Ethnic Music

Written by Serena Berger
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Ethnic music is at the heart of many cultures around the world. Specific instruments may be part of a sonority that defines a nation--Scotland and bagpipes, for example, go hand in hand. Other cultures have their own music theory or their own traditions of performance which are passed down for generations and bind their people together.

Performance Traditions in Ethnic Music

The traditions that go along with the performance of ethnic music are often as important as the music itself. Perhaps certain music is only performed on certain festival or holy days. In some cultures, music is associated with wedding, harvests, or fertility.

In some countries, ethnic music is a companion to dance forms which are native to a particular region. Pure belly dancing, (of the Persian, Greek, Egyptian, or Turkish variety) is a very musical dance. The dance is expected to understand and follow complex rhythms that someone playing or dancing for the first time would never be able to grasp.

Many popular artists incorporate elements of ethnic music into their contemporary works. In some cases, that is because pop culture is evolving slowly in a very conservative nation, and in some cases, it is because artists are finding pride in their own roots and in bringing the musical traditions of their heritage to the attention of a wider audience. In any case, if you are looking to expand your collection or knowledge of ethnic music, you can search the Internet for samples or places to purchase CDs.


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