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Peter Manuel

A music and dance genre of the Punjab. The term is also used for loosely related modern popular music styles based in South Asia and Great Britain. Traditional bhangra (bhāgṛā), associated in particular with the vernal Vaiśākhī festival, features vigorous male dancing accompanied by ḍhol (barrel drum) and occasional sung verses (boliyā). In India the term bhangra also came to denote syncretic popular Punjabi songs disseminated initially via films, but subsequently on cassettes, fusing traditional Punjabi modes, melodies, and rhythms with modern Western-influenced ones. In the mid-1980s bhangra emerged as a parallel popular music and dance phenomenon among South Asians, especially people of Punjabi descent, in Great Britain. Stylistically UK-based bhangra de-emphasizes lyrics and often reflects a greater degree of syncretization. It combines characteristically Punjabi elements with sampling techniques, drum machines and influences drawn from electronic dance music and, most prominently, Jamaican dance-hall reggae. By the early 1990s the innovative ...


Jonathan Pieslak

Music has always been a part of war. While much of music’s role throughout history has been to signal commands and maneuver troops, it also appears as a powerful way to inspire troops for combat, to boost morale, or even to intimidate an adversary. Plato believed that the Phrygian mode could incite aggressive behavior. In American history, George Washington felt that music was so important to the morale of his troops that he ordered drum and fife majors to improve the quality of music or suffer a deduction in wages....