Music and Language

Find resources for World Music from a variety of countries and cultures here. Other fans of World Music are waiting to chat right now.

"MUSIC AND LANGUAGE" >Page 1, 2, 3

North America vs. The World

In many ways, the issue of the language of a song is really only relevant to North America. It is only here in Canada and the United States that most of our radio stations are purely English. With the exception of some shows on college radio, and the occasional novelty song (most of us who remember 80's Music recall the song "99 Red Balloons" by German one-hit wonder pop band Nena, which had a version in German), songs on mainstream North American radio, and that generally make the Top 40 are in English.

Not so in other countries, where English is the "other" language -- and yet the airwaves are filled with English hits in addition to the stars unique to those particular parts of the world. Ricky Martin, Latin heartthrob, was a superstar pretty much everywhere in the world singing almost exclusively in Spanish, before the release of his first all-English album crossed him over into the US market. On television variety specials from France, it is not uncommon to see stars such as Enrique Iglesias, Phil Collins, and French star Patrick Bruel share the same stage.

With the Latin explosion and World Music in general getting more and more popular, hopefully it will not be long before the artists of other nations get exposure here, and are not relegated to import bins in CD stores. For now, the best way to hear some great non-English music before taking the leap to purchase it is via many online shopping sources, many of which have sound clips in either RealAudio or MP3 format. Speaking of MP3's, there are some sites devoted to archiving MP3 and other Internet music formats, of both established World Music stars and up and coming acts.

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