
The first concern of the meetings was to select the umbrella name that this 'new' music would be listed under. Suggestions included 'World Beat' and prefixing words such as 'Hot' or 'Tropical' to existing genre titles, but 'World Music' won after a show of hands, but initially it was not meant to be the title for a whole new genre, rather something which all of the record labels could place on the sleeves of records in order to distinguish them during the forthcoming campaign. It only became a title for the genre after an agreement that despite the publicity campaign, this wasn't an exclusive club and that for the good of all, any label which was selling this type of music would be able to take advantage.
Another issue which needed to be addressed was the distribution methods which existed at the time. Most of the main labels were unhappy with the lack of specialist knowledge displayed by sales persons which led to poor service; there was also a reluctance amongst many of the larger outlets to carry the music, because they understandably liked larger releases which could be promoted within store. It was difficult to justify a large presentation expense if the stock going into stores was limited.
One of the marketing strategies used in the vinyl market at the time was the use of browser cards, which would appear in the record racks. As part of the World Music campaign it was decided that these would be a two colour affair designed to carry a special offer package; to aid the retailer a selection of labels would also be included
In an unprecedented move, all of the World Music labels co-ordinated together and developed a compilation cassette for the cover of the music magazine NME. The overall running time was ninety minutes, each package containing a mini-catalogue showing the other releases on offer. This was a smart move as NME readers are often seen as discerning listeners and it was important step to get them on board.
By the time of that second meeting it was becoming clear that in order for the campaign to be successful, it should have its own dedicated press officer. They would be able to juggle the various deadlines and also be able to sell the music as a concept to not just the national stations but also regional DJs who were keen to expand the variety of music they could offer. They were seen as a key resource as it was important for 'World Music' to be seen as something which could be important to people outside London - most regions after all had a similarly rich folk heritage which could be tapped into. A cost effective way of achieving all this would be a leafleting campaign.
The next step was to develop a World Music chart, gathering together selling information from around fifty shops, so that it would finally be possible to see which were big sellers in the genre - allowing new listeners to see what was particularly popular. It was agreed that the NME could again be involved in printing the chart and also Music Week and the London listings magazine City Limits. It was also suggested that Andy Kershaw might be persuaded to do a run down of this chart on his show regularly.
And so October 1987 was designated 'World Music' month. A music festival, 'Crossing the Border' was held at the Town & Country Club, London and it was the start of the winter season for both WOMAD and Arts Worldwide. The main press release stressed the issues inherent in the campaign:
Another factor to raise the profile of world music was the founding of the Real World Records label by Peter Gabriel in 1988. His well-known name brought attention of the artists whose work he released, such as Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
A.R.Rahman, a Sony Bmg Music Artist,from India is well known World Music Artist.
Today, mainstream music has adopted many of the features of world music, and artists such as Shakira and the members of the Buena Vista Social Club have reached a much wider audience. At the same time world music has been influenced by hip hop, pop and jazz. Even heavy metal bands such as Tool and Nile have incorporated world music into their own. Some entertainers who cross over to recording from film and television will often start with World music; Steven Seagal is a recent example.
World music radio programs these days will often be playing African hip hop or reggae artists, crossover Bhangra and Latin American jazz groups, etc. Public radio and webcasting are an important way for music enthusiasts all over the world to hear the enormous diversity of sounds and styles which, collectively, amount to World Music. The BBC, NPR, and ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) are rich sources for World Music where it is possible to listen online as well as read about the artists and history of this genre.
World music awards are awards presented by broadcasting organizations such as the BBC (see BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music) and others to world music artists. The BBC presents awards every year. The hosts for the Awards for World Music 2005 Poll Winners' Concert were Eliza Carthy and Benjamin Zephaniah.
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