World Music

Topics: Music genre, Culture, Music Pages: 5 (1462 words) Published: November 20, 2005
While world music is a genre, musical exoticism can be classed as a process in which musicians freely interpret attributes of the music of non-western culture and targeting specifically at foreign audience. It is the direct perception of the western audience's view of non-western music tradition, not non-western perception of non-western exoticism, in other words not the true perception, only a concept.

As exotica is only an imitation, the authencity of the music is often questioned, the lack of any link between foreign cultural tradition (musically speaking) often results in guilt free consumption by the audience as stated by Phillip Hayward. (Hayward, 1999: 14)

As technology become more advanced in the recent years, the lines of authencity become more and more blurred because of wider acceptance of cross-cultural diasporic events happening throughout the world.

The use of samples became more and more available to the world, many people utilized it in a way that it almost is another genre of its own. Exotica exists in almost all type of genres because of this.

With the globalization effect, both the audiences and musicians are within reach of many non-western music through the use of internet, television and many other types of media. This also lead to many fusion with western and and non-music with use of traditional elements. This tendency is happening more and more recently.

While western music are creating exoticism by incorporating non-western cultural traditions, usually by either collaborations or using non-western musical instruments and elements of it, e.g.: Yanni, Enya, non-western musicians are also doing similar things, where non-western musicians try approach the western market by fusing their cultural traditions with western musical elements. This can be seen with recent groups like twelve girls band, a Chinese group of female musicians where by using traditional instruments incorporate modern (western) arrangements, created a form of exotica that is appealing to western mainstream audiences. Marketing themselves in the way so that it fits its targeted audiences which are the western mainstream listeners but still categorizing themselves in the world music genre.

It is not just this band uses the processes of exoticism to address to the world music market. In Papua New Guinea, with the announcement of independence in 1975, there has been a burst in the development of new idependent indiginence cultural groups who are enthusiastic about creating are reflecting in the new political change. These PNG contemporary style musicians were inspired by the energy and dynamism of newly independent culture. ( Crowdy, 1998: 13)

One of these bands is a student band called Sanguma, blending in traditional PNG chants and instrumental music with western rock and Jazz element, they created this contemporary PNG exotica style. Although unpopular within their locality, it was achieving success in the international world music market. The band has served as the aesthetic of PNG music style. Crowdy stated: " The bands can be seen to have acted

as cultural ambassadors promoting tourism and cross-cultural exchange." (Crowdy, 1998: 15)

Image also plays an important part to their success in the international stage. Their stage wear referred to as bilas, traditional style of clothing consisting of native head-dress and neckless and armbands from various cultures within the PNG community, which to the normal western audience will see it as just one PNG culture.

Even though they are more marketable internationally, they are having trouble to convince overseas (bigger) labels to market their musics because of their commitment of staying together as a group as members often have personal commitments inside PNG to attend to, they are bounded to one area.

There are strong stand points on both sides in terms of their creativity. On one hand, there is the idea of its preservation of tradition by...

Bibliography: 1. Philip Hayward ‘The Cocktail Shift ', introduction to Philip Hayward (ed) Widening the Horizon: Exoticism in Post-War Popular Music, Sydney: John Libbey & Co., 1999
2. Louis Chude-Sokeiu, ‘Dr Satan 's Echo Chamber ', Journal for the study of Media and composite cultures v9n1, May1999
3. Denis Crowdy ‘Creativity and Independence: Sanguma ' Perfect Beat v3n4 January 1998
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