World Music Glossaries: Styles

Afro-pop - Pop music with an African influence and/or incorporating African musical instruments.

Celtic - Music of Irish origin drawing upon traditional instruments (like the tin whistle), vocal styles and subject matter (Irish history; Celtic spirituality and myths).

Chanson - Singer/songwriter music from France (which has also drifted into Quebec) characterized by poetic, often thoughtful lyrics and originally with a Cabaret sort of musical style. Today, Chanson is used to loosely refer to artists such as Francis Cabrel and Alain Souchon.

Fado - The national music of Portugal, vocal in nature and emotionally driven.

Flamenco - Music from Spain which is characterized by fast-paced acoustic guitar rhythms and castanet-clicking dancers.

Gamelan - Indonesian music that is characterized by the striking of gongs in a pattern. Gamelan differs between Balinese and Javanese styles.

Klezmer - Ashkenazic Jewish music originated in Eastern Europe, characterized by clarinets, fiddles and accompanying dances such as the hora.

Latin - A catch-all phrase to refer to pop music originating out of Latin America.

Liedermacher - German singer/songwriter music born out of the 1968 Student Revolution. Political and socially conscious in nature, the musical style is generally derived from folk, jazz and classical.

Mambo - A Latin dance style originating in Cuba and incorprating elements of swing.

Merengue - The national dance music of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Rai - An Arabic style originating in Algeria, characterized by political themes and a vocal style that involves the elaboration of syllables over different notes.

Reggae - Jamaican folk music popularized by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

Rumba - West Indian music and dance known by a variety of names: son, danzon, guagira, guarcha, naningo.

Salsa - Another Latin dance style closely related to Mambo, but with a wider mix of Latin cultural influences.

Samba - Traditional Brazilian dance music.

Sephardic - The music of Sephardic Jewish culture: Jewish people from Spain, Morocco and Latin America. The language is usually Ladino; a mix of Spanish and Hebrew.

World Beat/Fusion - See General Terms.

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