Monday, August 31, 2015

Music Education Monday:
Exploring world music

The phrase "world music" may be problematic, most notably in its lack of specificity in lumping together a whole bunch of unrelated non-Western musical traditions and concepts, but it's also a useful reminder for musicians that there are a lot of sounds out there beyond what gets covered in a traditional conservatory education or bandstand apprenticeship here in the USA.

Moreover, since jazz tends to absorb influences from whatever it rubs up against, jazz musicians in particular may benefit from broadening their horizons to include the entire globe. But where to begin?

This week for "Music Education Monday," here are three suggestions for places online where you can start your trip:

* 50 Great Moments in World Music may have a click-bait title, but the editors at parent site Songlines have done a good job assembling a list of highlights, along with audio and video clips, from musicians, bands and composers from around the world that have crossed over into Western popular and concert music over the past few decades.

*'s "Guide to World Music" offers a more systematic overview and reference for various musical styles and traditions, with new articles also added periodically to the parent site.

* And for a deeper dive, Coursera has a free online class in "Listening to World Music" that offers a guided tour of sorts in the company of other like-minded travelers.

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