It is always fun to travel. The opportunity to meet new cultures, and experience different customs is always a good way not only to learn new things, but also to rediscover the things we already know. Today we will go on a musical journey through some of the remotest regions of the world and see (or rather “hear”) the musical traditions of various cultures.
Inuit Throat Singing
Inuits are an indigenous peoples inhabiting some of the coldest places on Earth: the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and the US. The gender roles are clearly separated with men doing the hunting (mainly seal and fish), and the women taking care of the young, sewing and cooking.
Their music is based on a drum rhythm base and a vocal style known as katajjaq. It is interesting to note that early anthropologists noted that Inuits did not have a traditional concept of music, and the closest term, nipi, included music, but was also natural sounds and speech.
Among Inuits, the form of throat singing seen in the video below is seen as a traditional form of competition, where two women stand facing each other and try to “ousting” the other.
Although mainly associated with the didgeridoo (an eucalyptus branch which has been bored by termites to produce a sound when blown into), the native peoples of Australia have a small array of musical styles.
The instruments at their disposal also include Clapsticks, sticks which are hit against each other to produce a rhythmic background to the music.
Traditionally native Australians, relate ancient traditional stories and myths within their songs.
The mountains of Scotland have produced some of the world’s most iconic music, mostly thanks to the sounds of the bagpipes – the country’s traditional instrument.
There are a few other instruments which are key to Scottish music. These include the harp, the accordion and the fiddle.
Thematically Scottish folk music is usually of a patriotic nature, with the country’s folklore, food and mythology playing an important role.