21M.294 | Spring 2005 | Undergraduate

Popular Musics of the World


This page presents the required listening for the course. Samples of many selections are provided by links to Calabash Music (a fair trade distributor) and Amazon.com. Click on a recording title and scroll down the page to access the samples.

1 Preliminaries; Overview of Course    
2-3 World Music and Globalization: Current Perspectives Positive Black Soul. “Def Lo Xam.” Salaam. Mango, 1996.

Orchestra Baobab. “Jiin ma jiin ma.” Specialist in all Styles. Nonesuch, 2002.

Maal, Baaba. “Gorel.” Firin’ in Fouta. Mango, 1994.

Viviane et Le Djoff Band. “Sammil.” Tere Nelaw. Jololi Records, 2002.

Specialist in all Styles - By the recently re-grouped Orchestra Baobab, recorded in 2002. Sung by Rudy Gomis over a classic ‘salsa’ rhythm.
Afropop: African Stars, Sounds and Genres
4 Artists Gone International: Youssou Ndour and the Rise of Senegalese mbalax Etoile de Dakar. “Xalis.” Xalis. Popular African Music, 1994.

Orchestra Baobab. “Autorail.” Bamba. Stern’s Africa, 1994.

N’Dour, Youssou, with Wyclef Jean and Marie-Antonette. “Birima (remix).” Joko: The Link. Nonesuch, 2000.

Fatou Guewel and Groupe Sope Noreyni. “Fiirnde Santa Bamba.” Fatou. Stern’s Africa, 2006.

“Nhemamusasa - I.” Zimbabwe: Shona Mbira Music. Nonesuch Explorer, 2002.

Xalis - This performance was recorded in 1978, and is an example of the young Youssou N’Dour. An example of early mbalax.

Bamba - This is an example of early dance-band music, with heavy Afro-Cuban influences. Recorded in 1980.

Fatou - This is an example of neo-traditional mbalax music, featuring more sabar, and the xalam (plucked lute, similar to banjo.) Note the traditional griot style of singing, both by the lead vocal, as well as the call-and-response with backing vocals.

Zimbabwe: Shona Mbira Music - Example of Shona mbira dzavadzimu. Begins with single kushaura player, then kutsinhira player joins in, followed by the hosho.

5 Music and Protest: Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s Afro-beat; Mbira and Chimurenga Music of Zimbabwe Kuti, Fela Anikulapo. “Yellow Fever.” Yellow Fever / Na Poi. MCA, 2000.

Kuti, Fela Ransome and Nigeria 70. “Obe.” Koola Lobitos 1964-1968 / The ‘69 Los Angeles Sessions. MCA, 2001.

Kuti, Fela.Original Sufferhead. Shanachie, 1992.

Mapfumo, Thomas. “Mhondoro” and “Hondo.” Chimurenga Forever: The Best of Thomas Mapfumo. Hemisphere/EMI, 1996.

———.Corruption. Mango, 1989.

———.Ndangariro. Shanachie, 1991.

Yellow Fever / Na Poi - Criticizes the commonplace practice of skin-bleaching among African women.

Original Sufferhead - Originally released in 1984.

“Mhondoro” - Example of chimurenga music. Hear how the mbira technique is transformed to the electric guitar.

“Hondo” - Note the use of mbiras in his line-up.

Ndangariro - Originally released in 1984.

6 Music as a Tool for Humanitarian Aid in Africa U.S.A. for Africa. “We Are The World.” We Are The World. Polygram, 1985.

Bono, The Edge, David A. Stewart, Abdel Wright, and Youssou N’Dour. “46664.” Nelson Mandela AIDS Concert: Long Walk to Freedom. Rhino/WEA, 2004.

Nelson Mandela AIDS Concert: Long Walk to Freedom - From a benefit concert for Nelson Mandela’s worldwide music-led campaign 46664 (named after Mandela’s former prisoner number), to raise awareness of the devastating impact of AIDS.
7 The Politics of Globalization: Paul Simon’s Graceland Simon, Paul.Graceland. Warner Bros, 1986.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo.Classic Tracks. Shanachie, 1990.

Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. “Nyamphemphe.” Stoki Stoki. Shanachie, 1996.

Solomon Linda’s Original Evening Birds. “Mbube.” Mbube Roots: Zulu Choral Music from South Africa, 1930’s-1960’s. Rounder Select, 1990.

Graceland - Listen to all tracks. “You Can Call Me Al” contains elements of kwela (through the sound of the pennywhistle), mbube (through the emphasis on bass), and mbaqanga (through the fact that the instrumental parts and vocal parts are given equal importance).

Stoki Stoki - Example of mbaqanga music. Note the I-IV-I64-V chord progression.

Mbube Roots: Zulu Choral Music from South Africa, 1930’s-1960’s - This is the original mbube song, which the Weavers’ “Wimoweh” was based on later. This song was released in 1939.

Global Rap and Hip-Hop Culture
8 Rap and Hip-hop in Africa Positive Black Soul. “Djoko.” Salaam. Mango, 1996.

———. “Gold and Diamonds.” Run Cool. Palm Tree Enterprises Inc. / East West France, 2000.

BMG. “44.” African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-hop Senegal. Nomadic Wax, 2004.

Slam Revolution. “Wax Degg.” (Speak the Truth.)African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-hop Senegal. Nomadic Wax, 2004.

African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-hop Senegal is a compilation produced by Benny Herson and Daniel C. Cantor.
9 Hip-hop in Korea Seo Tai-ji and Boys. “Kyo-shil Idaeyo.” (Classroom Ideology.)  
10 First Exam    
11 Guest Lecture by Benjamin Herson (Nomadic Wax)    
12 Rap and Hip-hop in Japan: Guest Lecture by Ian Condry Miss Monday. “Curious.” Natural. Epic / Sony, 2002.

Zeebra, featuring Hiro. “Big Big Money.” Tokyo’s Finest. Pony Canyon Inc., 2003.

Natural - Miss Monday is Japan’s leading female hip-hop artist.

Tokyo’s Finest - An example of Japanese hip-hop.

13 Catch-up Session    
  Suggested Local Event: Performance by Orchestra Baobab    
Dance, Film, and the Impact of Recording Technologies
14 Creating Anglo-Asian Identity: Bhangra and Bhangramuffin

20-minute Guest Lecture/Demonstration by MIT Bhangra Team

Apache Indian. “Arrange Marriage.” No Reservations. Mango, 1993.

Sangeet Group. “Aaoo Nachiye.” Immortal Bhangra.

[unknown artist] “Nakhre Bin Soni Temi.” Immortal Bhangra.

Sagoo, Bally. “Jugni,” and “Jewel.” Star Crazy.

Star Crazy - “Jugni” uses a Malkit Singh track. “Jewel” uses a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song (qawwali).
15 The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum Kalthoum, Uum. “Ayoha al raïeh el moged.” Chansons à l’écran. Paris, France: Buda Musique, year unknown.

———. Oum Kaltshoum: Anthologie de la musique arabe, Vol. 6. Paris, France: Artistes Arabes Associés, 1990.

Chansons à l’écran - From “You, who leaves in the determination” from the film “Widad” 1935.
  Suggested Local Event: Intercollegiate Festival of African Music and Arts @ Tufts University    
16 Techno, Rave, and Youth Culture Deejay, Alice. “Better Off Alone.” Who Needs Guitars, Anyway? UMVD Labels, 2000.

Oakenfold, Paul / Disco Droids. “Interspace.” (Original Tremolo Mix.)Paul Oakenfold: Live in Oslo [Global Underground Series]. Boxed, 1997.

Who Needs Guitars, Anyway? - Example of pop-techno.
17 Beloved Crooners of Canto-pop; Karaoke in East Asia    
  Karaoke Outing    
Music, Culture and Religion: the Case of Reggae
18 Ska, Reggae, and Dancehall: A Historical Overview Skatalites. “Guns of Navarone.” Various Artists.This Is Crucial Reggae: Ska. Trojan, 2004.

Super Cat. “Boops.” Various Artists.Dancehall 101, Vol. 2. VP/Universal, 2000.

Ranks, Shabba. “Wicked inna Bed.” Various Artists.Dancehall 101, Vol. 2. VP/Universal, 2000.

Paul, Sean. “Gimme the Light.” Dutty Rock. VP / WEA, 2003.

This Is Crucial Reggae: Ska - Example of ska, originally released in 1964.

“Boops.” Dancehall 101, Vol. 2 - Example of dancehall; originally released 1986.

“Wicked inna Bed.” Dancehall 101, Vol. 2 - Example of ragga/dancehall. Originally released in 1989. Shabba Ranks was known for his x-rated song lyrics.

Dutty Rock - Example of recent dancehall which has merged with hip-hop and pop music, gaining mainstream popularity.

19 The Bob Marley Legacy Marley, Bob, and the Wailers. “No Woman No Cry” and “Get Up Stand Up.” Legend. Island Records, 2002.

———.Rastaman Vibration. Island, 2001.

Burning Spear. “Marcus Garvey.” Marcus Garvey. Palm Pictures Audio, 2003.

Legend - Songs originally released in 1975.

Marcus Garvey - Originally released in 1975.

20 The Globalization of Reggae    
21 Second Exam    
  Suggested Local Event: Performance by Lamine Touré and Group Saloum    
22-25 Final Presentations    
26 Conclusions    

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2005
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples