This Saturday was Earth day, a global holiday to appreciate all the world has to offer. Here in Santa Barbara, we celebrate Earth day with a huge two day festival in the park in the middle of town. The festival is a magical center of community, activism, music, and entertainment. All of these things spread the message of taking care of our environment, climate change awareness, and how to make the world a better place. If there is one genre that everyone can agree unifies the planet, it is world music.
World music gained popularity during the era of cultural globalization in the 1980’s. The genre borrows from Western folk music, as well as ethnic and indigenous styles from several parts of the world. World music fits under a very broad category. It is different in every country, because it plays off of the culture of its region. This applies to the instruments used as well. For example, Eastern Asian world music uses instruments such as the koto and the guqin, whereas West African world music features the jembe and the marimba. The concept of world music is very intimate and communicative.
Though lots of world music is tribal and not necessarily well-known, there are artists who have made it big coming from this genre. British-Tamil rapper M.I.A. and Lebanese/Columbian singer Shakira are world famous for their creative artistry in combining hip hop and pop music with the traditional music of their heritage. These two, among many other artists, helped to bring the ideas of world music into the public eye.
World music is the soundtrack of Earth itself. The sounds and artistry from all around the world have created an immensely diverse culture of their own, which people from around the world hare and create together. It is about awareness, and community, and history, and everything in between. Earth day is a very special and important holiday, especially because of the mess the world is in right now, and music can play a major role in bringing people together to keep the Earth moving.
Comment below on what I should write about next week!