Country in Central Asia.
Musical life in Afghanistan has been severely disrupted by warfare since 1978. By the end of the 20th century the Taliban movement controlled 90% of the country, including all major cities. In the areas under Taliban control no musical instruments are permitted in public or private, and all forms of music save unaccompanied singing are prohibited. In other areas conditions are little better: most former professional musicians are refugees in Iran, Pakistan, Europe and North America. This article describes some aspects of music culture which are currently dormant, but no doubt music will re-emerge in due course, quite possibly not much changed.
Afghanistan is situated at the juncture of three major cultural areas: Central Asia, the Middle East and India. Each area has exercised a strong influence on Afghanistan at various points in history. In its ethnic origin, language and topography, Afghanistan is more clearly related to Central Asia and the Middle East than to India. The present-day boundaries of Afghanistan (fixed ...
Portia K. Maultsby
Jane Sugarman, George Leotsakos, and Zana Shuteriqi Prela
(Alb. Republika e Shqipërisë)
Country in south-east Europe. Under Ottoman rule from 1385, Albanians proclaimed their independence in 1912. This was recognized by international conferences in 1913 and again after World War I. The country was occupied by Italy from April 1939 and during World War II by Germany. In 1946 a people’s republic was proclaimed with a Soviet-type constitution. China succeeded the USSR as Albania’s chief patron (1956–71); thereafter the country lived in isolated ‘revolutionary self-sufficiency’ until 1990, when a pluralist political system was adopted and the first non-Communist government elected (1992).
George Leotsakos, revised by Zana Shuteriqi Prela
Art music along Western lines began in Albania during the Rilindja Kombëtare (National Renaissance), a broad political and cultural movement for the country’s independence dating from the 1830s. The most significant musical tradition that Albanian music inherited from past centuries is Byzantine music, which represents the first evidence of musical notation in Albania, found in medieval musical manuscripts. Most of the codices, found in the city of Berat, have liturgical content. In this collection, of musicological interest are the nine manuscripts with biblical content whose fragments are given with ecphonetic notation and the six manuscripts with Byzantine notation. The musical manuscripts of Albania come from five different cities of the country and date from the 13th century until the 19th. Despite their small number, the provenance of these musical manuscripts and their typological and chronological variety testifies to the spread, existence, and continuity of the Byzantine psaltic art in Albania....
(Arab. Jumhuriya al-Jazairiya ad-Dimuqratiya ash-Shabiya)
Country in North Africa. Algeria is the second-largest country in the African continent, with an area of 2,381,741 km² and a population of 31·6 million (2000). Its wide musical diversity reflects its geographic proximity to Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia and Western Sahara, as well as its physical and historical links with Europe. Sunni Islam is the state religion, and a regional form of Arabic is used, although French and Berber are also widely spoken. Most of the country's inhabitants live in the large cities of the Tell, the country's coastal plain, although significant populations occupy inland mountainous and desert regions. The country consists mainly of semi-arid plateaux and the Sahara, where isolated towns and oases serve the needs of transhumant tribes and the petrochemical industry. The 20th century's increased migration to northern cities, combined with recent technological developments, led to a closer overlapping, and in some circumstances mixing, of diverse musical and cultural practices....
(Port. Républica de Angola). Country in south-central Africa. It has an area of 1·25 million km² and a population of 12·78 million (2000 estimate). Angola was a Portuguese colony during the first half of the 20th century, declared an overseas province in 1972 and achieved independence in 1975. Conflicts between liberation movements financed by foreign powers immediately plunged the country into a 20-year civil war that led to the destruction of most rural community-based cultures and excessive urban migration, particularly to Luanda, the capital city. The impact of this turmoil on Angola’s musical cultures is only gradually being assessed (see Kubik, ‘Muxima Ngola’, 1991).
Several Iron Age sites have been uncovered in north-west Angola. Further south, the site of Féti in the central highlands of Viye (Bié) was discovered in 1944 by an amateur archaeologist, Júlio de Moura, who recovered a flange-welded iron bell with stem grip and two other iron bells that each seem to have a clapper (Ervedosa, ...
Gerard Béhague and Irma Ruiz
(Sp. República Argentina). Country in South America. It has an area of 2,780,400 sq. km and a population of 37·03 million (2000 estimate). Named Argentina (‘land of silver’) because of the gold and silver that now was thought to be concealed along its two great rivers in the north-east (the Paraná and the Uruguay), it was settled in the early 16th century by Spanish conquistadors. Juan Díaz de Solís was the first to arrive, in 1515, but he was killed by the indigenous Amerindian peoples. Sebastian Cabot followed in 1526. A decade later the present capital, Buenos Aires , was founded by Pedro de Mendoza. Little evidence remains of the indigenous population, which probably numbered some 30,000 at the time of the Spaniards’ arrival. In 1810 the population rose against Spanish rule, and in 1816 Argentina proclaimed its independence. The 20th century was characterized by a series of military coups, the first of which took place in ...
Alina Pahlevanian, Aram Kerovpyan, and Svetlana Sarkisyan
Country in Transcaucasia. It borders Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran and covers approximately 29,800 kms ². At the end of the 20th century its population stood at just under four million, most of which is Christian and belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Formerly a republic of the USSR, it became independent in 1991. Its capital is Yerevan.
Situated on the border between Europe and Asia, Armenia has a culture and history that spans more than a millennium. This is attested by archaeological finds that can be dated to the 5th and 4th millennia
Allan Marett, Catherine J. Ellis, Margaret Gummow, Roger Covell, Gordon Kerry, and Graeme Smith
Country and island continent. It is located between the Indian and Pacific oceans south of South-east Asia and is the only continent to comprise a single nation-state. The Australian Aborigines arrived c40,000 years ago and developed a highly stable society with complex cultural traditions, aspects of which survived colonization by the British from the 18th century. Of a total population of 18·84 million (est. 2000), c355,000 people are Aborigine. Since World War II Australia has played an increasing role in Asia and the Pacific, and in the last decades of the 20th century the influence of Asian immigrants has become important.
Aboriginal people in Australia live in a variety of environments, including communities with predominantly Aboriginal populations and small settlements (out stations) on traditional land, as well as in country towns and cities with mixed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. Exchange of songs and dances between groups has historically been a feature of Aboriginal culture, particularly at ceremonial occasions. Songs and dances indigenous to one area were frequently adopted by people in neighbouring areas. In recent decades access to modern transportation and the electronic media has increased the interchange of cultural property between geographically distant Aboriginal populations and has led to increased participation of Aboriginal musicians and dancers in national and global culture. Symptomatic of this trend is the dissemination of the didjeridu; traditionally a northern Australian instrument – to other areas of Australia, where it has been adopted as a pan-Australian symbol of Aboriginal identity, and the immense popularity of the didjeridu within world music and New Age markets (Neuenfeldt, ...
Hellmut Federhofer, Wolfgang Suppan, and Bernhard Günther
Country in Europe. This article deals with the area of the Republic of Austria, comprising the federated provinces (Länder) of Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Burgenland, Carinthia, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vienna and Vorarlberg. For the remaining successor states to the Danube monarchy, see Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania; see also Germany, Federal Republic of for the period up to 1806.
Prehistoric signal pipes, musical instruments and iconographical representations of musical activities from the Hallstatt Period (1000–500
Country in the Caucasus of Central Asia of 86,600 km², with an estimated population of 7·83 million (2000). Since 1828 Azerbaijan has consisted of two parts; one forms a province of Iran, whilst the other, which was a Soviet socialist republic from 1920 onwards, became independent in 1991.
The varieties of music found in Azerbaijan can be found across an area which extends to Kurdistan in the south and Zanjan and Ghazvin in the east. In terms of ethnicity, culture, religion and politics the Azeri are musically much closer to Iran than Turkey. Their mugam music also formed part of the Armenian repertory for a long time. However, there has been a tendency among the Armenians for some decades now to reject this music because of the growth in nationalism on both sides which resulted from the geopolitical division of Transcaucasia in 1917. Moreover, some popular bards (...
Guy de Picarda and Zinaida Mozheiyko
Country in eastern Europe. Formerly the Belorusian Soviet Socialist Republic and part of the Soviet Union, it declared itself independent on 25 August 1991.
Guy de Picarda
The cult-songs of the Krïvichï, Radzimichï and Drïhavichï tribes, together with the harp music of the Baltic skalds at the court of Rohvalad (Rognvald) of Polatsk, were the earliest forms of musical entertainment in the 10th-century Belarusian principalities. Illuminated manuscripts from the 11th century onwards depict the trumpets and horns of military bands, as well as the harps and psalteries of the court musicians. Itinerant skamarokhi (entertainers) were condemned by St Cyril of Turaw for their pagan ways, but such teams of players, round-dancers and trained animals remained popular with the nobility and people alike. The court painters Andrey z Litvï (c1390) and Matsey Dzisyaty (1502) both depicted a standard capella as comprising lute, vielle (skrypitsa), harp, horn, two natural trumpets, clarinet and drum; no secular music from the Middle Ages, though, appears to have survived....
(Fr. République du Benin) [formerly Dahomey]
Country in West Africa. Its frontiers, which cover an area of 112,622 km² and which result from the colonial partition of Africa at the end of the 19th century, do not correspond to any natural boundaries. With a population of 622 million (2000 estimate), the country groups together a number of peoples among whom there was no sort of unity before their conquest. Lying north to south, Benin extends from the Niger to the Atlantic and forms a perpendicular cut through both the climatic zones and the West African societies that run from east to west, parallel to the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. From north to south, one moves progressively from dry, sparsely populated tropical regions to humid, densely populated equatorial regions. In the north-west a mountain massif that straddles Togo and Benin constitutes a region of its own.
Linguistically, Benin may be divided into three broad regions: the north, where most of some 25 different languages, spoken by peoples sometimes ethnically quite distinct from one another, belong to a linguistic group called Gur, and the south, where an equivalent number of languages forms two quite separate groups, presently labelled Tadoid (or Gbe) and Yoruboid. Tadoid languages are part of a greater linguistic group called Kwa, extending westward through Ghana to Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia. Yoruboid languages are part of another group called Benue-Congo, extending eastward through Nigeria and Cameroon. Responding to this great diversity of languages, lands and climates, Benin is equally ethnically diverse. These linguistically divided regions interpenetrate at certain points and to varying degrees and often form enclaves. Each region is composed of several subgroups with their own characteristics (...
Country in Asia. Its system of government is a hereditary monarchy; it is the last independent Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. Bhutan shares its southern border with India, on the edge of the Brahmaputra plain, and its northern border with the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China in the high mountain ranges of the eastern Himalayas.
One of the most striking features of Bhutan is its isolation. Until the 20th century there was virtually no contact with people to the south of the country. The easier routes to travel had always been to the north and therefore Tibetan culture has had the most influence on Bhutan’s religious and ethnic make-up over the centuries. The Drukpas, people who mostly live in the western half of Bhutan, have origins connected with Tibet. Another significant group, the Sharchop people in eastern Bhutan, are thought to be descendants of peoples who pre-date the Tibetan influxes. Around 95% of the population practises subsistence farming, which mainly consists of growing rice in terraces. The capital city, Thimphu, in the western part of the country and halfway between India and Tibet, is at an altitude of ...
Gerard Béhague and Max Peter Baumann
(Sp. República de Bolivia)
Country in South America; sharing borders with Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, and Chile and Peru to the west.
Until 1776 Bolivia formed part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, as ‘Audiencia de Charcas’ or ‘Alto Peru’; the early history of art music in Bolivia is therefore related to that of Peru. During the colonial period the capital, La Plata (or Chuquisaca, and since 1839 Sucre), was one of the important intellectual and artistic centres of Spanish America, particularly because of its S Francisco Xavier University and its cathedral. Founded in 1538 it became a bishopric in 1552 and as early as 1569 its first music school was established by the musicians Juan de la Peña Madrid and Hernán García, to teach the Indians singing and instrumental performance. The wealth and consequent musical development of La Plata Cathedral (whose liturgy was closely linked to that of Seville) during the 17th and 18th centuries is attested to by the substantial historical and musical archives at the cathedral, whose holdings dating from the Baroque period make it one of the richest South American archival centres. Manuscript copies of works by such European composers as Galuppi, Hidalgo, Durón and Michael Haydn have been little explored. Throughout this period the cathedral library expanded considerably, receiving works from Spain and the colonies, especially Mexico. At the same time works of composers active at the cathedral were copied locally: the manuscript copy made in Potosí in ...
Estevan César Azcona
The two thousand mile border between Mexico and the United States is among the longest and most significant found in the world. The border that separates these two countries—sometimes in sand, other times in water—is also perceived as an imaginary line that separates “America” from Latin America, rich from poor, brown indigenous people of the South from the white settlers of the North; there may not be another border in the world of such stark distinctions from one side to the other. Contemporary views of borders, however, also suggest that these geo-political contact zones are as much locations of historical connection and continuity as they are locations of difference. The transnational movement of capital, labor, and media, however, are now more responsive to the realities of globalization rather than the borders of nation-states. The music cultures that exist along the border are largely ethnic Mexican but are also defined by indigenous nations that reside in the region, as well as a diversity of other ethnic groups that have made the border home over the past 200 years and more, reflecting both sides of the border in traditional and modern ways. As a region, the Mexico–US border is now, arguably, as much a distinct cultural area as it is the meeting point between two nation-states....