Arts and Culture

Discovering culture by listening to traditional music

It is said that one way to learn about culture of a country is through its music.

Music doesn’t only tell a story, but it connects people around the world.

Music is indeed a universal language no matter its origin.

In this article, CDN Digital has compiled music traditions from around the world that will surely make you stop and listen.

Flamenco (Spain)

As one of Spain’s richest musical traditions, flamenco consists of several musical components from playing the guitar to singing.

Boasting its unique dance tradition,  flamenco is hallmarked musically by the presence of the flamenco mode, a short melodic range, and microtones.

Playing flamenco makes it very interesting for its fiery and moving nature.

The flamenco is considered by many as one of the most technically demanding of all musical styles to play on guitar.

Han (China)

China’s traditional Han music is heard all over China. China’s traditional music is played with a mixture of percussion, pipa, zheng, and voice.

The Han traditional music features a single melodic line within each piece.

On this melodic line, performers play variations exclusively throughout a single piece.

While most Han music is instrumental, singing is also frequently heard.

Apala (Nigeria)

The Apala or also known as Akpala is an entirely percussion-based tradition of music developed in the 1930s by the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

It was historically used during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

As a percussion-based style, the tradition has evolved with increasingly complex percussion rhythms.

It was also influenced by Cuban music and has grown less centered on religion over time.

Instruments include a rattle, thumb piano, and a bell, as well as two or three talking drums.

Raga (India)

Indian raga music is a musical style originating in the Indian Hindustani and Carnatic classical styles.

It consists of sets of individual pieces that reflect a variety of moods or themes such as seasons or emotions.

Each raga consists of at least five notes, may it be ascending or descending and it can be improvised by the performer based on their taste.

Raga is highly melodic, and most are hallmarked by the traditional sliding or “scooping” heard in the Hindustani tradition of singing.

Kundiman (Philippines)

The Philippines’ Kundiman is a genre of traditional Filipino love songs.

The melody of the Kundiman is characterized by a smooth, flowing and gentle rhythm with dramatic intervals.

Traditionally, it is a means serenading in the Philippines.

The lyrics of the kundiman are written in the Tagalog language.  The kundiman emerged as an art song at the end of the 19th century  and by the early 20th century, its musical structure was formalized by Filipino composers.

Scholars and historians believed that the kundiman originated from the Visayas.

If you know more unique music traditions of the world, share them on the comments section of this video.

 

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