Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
not only *better* than. but beget, cause, originate, spring, bring forth, give rise to, generative of.
Er, old bean, there are indigenous music traditions right round the world.....

the relationship between "world music" and "western music" is one of Parent and Child. and they are not 2 different entities: they are inherently, insperably connected.
You might need to read your sentences before you post old boy - you're saying on the one hand that the relationship between "western" music is that of parent to child (er two entities the last time I spoke to my daughter) and then go on to say they are inseparably inter-connected.

You are a bit of a funny wee chap!

-

Pulpit polemics aside I'm sure we could agree that there is musical traffic to and fro - it's just common-sense isn't it? And also that "The West" is often ignorantly superior.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
dear Woebot,

apologize for apparent confusion. let me attempt to clarify:

there is no "otherness" to speak of. and the term "world music", which lumps all "non-western" music into one group, separate from "western music", needs to be abolished altogether, as does the bullshit dichotomy it describes.

if you trace the history of the guitar, you find that it was descendent of the Oud, the first record of which appears in ancient Mesopotamia during the Acadian period (2359-2159 BC - yes it is 7 thousand years old). the Romans around 40 AD made a version of it, the Cithara, which spread to the Vikings in Europe; and later Gypsies living in Islamic Spain created the modern guitar based on that and the modern Oud.

Continuities exist everywhere. i don't need to recap my crude but basically sound lineage of modern dance music back to African forms.

it is all connected. common sense? in some ways, yes. but still people forget, and insist on seeing black and white.

the order of things needs to be gotten right. sure there are many cases of cross pollination and mutual influence between Europe and Africa and Asia, but fundamentally, one is much younger, and the others, much older, and certain strands are derivative of others.

Europe has produced amazing classical music DESPITE its lack of rhythm, its artificial division of melody and rhythm, its privilege of one over the other, its relegation of rhythm based music to a false "primitive" sphere.

the last 100 years have seen rhythm come back in a big way -- a process of being re-united with long lost roots.

listen to the first 2 Kraftwerk albums. that is some tribal archaic revival "world-fusion" shit right there.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
what i am interested in is

1. re-establishing the deep connections between so called "east" and "west", so called "modern" and "ancient".

2. re-asserting the rightful primacy of African and Asian traditions in the development of world culture.

3. dial back the conceit and arrogance born of ignorance of both the modern world and western-centric world views.
 

soul_pill

Well-known member
its artificial division of melody and rhythm, its privilege of one over the other, its relegation of rhythm based music to a false "primitive" sphere.
Interestingly, the brain processes the rhythm (and structure) component and the 'melody' (or pitch, and relative pitch, intervals etc.), separately. So in a way rhythm and melody are perceived (on some level) separately. That is not to say that rhythms don't have melody and melodies don't have rhythm - of course they do. Also all music is percieved in the so called "primitive brain" and apparently evolved way before language. (mainly courtesy steven pinker and oliver sachs, sorry if i got any of it wrong)
 

sufi

lala
this is not Syrian, it's Egyptian, but a 4/4 banger comparable to Souleyman:

http://almahata.com/media/188/AHMAD_ADAWEYA_-_02_Salametha_Om_Hassan/

just started playing when i went to the page, but if not just click the player...

edit: shit this track just fucking BURNS. turn up volume, close eyes, scrunch up face, and wave at least one arm in badman gun salute.
haha that is adawia, whose picture i posted on the original post - he's my favorite, bar none, he's done masses of albums, but that track is off his best, in my humble opinion,
he is like the don of egyptian 'shaabi' (= street music) i did a mission to see his son play in cairo, which i'm sure i wrote up on dissensus years ago,
he could do an 'omar sulaiman' except...
he is not presentable and is only just getting reevaluated/rehabilitated in the arab world, and has been getting on the telly occasionally in the last couple of years - shaabi is not generally seen as proper music, + adawia had a stroke or something following alleged castration/poisoning by a gulf sheikh he apparently cuckolded, apparently - details are sketchy & disputed, but he can barely walk or talk,
probly a bigger factor is his extensive back catalogue - unlikely to be an asset for him doing a crossover to the west, as it is entirely unregulated (far as i can see), cassettes have been around for years and mp3s freely available, so no $ to be made.

so, while i'm probably guilty of whatever elitist/gatekeeper tendencies mentioned above, i have to say that it's not at all difficult to get access to arabic music that is unreleased outside the middle east, there are masses of forums, mostly in english, where you can download all sorts of great stuff - they come and go but for checking out music, educating yourself, there is a massive choice - i've posted links up here lots of times before (e.g. http://www.dewaniya.com have been going a while, and is in ingleezi) youtube, vimeo etc have tons too.
i think a big part of it is that without some sort of endorsement, folk are generallly not confident to listen to unfamiliar styles of music and be brave enough to decide whether they like it enough to share the joy. & what i like about the sublime freq approach is that they basically are bootlegging, bravely getting music out there without letting rights or royalties be obstacles, obviously the flipside of that is exploitation, and the easy way to pay back/contribute would be to pass the proceeds back to the source, if not to the artists themselves, then to the up&coming youngers, fund some studios, gigs, tours even?improve the opportunities and break the barriers down...
 

DigitalDjigit

Honky Tonk Woman
The other problem with tracking down Arabic music is how many different ways the names are transliterated. You write Adawia, they write Adaweya. Dabke is also written as Dabka and Dabkeh.
 

sufi

lala
The other problem with tracking down Arabic music is how many different ways the names are transliterated. You write Adawia, they write Adaweya. Dabke is also written as Dabka and Dabkeh.
that's true, i have searched every conceivable spelling of adawia on google, funnily enough, 5 years or so back when i was blogging there was nothing much, but now there's loads.
in fact searching stuff in arabic is not difficult - the alphabet is simple enough to learn, so you can read artists' names, without necessarily getting into the grammar and vocab bit of actually learning the language

as for dabke.... i don't love it that much tbh, and i guess it's very ignorant of me to say it all sounds a bit the same - that was my first thought on omar suleiman - "o it's dabke", it's a very closely defined style i guess and different artists don't seem to get far from the standard template,

that said, this was on me blog years ago too and it gets into dabke - great video too!
[video=google;-4114236502879422115]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4114236502879422115#[/video] ya alooooosh!
 

nochexxx

harco pronting
Hassan Abd Alrahman - Ya Sahi Sabrou. Impressions Of Syria
Shadi Fauzi Alashoush - Sampler
Farid Al-Atrache - Archives des années 30
Farid Al-Atrache - King of the Oud
Farid Al-Atrache - Sampler
Al-Kindi - Musique Classique Arabe
Al Turath Ensemble - Hermana de la Luna
Al Turath Ensemble - Jardines de Jazmin
Al Turath Ensemble - La Música de Al-Andalus. La Muwashshah
Amer Ammouri - Eastern Strings
Amer Ammouri - Takasim Oud
Asmahan - Archives des années 30. Vol.3
Asmahan - Archives des années 42/44
Asmahan - Les archives de la musique arabe
Abed Azrié - Epopeé de Gilgamesh
Abed Azrié - Lapis Lazuli
Waed Bouhassoun - La voix de l’amour
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.1
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.2
Sabah Fakhri - Au Palais des Congres
Muhammad Hakim & Ensemble - Chant Soufi de Syrie. Dhikr Qâdirî Khâlwatî de la Zâwiya Hilaliya, Alep
Miço Kendes - Memê Alan
Omar Naqichbendi - Luth traditionnel 'ud. Syrie. Arabesque 5
Omar Naqichbendi - Omar Naqichbendi
Omar Naqichbendi - Sampler
Rifa'iyya Brotherhood of Aleppo - Islamic Ritual Zikr
Farhan Sabbagh - Le Oud (Concert au Schloss Charlottenbourg - Berlin)
Omar Sarmini & Al-Kindi Ensemble - Les croisades sous le regard de l'Orient
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Musique des derviches tourneurs de Damas
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Sufi Songs of Damascus
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Takasim & Sufi Chants
Afif Tain - Sampler
VA - Église syriaque orthodoxe (d'Antioche). Chants liturgiques du Carême et du Vendredi Saint
VA - Kurdish Music
VA - Muezzins d’Alep. Chants religieux de l’Islam

thanks, will try and find some of this. haha, stupid question and sorry to be such an audiophile but i'm guessing vinyl releases are few and far between?
 

zhao

there are no accidents
most or all of that stuff is classical. i would think there are vinyls floating around...
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
what i am interested in is

1. re-establishing the deep connections between so called "east" and "west", so called "modern" and "ancient".

2. re-asserting the rightful primacy of African and Asian traditions in the development of world culture.

3. dial back the conceit and arrogance born of ignorance of both the modern world and western-centric world views.
I pretty much agree with you but I think you make this point a lot better when you deal with the myriad specific unappreciated examples - as you do in a lot of threads and with your DJ sets - than when you come in with sweeping histrionic generalizations.

I think there's a lot more positive stuff to be had from talking about the influence of turkish psych on US / UK rock or how african influence actually manifests itself in hip hop (as in, what was the music culture that people were growing up with and how did that influence them, not just facile generalizations to the effect that foregrounding of rhythm is inherently african) or about the dozens of exciting scenes that are going on globally that noone's heard of because they aren't from the UK or the US than there is from nebulous arguments over a statement about the 'primacy' of a some set of traditions over some other set of innovations that's so generalized and ill defined as to be basically meaningless.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
I pretty much agree with you but I think you make this point a lot better when you deal with the myriad specific unappreciated examples - as you do in a lot of threads and with your DJ sets - than when you come in with sweeping histrionic generalizations.

I think there's a lot more positive stuff to be had from talking about the influence of turkish psych on US / UK rock or how african influence actually manifests itself in hip hop (as in, what was the music culture that people were growing up with and how did that influence them, not just facile generalizations to the effect that foregrounding of rhythm is inherently african) or about the dozens of exciting scenes that are going on globally that noone's heard of because they aren't from the UK or the US than there is from nebulous arguments over a statement about the 'primacy' of a some set of traditions over some other set of innovations that's so generalized and ill defined as to be basically meaningless.
fair enough regarding sweeping generalizations. but given time restraints i say what i have to say in broad strokes. nah apologize! :D

but speficially:

facile generalizations to the effect that foregrounding of rhythm is inherently african
If the core of European music was to embellish a melody via the counterpoint of a number of melodic instruments, and incidentally set it to a rhythm (which was sometimes specified only in vague terms such as "adagio" or "allegro"), the core of West African music was to color a rhythm via the counterpoint of a number of rhythmic instruments, and incidentally dress it up with a melody. Thus the key elements of West African music were rhythm and timbre, not melody and harmony. Instead of melodic counterpoint, West African music was about rhythmic counterpoint.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Well, that seems like a fairly myopic assessment of European music. I mean, if he's talkign about 'largo and allegro' then he's talking about classical forms which have a lot of their origin in church choral polyphony rather than any of the dozens of local dance traditions so it's no suprise that there's a lack of groove being busted...

But more to the point, I want to know about why and how and when and where that influence is tansmitted and why and how and when and where it's replicated. I mean, I assume that there's more complexity to it than Kool Herc listening to traditional west african stuff and then one day thinking "hey, maybe the best way of reproducing this given what's available to me would be to start juggling the breakdowns from funk records while someone talks over the top..."

But if the influence is passed down through blues to funk to hip hop and then (say) jungle then you actually seem to have a progressively increasing amount of emphasis on the percussive rhythm as you get chronologically further from direct contact with the African roots. Which doesn't negate the point, but does open up more interesting questions than just agreeing that more percussive = more african and moving on...
 

zhao

there are no accidents
Well, that seems like a fairly myopic assessment of European music. I mean, if he's talkign about 'largo and allegro' then he's talking about classical forms which have a lot of their origin in church choral polyphony rather than any of the dozens of local dance traditions so it's no suprise that there's a lack of groove being busted...
yeah he's specifically talking about classical:

The music for the aristocracy became more and more sophisticated, both because it could buy the best instruments on the market and because it could hire the best singers and instrumentalists in the kingdom. It came to be called "classical" music. Through the invention of polyphony, it greatly reduced the emphasis on rhythm, which came to be considered a rather primitive and plebean element.
On the contrary, folk music relied heavily on rhythm, both for dancing and for singing.
Rhythm became, in a sense, the main discriminant between classical and folk music.
and
certainly the African polyrhythms were wildly different from the linear rhythms of European folk music.
But if the influence is passed down through blues to funk to hip hop and then (say) jungle then you actually seem to have a progressively increasing amount of emphasis on the percussive rhythm as you get chronologically further from direct contact with the African roots. Which doesn't negate the point, but does open up more interesting questions than just agreeing that more percussive = more african and moving on...
i think of the development in the "west" during the last century or so as a steady and progressive return to rhythm (to our long lost african roots), after being largely divided from it for so long. so yes, things have been getting more percussive and poly rhythmic, (thank god).
 
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mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
I was in Luderitz in Namibia recently. It has a population of 15,000 people, it really is bumfuck nowhere. We managed - by 'chance' - to meet three very gay guys there and they took us out for the night. It was amazing. I got into a long talk with one of them about kwaito (Namibia is capital of kwaito now) and he was just going on at me about how great the UK was, because it was the home of pop music, and that rhythm and blues and everything else were NOTHING compared to the majesty of pop. And he gave lots of examples.

The man knew fucking loads more than me about rhythm - he was frightening explaining what some of the records we were dancing to were doing in terms of his knowledge of rhythm - but what he loved, loved, was pop music. I felt blessed to have met him and felt like I learnt something.

Which was probably that really, nothing is going home; there isn't any home to go back to.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
home? who said anything about any kind of "home"?

"return to african roots" in the context of this conversation merely means rhythm, and specifically African poly rhythms, re-entering "western" music.

in the bigger context of the last 300 years, in the ascendancy of popular music which gave rise to what your Namibian friend loves;

or in the smaller context of the last 20 years, its increasingly important role in urban and dance music (UK funky anyone?).

i speak of drawing from ancient bodies of knowledge in order to move things FORWARD (much like modern art taking cues from pre-modern sources - Picasso anyone?), into some crazy fucking wicked hybrid future (which is of course already happening).

give a FLYING FUCK about "going home" bro.
 
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muser

Well-known member
I don't think you can draw as much distinction between rhythm and melody. Melody is rythmic by nature (the only exception being ambient melody/ drones etc). Its also worth noting that African drums are tuned to each other and are not atonal, each drum sits in a different register in tune with the others. Neither of the above points are relevant to this thread.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
home? who said anything about any kind of "home"?

"return to african roots" in the context of this conversation merely means rhythm, and specifically African poly rhythms, re-entering "western" music.

in the bigger context of the last 300 years, in the ascendancy of popular music which gave rise to what your Namibian friend loves;

or in the smaller context of the last 20 years, its increasingly important role in urban and dance music (UK funky anyone?).

i speak of drawing from ancient bodies of knowledge in order to move things FORWARD (much like modern art taking cues from pre-modern sources - Picasso anyone?), into some crazy fucking wicked hybrid future (which is of course already happening).

give a FLYING FUCK about "going home" bro.
Sorry, misinterpreted what you were saying. No need to swear at me though, you foul mouthed cunt.
 
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