Every continent but Antarctica. We don't like the music of Antarctica.

The notion of "world music" as a genre or category is, at best, reductive and at worst, ethnocentric. Music of the United States, Canada, and much of Europe is not considered to be "world music", while the vast diversity of human folk, pop, and art music created elsewhere is all lumped together.

To be consistent, world music has to mean "music of the world," a world which includes all of the boring old pop songs we hear on the radio every day. But let's branch out and explore some things that are too interesting for FM. In All Over the Map, we focus on timbres, melodies, and rhythms that may be unfamiliar at first, while recognizing these sounds as an expression of our common human experience.

In this workshop, activities may include:

  • Playing djembes in a drum circle like they do in Ghana
  • Pounding a Nigerian udu, which looks like "How hard could it be?", but nope
  • Singing and playing folk songs from around the world 
  • Learning Middle Eastern rhythms on the darbuka
  • Trying out folk instruments like the ukulele, banjo, and mandolin 
  • Listening to (and singing or playing) rousing opera choruses from Italy, bossa nova-inflected pop from Brazil, or playful cabaret music from France 
  • Improvise with the elegantly simple pentatonic scale, which is used everywhere from Albania to Zimbabwe

The workshop (for ages 6-12) will end with a performance for your family and friends.