The nebulous category of World Music has been defined as "simply not our music, it is their music (Rahkonen, 1)." World Music is thus a distinction based on otherness and not any singularly defining characteristic. It is a term that developed from the classification of popular music "to include all styles of music with ethnic or foreign elements (Rahkonen, 6)," defined in opposition to the western idiom. With respect to popular music today, World Music is often a syncretism of ethnic elements with popular western styles that creates genres such as bhangra-fusion (disco and Punjabi bhangra), reggae (from ska, mento, and R&B), and afro-beat (Yoruba drums, soul singing, jazz).
[...] The music is everything around me (162)." This "British sound" of bhangra-fusion is an ironic development because "in the 1960s, bhangra allowed South Asian youths to affirm their identities in a positive way within a culturally hostile and exclusionary British environment (Shelemay, 190)." Apache Indian's breakout hit "Boom Shakalak" reached No.5 on the British Charts, and "Move Over India" (1990) placed the artist No on both the Asian and Reggae Charts (Taylor, 157). The single "Arranged Marriage which debuted at sixteenth place on the British singles charts is an overt commentary on the "double-life" led by Indian youth: "You go through a system where you have girlfriends, you go through another system at home where you have to have an arranged marriage (162)." The song opens with a bhangra dhol rhythm and continues with a tabla beat over which Apache delivers his reggae style vocals, serving to combine musically the urban and traditional cultures he represents. [...]
[...] Colonialism (in these cases, British) has been another driving force in the admixture of musical cultures, bringing western traditions into the purview of foreign cultures. In his autobiography Raga Mala, Pandit Ravi Shankar discusses the path of his life in music. Beginning with his early life as a dancer in an Indian performance troupe, Ravi travelled through Europe and America, where he "became so attracted to jazz music Beginning in 1938, his career as a sitar virtuoso blossomed under guru Allaudin Khan. [...]
[...] The reggae chapter of world music finds its most interesting case-study in the example of the "Bhangramuffin" stylings of "Apache Indian"/ Steve Kapur. This pop star is the focus of Timothy Taylor's section on "Anglo- Asian Self-Fashioning" in his engrossing Global Pop: World Musics, World Markets. Kapur is interesting because his reggae music developed from bhangra, the folk dance celebrating the Punjabi harvest new year Mela associated with bhang (marijuana; this is itself an interesting connection between Indian and Jamaican musical culture). [...]
[...] Ravi Shankar's influence on the music of the western world extended beyond the rock'n'roll idiom. His interactions during the 1960s with Philip Glass, Yehudi Menuhin and John Coltrane are also notable. Shankar first met Coltrane in 1964, when the two "had three or four sessions, at the end of which [Coltrane] said he was waiting for a chance to . spend six months with [Shankar] studying the melodic and rhythmic structures of Hindustani music. In 1966 they set a date "to learn properly" but Coltrane died before this could ever happen. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee