World Music: Most Popular Articles
Bob Marley died of cancer at age 36. Some controversy surrounds his death, though, as it seems that his cancer may have been curable. So why did Bob Marley die?
These well-known gems of vintage French pop music, like Coco Chanel's little black dress, are perennially chic, and they go with everything.
There's an old musician's joke: "What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin?" "You don't spill
: Why Did Bob Marley Smoke Marijuana? The iconic image of Bob Marley is a photograph of him smoking a
Bob Marley had both adopted and biological children with several partners, but how many were there in total?
New to music festivals? Been going to them for awhile, but still think your stay could be more comfortable? Use this handy checklist to remind yourself of things you need to make your music festival experience the best it can be.
Bob Marley was undoubtedly the most influential Jamaican musician of all time. His popularity was widespread, and continues to be so, 25 years after his death. Learn more about this legend of reggae music.
Many adults would like to learn to play a musical instrument, but aren't sure where to start or how to choose which instrument to play. There are lots of factors to take into consideration when choosing a new musical instrument. Here are some things that can help you choose a musical instrument to play and enjoy for years!
Bob Marley is best-known for his songs about social issues, peace, justice, and revolution, but Bob Marley also wrote and performed dozens of beautiful love songs. Read on for some of the best love songs that Bob Marley ever wrote.
Bob Marley was well-known for his songs of protest and social change. Here are ten of his best.
Kenyan music is very diverse, much like the country of Kenya. This Kenyan music playlist highlights some of the different sounds that make up Kenya's musical soundscape.
Au Clair de la Lune is an early French folksong, which dates back to at least the mid-18th century. The earliest known recording of the human voice is of an unknown woman singing Au Clair de la Lune.
Reggae music, Jamaica's best-known export, is a genre that got its start in Kingston in the 1960s, and was brought to popularity by artists like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh
The musical traditions of Ireland are among the world's most beloved. If you're a beginner to the genre, check out these wonderful Irish music starter CDs!
Ska music is by far one of the most popular genres of world music. Ska music has been through several incarnations, from traditional Jamaican ska to second-wave two-tone ska and finally American third-wave ska, which fused ska and punk music.
Need some soul-stirring South African gospel to add to your musical mix? Look here!
There are few better ways to experience live music than through a music festival. Here are some tips to make your music festival experience the best it can be.
Edith Piaf recorded masterpiece after masterpiece from the beginning of her career to the end, and nearly
Why are bagpipes customarily played at funerals of police officers, firefighters, soldiers and other state figures? What is the history of funeral bagpipes?
Jamaican music is some of the most popular music in the world. Trailblazers like Bob Marley put the music of Jamaica on the map, but the history of Jamaican music is peppered with hundreds of amazing artists and dozens of amazing genres. Learn more about Jamaican music!
Edith Piaf is considered by many to be the greatest French singer of all time. Her tragic life is shrouded in mystery and legend -- learn more about it here!
Learn more about the Rastafarian religious beliefs and practices of reggae legend Bob Marley.
Peter Tosh's Early Life: Peter Tosh was born Winston Hubert McIntosh on October 9, 1944 in Grange Hill,
Quick Biography: Israel "Bruddah IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole was born on May 20, 1959, on the island of Oahu,
Gregorian Chant, a form of devotional plainsong that's been part of the Christian tradition for nearly 2000 years, is among the oldest forms of traditional Christian music. This simple, intense music has regained popularity in the past couple of decades, gaining particular popularity among Christians seeking music for meditation and prayer. To begin your own collection, start with these five essential Gregorian Chant CDs!
If you're looking to start a great musical instrument collection for your kids (or the whole family!), these ten relatively simple and fairly cheap instruments from around the world will get you started nicely.
Though reggae initiated in Jamaica, its sound is decidedly rooted in African rhythms. Thus, it's no surprise that reggae is wildly popular in Africa, and that dozens of African reggae artists have contributed to the development of the genre. Here are some great CDs to get your African reggae collection started.
Essential Recordings of "Danny Boy": Tommy Fleming - Listen/Download Celtic Woman - Listen/Download The
Fado is Portugal's answer to jazz -- an urban genre of folk music that sprang up in a port city where folks from many walks of life and ethnic backgrounds intermingled. It's beautiful and sad and absolutely worth your time to explore. Here are some CDs to get you started.
Irish music is one of the most popular forms of traditional music in the world. Irish music is unique in that it has remained popular and stayed relatively the same over hundreds of years, whereas other forms of traditional music have died out. Learn more about Irish music and the wonderful musicians who keep the tradition alive!
Think you're a reggae fan? If you don't have these ten classics in your collection, you'd better think again... or at least load them into your iPod quickly, before anyone notices that they're not there. From international hits to influential Rastafarian anthems, these ten songs are crucial pieces of any reggae collection.
Bob Marley is one of the most covered musical artists in history, but very few non-reggae artists seem to cover his songs, and when they do, it's often unsuccessful. Occasionally, though, a gem has broken through. Here are the Top Ten covers of Bob Marley songs done by non-reggae artists.
New York City has one of the greatest club scenes in the world, and every musical genre you can think of is presented by a huge legion of entertainers from around the world on a nightly basis. World music is not hard to come by in New York, and here are the best places to catch your favorite live performers and world music DJs in the city!
Klezmer music is the traditional secular music of Ashkenazi and Hasidic Jews. It is characterized by use of the accordion, fiddle and clarinet and is often played at Jewish weddings.
If you like Irish New Age Singer Enya, you might also like Loreena McKennitt, Sissel, Enigma and Maire Brennan, as well as some of these other New Age artists.
Ziggy Marley was born to Bob and Rita Marley in 1968, and grew up to become a successful reggae musician in his own right.
A reader wrote in to ask about the difference between ska and reggae. Read on and find out the answer!
: What is the difference between Cajun Music and Zydeco? : Many people, when hearing Louisiana-style
Learn about the types of musical instruments commonly seen in a traditional Irish music band or jam session.
Zydeco music, and its close relative, Cajun music, is one of the most exciting and vibrant genres of world music in the world. Zydeco is the bluesy, highly syncopated music of the French speaking Creole people of Southwest Louisiana. Learn more about Zydeco!
Mali is well-known in the world music community as being a prolific producer of amazing music. These ten great CDs will get your Malian music collection started nicely.
Rai Music is a popular form of world music from Algeria. Rai music sounds much like pop music, but with Arabic and French musical influences.
A collection of quotations from songs written by Bob Marley on the subjects of religion and spirituality, and more specifically, Rastafarianism.
If you like Edith Piaf, take a step further and dig into some other classic French music
A collection of quotations drawn from Bob Marley's song lyrics, focusing on love, family, and relationships.
Fela Kuti was a pioneering world musician who played Afrobeat music, a blend of American jazz, funk and pop with West African Highlife Music. Fela Kuti was also a major political activist who became a hero of the Black Power movement. Fela Kuti died of AIDS in 1997.
For many of us, music is essential to a great yoga practice -- it helps us focus, provides motivation, and generally makes the whole thing more enjoyable. Unfortunately, much of the yoga music on the market is cheesy and barely-listenable. What's a music snob to do? Look no further -- these great modern yoga CDs will soundtrack any flow nicely.
Save money at a music festival with these tips. Going to music festivals is a favorite summer activity, but can be deceptively expensive if you're not careful with your money. Here are some ways to save money at a music festival while still having a great time.
Background: "Red is the Rose" is a traditional Irish ballad of unknown origin. It's sung to the same
The accordion is one of the best-known world music instruments, and people tend to love it or hate it. Learn more about the history of accordions, how accordions work and what genres of music feature the accordion.
In this hectic world, relaxation can be hard to come by. If you need some music to help you relax or to help you center your body and mind while meditating, these ten great CDs from around the world should help you do just that!
Are you curious about what styles of music come from the Caribbean? Look here to learn more about some of the great genres that come from these islands.
Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican music that consists of a deejay rapping (or toasting) over a reggae-like beat (or riddim). Some of the more popular dancehall artists include Yellowman and King Jammy. Many music historians believe that dancehall is a predecessor to rap, with the toasting style brought to New York City by Jamaican immigrants.
Want to know some fun and interesting trivia about Bob Marley? Look no further for some fun facts about Bob Marley's life and music, and other Bob Marley trivia.
Django Reinhardt was a prolific songwriter and recording artist, and his timeless gypsy jazz music will never go out of style. This playlist covers some of Django Reinhardt's most essential songs, some which he composed himself, and some which he covered.
Calypso music is a genre of Caribbean music native to the island of Trinidad. Calypso music, like most genres of Caribbean music, is heavily rhythmic and has clever, catchy melodies and lyrics. Calypso music was made popular in the United States by Harry Belafonte.
Every ska, rocksteady and reggae fan has at least one Bob Marley CD on their shelf, but if you're new to the genre, you might be confused as to where to start. These ten must-have albums will help you build your library properly.
For Love and Laughter is the 2008 release from Irish music group Solas. For Love and Laughter is a really excellent collection of songs that showcase both Solas's virtuosity and their diversity.
Lucky Dube was a pioneer of reggae music in his native South Africa. Lucky Dube followed in the footsteps of Jamaican legends like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, with direct influences from his African roots.
Polka music is a form of European dance music which originated in what is now the Czech Republic. It migrated to the United States with Eastern European immigrants and remains quite popular in areas of the Midwest and Great Lakes Region.
Want to build up a collection of flamenco music? Start with these ten great discs from artists both classic and contemporary.
The fiddle is by far one of the most popular instruments in ethnic music throughout the world. The fiddle's portability and small size, as well as its voice-like sound, has made it travel throughout the world. Fiddle music is, almost always, music for dancing.
In order to truly understand Cajun music, it's best to listen to some of the trailblazers of the genre. Here are ten great Cajun cds to get you started.
The two main genres of classical Indian music are Carnatic music, from Southern India, and Hindustani music, from Northern India. Both use systems of ragas and talas to create a sound that is quite different from western music.
Learn more about the history of this public domain song, written by Thomas Paine Westendorf, which has found a home in the Irish music repertoire despite its American origins.
Cockles and Mussels is a traditional Irish folksong that tells the tragic tale of one Molly Malone, a fishmonger who died of the fever, but whose ghost still wanders the streets of Dublin. It's a widely popular song that has been sung in many a pub over the years.
If you like the reggae music stylings of Bob Marley, check out some of these related reggae music artists. This list includes Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, who were part of The Wailers, Bob Marley's early rocksteady and reggae band, as well as artists like The Mighty Diamonds, Burning Spear and Toots and the Maytals.
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Though ska music experienced a resurgence in the 1990s, when it was fused with rock and punk, ska experienced its first wave in Jamaica in the 1960s. Traditional ska music is a combination of Jamaican mento with the then-modern sounds of American R&B and soul. Check out some CDs by the best artists from that time period, and discover an important turning point in Jamaican musical history.
Rocksteady music is a derivative of ska music that became popular in Jamaica during the late 1960s, when reggae music was also becoming popular. Popular artists of the rocksteady era of jamaican music are Toots and the Maytals, Justin Hinds and the Dominoes and Alton Ellis.
"The Spinning Wheel" History and Background: "The Spinning Wheel" was written in the mid-1800s by an
Bollywood films are grand spectacles that feature large filmi music and dance numbers and melodramatic plotlines. Filmi music, the correct name for the music of Bollywood films, has become some of the most popular music in the world, and certain filmi singers, such as legend Asha Bhosle, have become well-known outside of the Bollywood arena for their talents.
The Minstrel Boy is an Irish folksong written by Thomas Moore. It was originally written in honor of his friends who died during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and later gained popularity as a patriotic song for Irishmen worldwide, including Irish-American Civil War regiments. Learn more about the lyrics and history of The Minstrel Boy.
The oud (or ud) is one of the oldest stringed instruments in existence, and is still regularly played today. The oud is an ancestor of the lute, and subsequently of the mandolin and guitar.
Edith Piaf's life was cut tragically short at the age of 47, but her death was shrouded in mystery and the cause is somewhat disputed.
Fado music is the traditional urban folk music of Portugal. Portuguese fado music is known for its sad, mournful songs and powerful performances.
A kora is a 21-stringed harp made from a gourd and popular in West Africa
These CDs will make a great beginning to your African music collection. They represent a wide variety of styles and genres and will be just the thing you need to get you started.
Toasting is a style of lyrical chanting which, in Jamaican and other African-inspired musical traditions, involves a deejay chanting over a rhythm. Toasting, as it is used in dancehall music, was the predecessor to modern rap and hip-hop.
The tin whistle is a simple traditional woodwind instrument that is commonly found in Irish music and other genres of Celtic music. The tin whistle is also called a penny whistle and, despite its simplicity, can be played with a great deal of nuance and dynamics by great players.
The banjo is considered by some to be the only uniquely american musical instrument. Banjoes are descendants of African instruments, brought to America by slaves.
A collection of quotes on the topics of social justice, politics, and revolution, selected from songs written and performed by Bob Marley.
Celtic Woman is a worldwide phenomenon that has, much as Riverdance once did, brought Irish music to the world stage. If you like Celtic Woman and need some ideas for more CDs that you might enjoy, check out this list, which includes artists like Enya, Karan Casey, Cherish the Ladies, and Loreena McKennitt, among others.
Castanets, with their characteristic clack-clack-clack, are a common and ancient member of the percussion family, best known for their use in Spanish folkloric dancing.
The best books about reggae and Jamaican music. From biographies to cultural studies, coffee table books to collections of essays, these books cover everything the avid reggae fan needs to know about the genre and its history.
World music fans often find themselves in a bit of a jam when they're planning the music for their wedding - they want to express their unique taste in music, but also want to keep the music sweet and romantic. These ten songs will surely add a touch of romance, as well as some fabulous global flavor, to your wedding.
The Early History of Mento Music: Mento music emerged as a distinct style of Jamaican music in the early
Oliver Mtukudzi, known as Tuku, is one of Africa's best-loved musicians. Hailing from Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi's inspired songwriting, brilliant guitar-playing, and lovable stage persona have made him Zimbabwe's most famous artist and a household name throughout Africa.
The Story Behind "Whiskey in a Jar": "Whiskey in a Jar," one of the best known traditional Irish vocal
Bringing children along to festivals can be a fun, and relatively inexpensive, way to spend a long summer weekend. Following these simple tips, though, will make the music festival much more fun for both you and your kids. Before you take your children to a music festival, read on!
Soca music is a popular form of Caribbean music that comes out of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Soca is a blend of traditional Trinidadian Calypso and Indian rhythms. Soca has both traditional and contemporary forms.
The Wearing of the Green is a favorite traditional Irish folksong, one that speaks of revolution. Dating back to at least the Irish Rebellion of 1798, when wearing the color green (or a shamrock in one's hat) was an act punishable by hanging.
Love the French language and want to discover some more music in French? Look no further, these ten french language cds will get your collection started nicely!
Scotland is home to some of the world's most beautiful and timeless folk music, and the old traditions are continually being carried forward by a large number of wildly talented young musicians. Check out some of this amazing new-old folk music from Scotland!
Bob Marley and the Wailers Live Forever is a new release of Bob Marley's final concert, which took place at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA on September 23, 1980. The CD is made from Soundboard recordings, so the actual recording quality is excellent, and the Wailers were in outstanding form that night -- it's a special recording, for sure. Read my review of Bob Marley and the Wailers Live Forever.
Tuvan Throat Singing is a style of singing that comes from Tuva, a small republic in Central Asia. Tuvan Throat Singers are able to produce a number of notes from their voice at one time.
These ten songs come from all over the world but share one thing in common: they're ghoulish! From a funny Jamaican zombie song to a creepy Swedish werewolf ballad to a frightening composition based on Chinese exorcism rituals, this list should frighten and delight you!
Zydeco is a vibrant genre of music created by the fusion of African, French, Spanish, Native American, and other international influences, all of which came together in Southwest Louisiana. Get to know zydeco music with some of these essential starter CDs.
Kids love reggae music. It's upbeat, fun, and great for dancing. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find reggae music that has lyrics appropriate for kids, or about themes that children can relate to. Look here for some reggae CDs that are specifically made for children and that kids of all ages can enjoy.
Manu Chao is one of the world's hippest and most popular musicians. His experimentation with world music, combined with rock and electronica, has made the genre cool again.
Best-recognized as the most common drum in your average drum circle, the djembe is a traditional West African hand drum that provides the rhythm to a great many important genres of African music.
These eleven great CDs from Native North American flute masters are guaranteed to soothe, stimulate, and most importantly, open up a window to a beautiful ancient musical tradition.
History and Background: "The Galway Shawl" is, like most traditional folk songs , of unknown origin.
Learn more about these traditional Irish bagpipes, how they're played, and how they fit into the sound of Irish music.
Roots reggae is a subgenre of reggae music, characterized by socially conscious and spiritual lyrics. Roots reggae peaked in the late 1960s with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and their contemporaries, but there are still great artists recording roots reggae, and it remains popular among people who dislike the slack lyrics of modern dancehall.
The Cajun Mardi Gras celebrations in Southwest Louisiana are entirely different than the big-city bacchanalia of New Orleans celebrations. Learn more about Cajun Mardi Gras and the ancient traditions that it is based on.
All For Me Grog is a very old and very popular Irish drinking song and sea shanty. It tells, in a tongue-in-cheek way, of the dangers of drinking too much grog (alcohol).
The five best compilations and collections of Bob Marley's music on the market.
The top five jeli, or griot, kora players in the world.
Compas music, or Kompas music, is a genre of Haitian music that incorporates the classic beat of meringue (a Haitian variant of merengue) with Haitian Kreyol (Creole) lyrics and a modern twist. Compas is a popular modern Caribbean music that plays a major part in Carnival celebrations.
Tinariwen is the premier Tuareg musical group in the world. The band formed in Muammar al-Qaddafi's rebel camps in 1982, and have since switched from guns to guitars, bringing their music around the world.
With the popularity of Matisyahu, a Hasidic reggae rapper, interest is growing in other Jewish Reggae music. Check out some of these great artists who are incorporating Jewish traditions with Reggae.
The world of Arabic music encompasses a huge variety of music both modern and ancient, and from folk, pop, and classical traditions. Arabic music can be a beautiful and compelling window into Arabic culture, so if you're not familiar with it, here are 10 great CDs from a variety of genres to get your collection started.
Hawaiian slack key guitar is one of the most interesting forms of indigenous American folk music. Hawaiian slack key guitar is characterized by cross-tuning of the guitar strings and a distinctive bluesy sound created by highly embellished finger-picking.
Rupa and the April Fishes are a San Francisco-based world music band. Blending French cafe music, Latin rhythms, and a vintage cabaret vibe with various world influences, Rupa and the April Fishes are a favorite up-and-coming band on the world music scene.
The Sash My Father Wore is a Northern Irish folksong that tells of the many battles fought and won by the Orangemen, or Ulster Scots.
Learn more about this sad old song, written about the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
The Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance is a music festival that takes place twice a year in Silk Hope, North Carolina, near Chapel Hill. They showcase a wide variety of music, including World Music, folk music, blues and rock.
A bodhran is a hand-held drum used in traditional Irish music. Bodhran players are an integral part of an Irish music seisun (jam session).
Cesaria Evora is a singer from the Cape Verde islands known for her soulful interpretation of morna songs.
The Banana Boat Song, also known as Day-O, is a traditional Jamaican mento song that was popularized by Calypso folksinger Harry Belafonte in the 1960s. Learn the lyrics and history of the Banana Boat Song!
Calypso music, the African-rooted folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, has long been the soundtrack for the Carnival season on the islands, and its popularity has spread worldwide. Need some good calypso in your collection? Check out these excellent vintage calypso compilations.
A reel is a traditional dance and tune style found primarily in Irish and Scottish music, but also in other genres influenced by those styles. The reel is one of the most common types of tunes found in fiddle music around the world, and stepdancers often learn reels as their first type of dance.
Learn more about this song that tells of the Rebellion of 1798.
History and Lyrics: "Dear Old Skibbereen" is a traditional Irish folk song written sometime after the
Calypso Rose is one of the Caribbean's best-known female singers and an ambassador of Trinidadian Calypso. Learn more about this fabulous singer!
What is Afrobeat music? Learn more about this amazing genre of African music and those who created it, including the inimitable Fela Kuti.
Celtic Woman is an Irish musical group that gained popularity worldwide when their television special, also entitled Celtic Woman, was first broadcast in 2005. Celtic Woman's program includes traditional Irish music, as well as Celtic interpretations of modern songs.
A collection of quotations from Bob Marley's song lyrics, on the theme of music, dancing, partying, and fun!
The Connemara Cradle Song is an old Irish folksong. The Connemara Cradle song has a beautiful melody and soothing lyrics about the ocean, making it both a sea shanty and a lullaby.
Tired of the same old children's music albums? Check out some of these unique world music albums that are either made for children or are appropriate for children. Expose your kids to new cultures with world music!
Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down - Lyrics and History of an Irish Music Folksong
The Sahara desert - a land of nomadic peoples - is the source of one of the most exciting movements in world music in recent history. With its cyclical connection to American blues, there are deep roots in the desert sand.
Suggestions to get your Pandora station populated with great international music, from recent releases to classic tunes, and from artists all over the world.
Courtin' in the Kitchen is a humorous old Irish folksong which tells of a scandal that took place in Captain Kelly's kitchen.
"Old Maid in a Garret" - Background and History: "Old Maid in a Garret" is a popular and humorous (though
Finnegan's Wake, or Tim Finigan's Wake, is a comedic Irish folksong that tells the story of Tim Finnegan, who dies as a result of too much drink but, alas, is revived by the whisky at his own wake. Made famous by the Clancy Brothers but also recorded by dozens of other Irish Music artists, Finnegan's Wake is a favorite among fans of Irish music everywhere.
Angelique Kidjo is a Benin-born singer whose amazing voice and remarkable stage presence have made her one of the most popular musicians in the world. Angelique Kidjo is also well-known for her work as a humanitarian, speaking out against the conflict in Darfur and the ravages of AIDS in Africa. Learn more about Angelique Kidjo's life, work, and especially music!
The Galway Piper, also known as Piping Tim, is a well-known Irish folksong whose origins are lost to history but whose melody still rings out in many a session.
Thomas Mapfumo - Basic Facts: Thomas Mapfumo was born in Marondera, Rhodesia (what is now Zimbabwe )
A Bunch of Thyme is a traditional Irish folksong that uses the metaphor of thyme (an herb) to symbolize a young woman's virginity. Learn the lyrics to A Bunch of Thyme.
Learn the story behind this Irish folksong, originally a satire of Northern Irish Protestantism but later adopted as a point of Protestant pride.
Oumou Sangare is an African musician of Wassoulou descent. Born in the southern region of Mali, Oumou Sangare has become one of the best-known Wassoulou musicians in the world, and one of Mali's favorite daughters.
Isicathamiya Music: Isicathamiya means, roughly, "Tip Toe Guys" in Zulu, a major language of South Africa.
Lee "Scratch" Perry - The Basics: Lee "Scratch" Perry was born Rainford Hugh Perry on March 20, 1936
Chutney music is a style of music that derives from a combination of calypso and soca music and Indian music. It was created by Indians in Trinadad and Tobago and is one of the world's most popular genres of music.
A sitar is a stringed instrument used in Indian Classical Music. The sitar has also been used by western rock musicians such as the Beatles. Learn more about the sitar!
An old man came courtin' me, me being young An old man came courtin' me saying would you marry me Maids,
Boolavogue is a folksong set to the tune of an old Irish air. Boolavogue tells the story of Father John Murphy, a local parish priest who led his parishioners in battle during the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. He was tortured and executed by the British.
History: "Weile Waile" (also called "The River Saile" or "The Cruel Mother") is a traditional Irish ballad