Persian music is a generally non-rhythmic music with each instrument using a single melodic line known as monophony. Both instruments and a singer are used to create the traditional sound of Persian/Iranian music. The tempo is usually fast and the ornamentation of instruments is dense. The vocals of the singer usually have a yodel-like quality known as Tahrir.

The history of Persian music is somewhat mysterious because notation in Persia was not used with significant regularity until the 1930s. Most information about early Persian music is found in documentation from artists, historians, and philosophers. According to these sources Jamshid, an Achemenid King, is credited with creating Persian music around the 6th to the 4th century B.C.E. The music was used in courts and for religious rituals. During the Sassanian Dynasty, between the 3rd and the 7th century C.E., musicians were given exalted status because of their connection with the courts' activities. During this period Barbod, a famous court musician, created a musical system known as Dastgah, which Iran's modern musicians still use in their compositions.

Barbod’s system consisted of seven royal modes, 30 derivative modes, and 360 melodies. The new system created 12 dastgahs, each with a designated eight-note scale, and 365 melodies (gushes), which are only four or five notes long and create a foundation on which the musician can make changes or improvise. Each melody flows effortlessly to the next with the use of transition fragments called foruds. Finally, the combination of all pieces that make up the repertory of Persian music is called the radif (row). Thus, the radif of Persian music contains the 12 dastgahs with all of their constituent gushehs. An accomplished musician knows all the 12 dastgahs and corresponding gushes and foruds. The musician has the ability to improvise them, changing the rhythm and melody just enough to sound different while not changing the original melody.

After the Sassanian Dynasty came the Iranian Period, from the 7th to the 15th century, which suppressed music and any musical activities. After this suppression came the renaissance of culture in Persia, between the 16th and the 18th century, when the Safavid Dynasty came into power, but even though the Persian culture was flourishing, music was being suppressed during this time due to the Shia Islam outlook on music as a corrupting, frivolous activity. When the Qajar Dynasty was in power from 1785 to 1925, great improvements were made to Persian music, including the establishment of the dastgah system, which is used today in Iranian music. In 1935 Persia's country name was officially changed to Iran. During the Pahlavsi Dynasty from 1925 until 1979, music in Iran was restored as an important part of Iranian culture and one to be held in esteem. Since then, traditional Persian music has attracted a lot of attention and interest.

In modern Iran, traditional Persian music is rooted in religion and played in many different types of ceremonies. Traditional Persian music has connections with Sufism, a sect of Islam, and is considered a way of having a religious connection with the divine spirit. Sufis believe that their music invokes the word of God. Western pop has also influenced the music of Iran and is played anywhere that music is enjoyed.

Persian Instruments:

Tar - A stringed lute instrument that has two octaves. Five of the strings are steel and one is brass. It is plucked to produce sound and is tuned according to what Dastgah is being played.

Setar - A stringed lute that has the same two octave range as a Tar, but with only four strings.

Kamancheh - A bowed spike fiddle that has four metal strings. It is played much like a violincello but sounds much like a violin. It is tuned differently depending where in the country it is being played.

Santoor - A dulcimer instrument that is played with two delicate wooden mallets, with a range of three octaves. It has 72 strings that are arranged in sets of four, and each string within the sets are tuned to the same pitch.

Barbat - A plucked string instrument with nine to eleven strings.

Tanbour - A plucked string instrument with a pear-shaped body and three strings.

Ney - A wind instrument similar to the flute with six finger holes.

Tombak (or Zarb)—A one-headed drum that is carved from a single piece of wood. Its circumference is smaller on the bottom and is open, while the top is larger and has a sheepskin membrane stretched across it.

Daf - A frame drum covered in goat skin

Dayereh - A tambourine.

Western instruments such as the violin, piano, accordion, violincello, clarinet, and trumpet are also used in modern Persian music. A "singer" is also usually present and reciting Sufi poetry which sometimes sets the rhythm for the piece.

Mbalax, pronounced mBah-lahkh, is the most popular music style of Senegal and Gambia, Africa. This style combines the traditional Wolof language singing and sabar drumming with Western instruments, which imitate sabar rhythms.

In precolonial times, Senegal was seen by empires as a strategic territory to control the trans-Saharan trade. During the age of slavery, Senegal became the last African country that captured West Africans saw before being forcibly taken to America. The French colonized Senegal in 1624 but Senegal won its independence in 1960. The Wolof people of Senegal had been singing praises accompanied by Sabar drumming for centuries before music in Senegal was influenced by the French colonization. However, Western music such as Jazz, Funk, Rock, Pop, and even Latin music became popular music forms in Senegal due to French colonization. But during the 1970s after Senegal gained its independence, the Senegalese people began to revive their traditional music to regain their identity. Western styles and instruments were integrated with the traditional music and instruments of the Wolof to create Mbalax. Mbalax music eventually evolved into its own genre with a specific sound and musical traditions. In modern times, Mbalax has become the most popular music style of Senegal and has even gained international popularity.

Traditionally, Wolof music and dance is performed in all important cultural events. As an oral culture, the Wolof people stored their history through songs, educated their children about adulthood, and praised important figures, either cultural or religious. Though Mbalax does have its roots in Wolof music, it is its own genre of popular music that is played wherever music is enjoyed.

Mbalax instruments include many Western instruments such as keyboards and electric guitars. But traditional Wolof instruments can also be used in Mbalax. Here are a few of the traditional Wolof instruments in Mbalax:

Kora - A 21 string harp. It is composed of a large gourd stretched across it, with a long pole neck. Strings are attached to the bottom of the gourd, stretched across a bridge and up the neck to the tuners. There are also two sticks positioned on either side of the neck for the performer to hold and pluck the strings with their thumbs.

Xalam - A five string lute. Some people hypothesize that the Xalam is the predecessor to the banjo.

Tama - An hourglass-shaped drum, traditionally made with iguana skins on each end, laced together with string along the length of the drum.

Sabar Drums - A set of 7 tuned drums made from dense, hard wood called Dimba.

In 2011, UNESCO honored Mariachi music by including it in the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". It is generally believed that that Mariachi music originated in the western states of Mexico in Aguascalientes, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan and Nayarit. Mariachi music was highly influenced by Son Jalisco, the regional music of Jalisco. The origins of the word "Mariachi" are unknown, but the term was in use as early as the 1850s. A popular theory is that the name was derived from the French word for "marriage" because Mariachi music was commonly played at weddings during the French "intervention" (1861-1867). But better evidence seems to suggest the term was in use prior to this period. Other sources variously claim that the word is derived from one of several indigenous words. Mariachi music has been played for a wide variety of events, including weddings, birthdays, quinceañeras (15th birthday celebration for girls), baptisms and public events. Mariachis are also important to the Mexican tradition of young men serenading young ladies through romantic ballads.

Most Americans are familiar with the sound of Mariachi music. Bright trumpets, rhythmic strumming of guitars and the sweet sound of violins weave harmonically with exuberant, or sometimes plaintive, vocals. Mariachi bands vary in size, but they usually include two trumpets, several violins, standard guitars as well as guitarra (an acoustic bass guitar), and a round backed guitar-link instrument called a vihuela. Bands are expected to be able to play hundreds of songs. Lead vocals switch from singer to singer and all band members join in the choruses. Vocalists are selected to match their voice quality to the song's style. Love, death, heroism, country life, and animals (even cockroaches!) are popular song themes. Formerly, Mariachi bands were exclusively male, but increasingly female musicians and singers have become essential to the ever evolving tradition

Mariachi music grew out of a blend of several musical traditions"” most notably indigenous, Spanish, and African. Although Mariachi music has an unmistakable and unique sound, it actually embraces many styles including Boleros, Polkas, Ranchera, Serenata, Waltzes and more. Mariachi music continues to be happily influenced by other traditions in the Latin world, recently incorporating styles that include Huapango from the Huastec region of Mexico and Cumbia, originally from Columbia.

The costumes of Mariachi players, referred to as Traje (suit or costume), are also distinctive. Mariachi developed in rural Mexican areas where cattle and cowboys (charro) roamed and this history is exuberantly reflected in the clothing of Mariachi players. Charro Tradje feature short jackets and tight trousers extravagantly embroidered with brightly shining silver and gold thread and further ornamented with silver and gold buttons. Literally and figuratively, rounding out the costume is a huge often equally decorated sombrero made of straw or felt.

The Philippines' traditional music is influenced by both Western and Eastern cultures. Filipino indigenous music was formed from the South-East Asian traditions, and their folk music was formed from the Western Christian musical traditions. Traditional music in the Philippines can be both instrumental, vocal, or a combination of both, as well as accompanied by both dance and theater. One form of Filipino instrumental music gong ensembles is called Kulintang.

Kulintang is an ancient form of gong orchestra which predates the influences of Islam, Christianity and the West in the Philippine Islands. The name of the music is also the name of the main instrument used in the ensemble. The origins of Kulintang are not clear, but it is connected with other gong music from South-East Asia. Spreading through commerce and Islamic occupation of the islands in the region, Kulintang was adopted by the indigenous tribes of the Philippine archipelago. Originally, Kulintang was an instrument performed only by women, but the musical tradition did not exclude men from playing. Kulintang was usually played as entertainment for the upper class; played along to someone dancing to the rhythm. It was used as a way for slave girls to rise in society by playing for upper class celebrations. As slaves assimilated into Philippine cultures, the music from where they were captured, especially Spanish territories, influenced Filipino music as well. As the Philippine archipelago was influenced more and more by Western music, Kulintang's popularity waned. It wasn't until the 1950s when Kulintang became popular again when being combined with Western instruments. By the 1970s artists began experimenting with combining Kulintang with popular music, especially folk and rock music. The popularity of combining the Kulintang with Western instruments has continued to evolve and gain popularity in the Philippines to this day.

The knowledge of how to play Kulintang was traditionally passed from generation to generation through oral traditions. A master Kulintang player would pass the traditions, techniques, and local repertoire of Kulintang to a student who began their tutelage at a very young age. Now that musical notation can be written down, transmission of Kulintang between generations is forcibly evolving.

"Traditional Kulintang is played at social gatherings and celebrations of great communal consequence. It is also used as a way of courting; the relationship between the rhythms of gongs in an ensemble could be used as communication; thus, declarations of love could be made through Kulintang music. Today the Kulintang is also used to accompany Western instruments in popular music that can be enjoyed anywhere.

"Kulintang Instruments:

"Kulintang - An instrument that consists of eight graduated gongs which are very similar to those found in Indonesian musical orchestras.

"Agung - A very large, wide-rimmed, hanging gong. It is played by being hit with a rubber stick. Agung are often played in pairs by either one or two players.

"Babendil - A small, vertical, hand-held gong. It is struck on its rim to make sound with a hard stick. It keeps time in the ensemble.

"Dabakan - A single-headed, kettle-shaped, wooden drum. The wood is covered with either goat or lizard skin and the drum is played with flexible sticks.

"Gandingan - Another set of graduated gongs. The gandingan is made up of four shallow, vertical hanging gongs. It is played by one musician using a pair of rubber sticks. A gandingan is used to mimic the human singing voice and is also known as "talking gongs".

"Folk dances of the Philippines reflect the various influences that formed the long history of the island nation, and folk dances vary according to the island’s various regions. The Philippines consist of more than 7,000 islands that are divided into three main areas: Luzon in the north, Visayas in the middle, and Sulu and Mindanao in the south.

"Several tribes live in the northern mountainous region. Each tribe goes by its own name; however, collectively the tribes are called Igorot. Mountainous or Igorot dances preserve world views and philosophies from the pre-Christian era, while showcasing instances of everyday life, such as family life or courtship. Igorot dances also celebrate battle victories and pay homage to ancestors or gods in order to bring good luck and fair weather to the villages. In Sulu and Mindanao, some of the dances were influenced by Islam and Christianity. For example, the Muslim dance Singkil is the local interpretation of the Indian epic, Ramayana, and is probably the most popular form of Filipino dance. Between Luzon and Mindanao lies Visayas, the middle part of today's Philippines. Dances from this region demonstrate Spanish influence and are called Maria Clara dances after the female protagonist in the novel by Jose Rizal. The choreography in Maria Clara dances is an amalgamation of Spanish and other European dances such as the waltz.

"While Maria Clara dances were popular among the urban Filipinos, the rural areas had their own dances called Barrio dances. These dances celebrate life with elan and joy. To reflect their happiness and love of life, women and men show off their skills by balancing lamps on their heads or dancing on narrow benches. In the dance called Maglalatik, which is a mock war dance, dancers beat on coconut shells tied to their bodies, creating a furious rhythm while reenacting battle. Women wear either traditional dresses adorned with butterfly sleeves, or long skirts and lace blouses. Men traditionally wear Chamisa de Chino and colored trousers.


Klezmer music is the traditional instrumental folk music of Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern and Central Europe. Like many forms of folk music, Klezmer is often played to accompany dance. The word Klezmer originated in the 19th century and is a portmanteau of the Hebrew words kley, which means a useful or prepared instrument, tool, or utensil, and zmer, which means music. Klezmer music is a unique cultural blend of Jewish and non-Jewish musical elements, which include synagogue melodies, Hasidic hymns sung in groups called nigunim, medieval German folk dance forms, and modern Greek and Turkish dance music. Klezmer is considered a way of creating joyous prayer and is played in synagogs. It is also played for Jewish weddings and other celebrations.

The music began in the 9th century in the Rhine Valley in Germany, just as Yiddish language was developing. As the Jewish people moved east through Europe to settle in Eastern Europe, the Jewish philosophy first known as Khasidism, and now as Hasidim, helped to spread Klezmer because it promoted the idea that prayer accompanied by music let people spiritually communicate with the most joy. People who played Klezmer music, especially men, began to be referred to as Klezmorim. From the end of the 19th century through the beginning of WWII, Klezmorims, especially those of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine, helped to make up most of the music and dance of Klezmer. Army bands from the Russian Czarist army during the 19th century added additional members to Klezmer including instruments and players to make up 15 people ensembles. Klezmer bands in Romania added Ottoman Empire, as well as Roma Gypsy, influences to Klezmer music. Because of these diverse influences, Klezmer today can be put into two broad styles: Polish-Ukranian and Romanian-Turkish Klezmer music. Klezmer continued to flourish through Europe in Jewish synagogs until, tragically, many Klezmorim perished in the Holocaust. Those who escaped and emigrated from Europe to America carried the music and traditions with them. Klezmer in the American Jewish community was not very popular until the revival of the music in the 1970s, and has since gained international popularity.

As Klezmer music spread across Europe new instruments were added. But by the middle of the 17th century, Klezmer groups had fixed four to five person ensembles. Groups at this time typically would be led by a violin, accompanied by a tsimbl (a hammered dulcimer), contrasting violins, a bass or cello, and sometimes a flute. In the beginning of the 19th century, the clarinet and frame drum became popular in Klezmer music in certain parts of Europe. Later, when soldiers from the Russian Czarist army played Klezmer music, groups grew as large as 10 to 15 musicians with brass and stringed instruments added. The clarinet, which has become a mainstay in Klezmer music, was introduced at this time. Accordions made their way into Klezmer ensembles in the late 19th century. When Jews emigrated from Europe to America, the piano became a popular instrument in Klezmer as Jewish immigrants became assimilated. Today the large Klezmer ensembles are the norm and a wide variety of instruments can be heard in modern and experimental Klezmer compositions, such as guitars, banjos, saxophones, and even Indian sitars and Australian didgeridoos. American Klezmer has also been highly influenced by Jazz music. Although easily recognizable, Klezmer music actually embraces a wide range of musical tempos, scales, keys, song structures, and rhythms.

The Joomla! content management system lets you create webpages of various types using extensions. There are 5 basic types of extensions: components, modules, templates, languages, and plugins. Your website includes the extensions you need to create a basic website in English, but thousands of additional extensions of all types are available. The Joomla! Extensions Directory is the largest directory of Joomla extensions.

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