World Music: Middle East, Europe, And Sub Saharan Africa

1706 words - 7 pages

There are various aspects of our lives and of those there is music. Music is an inextricable part of life. It can be dated back to the most primitive of time. Where there are humans there is some form of music varying from culture to culture. Languages, belief systems and many other variables within a nation have great influence on what is considered music and what’s not music. This is why it is very important when listening to music to consider the context in which it was created in. This will enable you to appreciate the different sounds and musical constructions such as rhythm, melody, harmony and also the lack thereof. American music is fundamentally diverse because of the many ethnicities and subcultures. These attributes of society are also found in other nations around the world. The Middle East, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa are nations of varied ethnic groups whom have expressed their beliefs, culture and other extra musical influences in their music. Through the study of many ethnomusicologists in these regions we can acknowledge and or comprehend the different sounds of music apart from our ethnocentric understanding of music.
Europe is one of the world's seven continents and is home to twenty-seven countries with many spoken languages. Language is a complex part of music and is why there is a wide-ranging representation of music throughout Europe. According to Terry E. Miller and Andrew Shahriari authors, of “World Music A Global Journey” European music is classified into three categories Classical, Folk, and Popular music. Classical music in Europe refers to art music created during the time of the aristocrats. It’s learned and study in a formal setting which is the opposite of how Folk music is taught. Folk music while it warrants the same importance as Classical music it is more relaxed with a storytelling framework. Whereas Popular music is non-traditional in the sense that it is widely or worldly accepted by mass media and has become international music. Whether a piece is classified as classical, folk or popular its construction is based on a specific system indicative of European music. Miller and Shahriari highlight the polyphonic nature of European melodies; it is the concurrent combining of multiple parts with each forming a tune that harmonize with each other. Harmony, a steady meter and ensembles are organizational aspects of European music. While these elements provide the skeleton of European music it is the individual cultures and other influences that is the meat of the musical compositions. In Spain you have a virtuosic guitarist playing vibrantly while singing heartily. He is accompanied by energetic dancers whose foot stomping and hand clapping compliments his performance. This collaborative is known as the Flamenco. A fundamental part of the Flamenco is Duende; it is the soul and heart of this piece, which adheres to the strict form of Alegrias. Music is part of our identity and many speakers of the Spanish...

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