Monday, November 1, 2010

World Music on the Web: National Public Radio

From time to time, VOAWorldMusic will survey a number of online resources for world music.

One of the most accessible is National Public Radio's Website, which on its "music" page has five categories: Rock/Pop/Folk, Classical, Jazz and Blues, Hip-Hop/Rhythm and Blues, and World. Of course, given the increasing contemporary tendency for music to exhibit aspects of two or more conventional musical genres--with examples often identified as "crossover music"--examples of world music may be found in any of the four other NPR categories.

In addition, there are two other relevant regular features on the NPR and The Thistle and Shamrock, a weekly program of Celtic music (Irish and Scottish), often with strong world music influences, hosted by Fiona Ritchie--as well as World Cafe, a program of music recorded live that periodically features traditional artists from around the world.

A recent sampling from among the almost daily musical offerings from NPRs many regular programs:

Mali's Bassekou Kouyate playing the lute-like ngoni.

Beijing-based Guo Yong playing naturally occurring garden leaves!

Joan Soriano, from the Dominican Republic, playing bachata, a genre of guitar music popular among poor people.

And from Nairobi, Kenya: Kenge Kenge, an eight-person ensemble presenting benga, "a traditional folk rhythm that dates to the 1940s."

These, and many other features, are from NPRs regular programming, including such news magazines as Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, all three of which have specific music search options on the attached links.

World music can sometimes be heard on the 24/7 streaming podcast of All Songs Considered, with an accompanying blog by ASC's founder, Bob Boilen, who was Director of All Things Considered from 1989 to 2007, as well as in NPR's Song of the Day, the link to which can be e-mailed daily to those who sign up to receive it.

In addition, the NPR site has extensive search functions, and current programs contain links to previous features on a given artist or group in NPR's exhaustive archive.

Coming up: World music on the BBC.

And stay tuned next month for an exclusive VOAWorldMusic audio interview with Laurie Anderson, following her two performances last week of her latest project, "Delusion", at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland.