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Laurence Libin

[angkuoch, kangkuoch]

Jew’s harp of Cambodia. It is a thin, narrow, tapering slip of bamboo about 24 cm long, with an idioglot tongue tuned with a blob of beeswax. The bamboo can be decorated with a painted design. It was traditionally used as a voice disguiser in courting and sometimes played for recreation by herders. Nowadays it is available commercially and played by children. Reportedly the name also denotes an iron jew’s harp with heteroglot tongue, also tuned with wax....



Henry Johnson

Bamboo duct flute of Japan. It was played by masseurs and masseuses in the Edo period to attract customers (anma: masseur/masseuse; bue/fue: flute). Also known as anma and anma no fue, it exists in two types: a single flute with three fingerholes, and two flutes without fingerholes that are tied together and tuned slightly apart so as to produce beats when both flutes are blown simultaneously. Nowadays, the instrument is known as a ...


(b Toḥayta, Tihama, South Arabia, c1892; d Ṣan‘ā, 1965). Yemeni singer and lutenist. He began singing while in Zabid, accompanying himself on a copper plate. He studied the qanbūs (lute) with Muḥammad Sha'bān and Muḥammad al-‘Attāb, both of whom he met in Ethiopia where they had taken refuge from the puritanism of Imām Yaḥyā. Al-‘Antarī’s life story is surrounded by legends, and it is also said that he met al-‘Attāb in Ṣan‘a and became his servant. Listening to al-‘Attāb, al-‘Antarī practised singing secretly until his master overheard him, recognized his talent and ordered him to sing to his guests. At the end of the 1930s al-‘Antarī recorded 25 songs for the Odeon company in Aden, and his subsequent career included numerous radio broadcasts and performances at weddings. He had an exceptional voice and was an accomplished lute player; he excelled in both the classical repertory of Ṣan‘ā (...




Kevin E. Mooney

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 27, 1949; d Austin, TX, May 23, 2006). American nightclub owner, promoter, and producer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (summer 1969), then opened an imported food and clothing store. Its backroom became a place for informal jam sessions, often with Antone playing bass. On 15 July 1975 he opened Antone’s. Although not the first or only club in Austin to book blues musicians, it became significant for both its relevance to the Austin music scene and the opportunities allowed for young musicians to share the stage with blues legends. In 1987 he launched recording label Antone’s Record and Tapes and opened Antone’s Records Shop. After serving two drug-related prison terms (1985–6; 1999–2002), Antone began an annual fundraiser for troubled youth. During the last two years of his life, he taught a course on the blues at both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos. A recipient of the National Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ...



Gary W. Kennedy

(b Tokyo, Sept 19, 1957). Japanese double bass player. His father was a film producer and his mother a kabuki dancer. He learned shamisen and taiko and received classical lessons on piano and guitar; later he took up double bass, and by the age of 17 he was performing on this instrument in jazz clubs around Tokyo. In 1976 he left Japan and studied film making at Ohio University and the Art Institute of Chicago (BA 1983, MA 1985). From 1978 he played electric bass guitar in local rock and “no-wave” bands, but he returned to jazz and the acoustic instrument in 1987. As an unaccompanied soloist he has performed regularly, augmenting his own playing with looped recordings of double bass and sounds derived from various objects such as soda bottles and chopsticks. In addition he has led Power Trio, with Paul Kim playing buk (a traditional Korean drum) and Mwata Bowden on saxophone (Kim was occasionally replaced by Afifi Phillard on drums), and Urban Reception, a trio with Francis Wong and the drummer Dave Pavkovic, which recorded in ...



Geneviève Dournon

Variable tension chordophone of Rajasthan, north India. It has a cylindrical body, originally of wood or gourd but now commonly a tin can with ends removed. A skin is stretched over the lower end. A straight wooden neck about 60 cm long, affixed along the body, has a large movable peg through its upper part. A metal string extends from the peg to the centre of the skin. The musician plucks the string with one hand, using either fingers or a plectrum, and with the other hand turns the peg to vary the pitch. The apang provides rhythmic support for devotional songs. It is used in the Udaipur region, notably by the Bhil, a tribal people of the Aravalli hills (southwestern Rajasthan). See also Ektār.

K. Kothari: Folk Musical Instruments of Rajasthan (Borunda, 1977) B.C. Deva: Musical Instruments of India (Calcutta, 1978), 147ff C.J. Adkins and others: ‘Frequency Doubling Chordophones’, ...



Short-necked bowed lute of Abkhazia. The pear-shaped body with arched back extends into an unfretted neck surmounted by a flat circular pegdisk. Two gut strings are affixed to a short tailpiece, cross a tall bridge below a small circular soundhole, and are tuned a 5th apart by pegs inserted from the back. The instrument’s total length is about 70 to 80 cm. It is held vertically with the body between the knees, and bowed with a high-arched bow, its hair tightened by the fingers of the bowing hand. It is played mostly by men to accompany epic, ceremonial, and domestic songs, and to perform dance tunes....


Alexander Michael Cannon

Cambodian music ensemble. Named for the female celestial figures that adorn Angkor Wat, this music and dance ensemble has featured performances of Cambodian music for audiences in the United States since 1986. Dr. Sam-Ang Sam—a master musician who studied with court and village master musicians in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and who was named a 1994 MacArthur Fellow—established the ensemble with his wife, Chan Moly Sam, a master dancer trained to portray both male (neay rong) and female (neang) dance roles. The artists met in Cambodia and studied at the University of Fine Arts before the rise of the Khmer Rouge. Later, he studied with José Maceda at the University of the Philippines. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1977. They formed the ensemble while he completed his doctoral dissertation on the pinn peat (court music ensemble) at Wesleyan University. Afterward, the ensemble moved to Washington, DC and partnered with the Cambodian-American Heritage Troupe directed by Sam-Oeun Tes, a master dancer who studied with the Cambodian Royal Ballet before moving the United States in ...


Kenneth S. Habib

Having come to Amrīkā (or Amērikā) from every Arabic-speaking society, Arab Americans have sought liberty and opportunity like their newfound compatriots hailing from elsewhere in the world. With roots stretching from Morocco to Iraq and from Syria to Yemen, they have brought a rich musical heritage that involves wide-ranging musical practices and that includes some of the oldest continuously performed art music in the world. They also have played formative roles in the development of American popular music and in the multilateral exchange of music culture between Arab and American societies.

Arabs have immigrated to the United States from widespread geographical and socio-political environments. Motivations to leave home for a land halfway around the world have included fleeing political persecution, seeking greater economic prosperity, and following loved ones who preceded them. Immigrants typically have sent money “back home” in support of immediate and extended families while any hope of eventually returning themselves has often given way to an acceptance or an embrace of the United States as their new and permanent home....


Owen Wright, Christian Poché and Amnon Shiloah

Music traditions in the Arabic-speaking world. For discussions of the music of specific areas, see also individual country articles.

The art music/folk (or popular) music opposition is a blunt instrument at best, and at various times and places in the Arab world it would be unrealistic or unhelpful to seek to draw a clear dividing line. In Arabic the terminological distinction is a modern importation, and while the earlier textual tradition may recognize regional differences it is more frequently concerned with an ultimately ethical evaluation of the various purposes for which music may be used. However, these imply distinctions of function and social context, and as one major constant in Arab and Middle Eastern Islamic culture generally we may identify a form of entertainment music for which, in fact, the label ‘art music’ is quite apt. Nurtured at courts, patronized by urban élites, performed by professionals (and aristocratic amateurs) and described in explicitly theoretical terms, art music constituted an integral element of sophisticated high culture and, consequently, could be regarded as a suitable subject for scientific and philosophical enquiry....



Margaret J. Kartomi

revised by Mayco A. Santaella

Indonesian spike fiddle. It is also known as rababo in Bolaang Mongondow (North Sulawesi), as alababu in Gorontalo, as arababoe in Halmahera, and as erbabi in Buru and elsewhere. Its resonator is half a coconut shell, usually covered with a membrane of buffalo bladder as a soundtable. A slender bamboo neck passes through the shell and meets the proximal end of the instrument’s wooden foot. It has a single string of vegetable fibre or cotton. The bamboo bow has resined ‘hair’ of fibre from the sheath of sugar palm leaves....


Poul Rovsing Olsen

revised by Ulrich Wegner

Region encompassing south-eastern Iraq, Republic of , Kuwait, the Hasa province of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of , Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the southern coast of Iran . Since prehistoric times, the Arabian (or Persian) Gulf has been an important link on the trade routes between East Africa, the Mediterranean, India and East Asia. The population is predominantly Arab, except in Iran. Until the 20th century, Gulf Arabs were nomads, pearl-divers and – to some extent – fishermen, shipbuilders and merchants. Since World War II, wealth from the region's abundant oil resources has attracted many foreigners to the area, mostly from other Arab countries.

Since ancient times, many non-Arab minority groups have settled in the region. Some have roots in East Africa and eastern parts of Central Africa; they are often (but not always) descendants of freed slaves. A fairly large Persian group lives in Qatar and Bahrain, and many Baluchis may be found in the United Arab Emirates, where UAE citizens represent less than 20% of the population. In the Emirates and Bahrain, Indians and Pakistanis are doctors, tailors and bankers. This demographic diversity is reflected in the variety of the music in the Gulf area....


Gulbat Toradze

(b Vladikavkaz, Feb 23, 1878; d Tbilisi, Aug 13, 1953). Georgian composer, musicologist and teacher. An academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and Laureate of the USSR State Prize (1950), Arakishvili is one of the founders of the Georgian School of composition. In the period 1894–1901 he attended the school of music and drama (attached to the Moscow Philharmonic Society) where he studied composition with A. Il′insky, and theory with S. Kruglikov (1894–1901), later improving his compositional technique with Grechaninov (1910–11). In 1917 he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Archaeology. In 1897 he had started writing for the Russian and the Georgian press on musical matters, in 1901 became a member of the musico-ethnological commission at Moscow University, and in 1907 a member of the Georgian Society for Literature and Art in Moscow. He was an associate of the foremost Russian composers of the day – such as Taneyev, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Arensky and Pyatnitsky – and was one of the organizers of the People’s Conservatory in Moscow (...


Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Mie, Japan, March 14, 1966). Japanese double bass player. He started on electric bass guitar at the age of 16, changed to double bass two years later, and studied classical music when he was 25. In 1990 he joined the Bop Band, led by the trumpeter Hiroshi Murata. He has performed with Junko Onishi, Fumio Karashima, Motohiko Hino, and others....



Margaret J. Kartomi

revised by Andrew C. McGraw

[araba, garamba]

Vertically suspended bronze gong of Nias, Indonesia. It is imported from Central Java and is equivalent to the Javanese kempul. It is slung from the beams of a house, beaten with the fist or a soft beater (bozi-bozi garamba), and played in an ensemble together with one or more small gongs (...


(b Rostov-na-Donu, Sept 25, 1936). Armenian composer. She has lived in Yerevan since 1942. She trained at the Melikyan Music College (1955–8), the Leningrad Conservatory (1961–3, composition with Yevlakhov) and at the Yerevan Conservatory (1964–7, composition with Mirzoyan). In 1967 she joined the Armenian Composers' Union. She taught orchestration, composition, harmony and solfeggio in music schools and at the Pedagogical Institute in Yerevan (1967–90). Arazova's works were performed for the first time in 1966 at the Festival of Young Composers in Yerevan and subsequently in Armenia, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, USA, Japan, France and Switzerland.

Her early works developed under the banner of vitalist tendencies, as confirmed by the Concerto for Orchestra. In this latter-day concerto grosso Arazova heightened the significance of timbre contrasts. For the next three decades she evolved a system of oppositions, whilst achieving resourcefulness in melody and especially rhythm. While a particularly expressive utterance defines the scale of her chamber works, the lyrical concentration of her vocal works also permeates large-scale works. Her mixed technique is based on the use of classical polyphony and contemporary heterophonic, ...



Mireille Helffer

revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner and Simonne Bailey

Long-necked lute of Nepal. It is carved from one piece of khirro wood, the neck widening gradually into the curved, bulging body. The neck is hollowed to extend the resonator and is covered by a fingerboard. The body has a stretched skin belly on which the bridge rests. The four strings extend from the tail to lateral tuning pegs in the pegbox and are plucked with a plectrum, commonly nowadays a plastic guitar plectrum. The ...



Pribislav Pitoëff

Frame drum of the Māppila (Muslims) of Kerala, south India. The jackwood frame, in which are affixed five sets of little cymbals (each consisting of two to four iron or brass discs), measures 25 cm in diameter and 5.5 cm deep and is reinforced by iron flanges. The head, of goatskin, is glued to the frame without being tightened; before the drum is used, the head is stretched by inserting a piece of vine in the space between the skin and the frame. The ...