121-140 of 216 results  for:

Clear all


Mark Slobin, Alma Kunanbayeva, Subanaliyev Sagynaly and Dyikanova Cholpon

Country in Central Asia, formerly part of the USSR. It is bounded by Uzbekistan to the west, Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east and Tajikistan to the south.

Mark Slobin, revised by Alma Kunanbayeva

When Central Asia was reorganized territorially on a national basis in 1924, Kyrgyzstan was separated from Turkestan and formed into an autonomous region within the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that musical styles within a republic with such recent political borders express affiliations with those of its neighbours. Three musical styles may be identified: in the northern area (the Issyk-Kul and Naryn regions and the Chuy valley), styles are similar to those of neighbouring Kazakhs; Kyrgyz clans in the mountains of the north-western area (the Talas and Chatkal valleys and a part of the Fergana valley) use styles that seem more obviously indigenous; and the styles of those in the southern area (the Osh region) share features with neighbouring Uzbeks. In general, recitative styles prevail in southern Kyrgyzstan while more melodic styles are found in the north....



Terry E. Miller

[Lao People’s Democratic Republic] (Saathiaranarath Prachhathipatay Prachhachhon Lao)

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a small, landlocked country in mainland South-east Asia bordering Vietnam, China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Cambodia. Before its partition into the princedoms of Luang Prabang, Vientiane (also spelt Viang Chan) and Champassak soon after 1700, the 14th-century kingdom of Lan Sang (‘Million Elephants’) was a significant power in the region. After 1827, when Siamese armies defeated the Lao and sacked Vientiane, most Lao-occupied territory west of the Mekong river was absorbed into Siam (present-day Thailand). Although much of the current population of north-east Thailand is culturally Lao, their music has developed on a different path, one influenced by Bangkok's modernization and the development of urban popular culture. About half of the 5·3 million population is comprised of upland, non-Lao-speaking groups, many of whom practise swidden agriculture on the mountainsides. The ethnic Lao population is concentrated in lowland valleys, especially along the Mekong and its tributaries, and on the Vientiane plain north of the capital. Laos was a kingdom until ...



Joachim Braun, Arnolds Klotiņš and Martin Boiko


Country in eastern Europe. It is on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, founded in 1918. It was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940, although few other nations formally recognized this incorporation. The country regained its national independence in 1991.

Joachim Braun, revised by Arnolds Klotiņš

The earliest evidence of musical life in what is now the territory of Latvia consists in some archaeological finds of end-blown flutes and strung rattles dating from the Neolithic period. By the end of the 1st millennium the tribes living in this area had developed a number of instruments, such as flutes with five finger-holes and the kokle, a type of plucked zither (see §2(iii) below). Although some professional elements were probably present, by the time of the Teutonic conquest in the 12th century the musical culture of the Baltic population was based on folk traditions (see §2 below).

While the Latvian population was reduced to serfdom and did not develop an art culture until the 19th century, the Germans developed their own, significant musical life; it was based mainly on German values and no local trend or school developed. Most musical activities were concentrated in the country’s capital, Riga. The ...



Ali Jihad Racy

Country in the Middle East. It has a population of 3.29 million (2000 estimate) and an area of 10,452 km² and is bordered by Syria to the north and east, the Mediterranean Sea to the west and Israel to the south. Several major cities, including the capital, Beirut, are located on Lebanon's coastal strip west of the Mt Lebanon range. Further to the east is the fertile Biqa valley, and on the border with Syria is another mountain range, known as the Anti-Lebanon. Its population lives in rural villages and in cities, to which many village dwellers have migrated in recent decades. Its economy, which was adversely affected by the Lebanese civil war (1975–1990), is based on agriculture, commerce and tourism; Lebanon enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. The official language is Arabic, and the country's population includes Christians, Muslims and Druzes, as well as members of other faiths. Lebanon has been noted for its openness to the West over many centuries and its highly cosmopolitan social life....


Charles R. Adams

revised by David Coplan

Country in southern Africa. It has an area of 30,355 km² and a population of 2·29 million (2000 estimate), 98% of whom are Basotho. Basotho music is stylistically similar to that of the other indigenous peoples of southern Africa, including the Xhosa, some of whom live in south-central Lesotho. The Basotho have strong historical, cultural and linguistic links with the Tswana of Botswana and the Sotho (Pedi) of South Africa’s Northern province, but corporate and geographical separation of these peoples since the 18th century have differentiated their musical styles, especially those connected with social identity, rituals of the life-cycle and economic pursuits.

Music is an integral part of Basotho social education and traditionally links hearing with the understanding of the natural and social worlds. The temporal arts (lipapali: ‘games’) of the Basotho are clearly separated from the graphic and plastic arts. Their four basic types include one connected with speaking (...


Ruth M. Stone

Country in West Africa. Located on the coast of the Atlantic, bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, it has an area of 99,067 km² and a population of 3·26 million (2000 estimate). The population consists of the indigenous peoples and the descendants of English-speaking repatriated Africans who settled on the coast during the 19th century. The country owes its national political structure to the latter groups.

Indigenous peoples include the Belle (Kuwaa), Gbande (Bandi), Gio (Dan), Kpelle (Guerzé), Loma (Toma), Mandingo (Malinke or Manya), Mano, Mende and Vai of the Mande language subfamily; the Bassa, Dei (Dewoin), Grebo, Jabo, Krahn and Kru of the Kwa language subfamily; and the Gola and Kissi (Kisi) of the west Atlantic language subfamily. These subfamilies are part of the Niger–Congo language family. Certain peoples, including the Gio, Kissi, Kpelle, Loma, Mandingo and Vai, are also in adjoining countries, so the music of Liberia shares some features with that of neighbouring territories and should be considered in relation to the music of ...



Monique Brandily

[Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Republic] (Arab. Jamahiriya Al-Arabiya Al-Libiya Al-Shabiya Al-Ishtirakiya Al-Uzma)

Country in North Africa. It has an area of approximately 1,759,540 km² and covers various cultural areas. Its coastline of approximately 2000 km between Egypt and Tunisia is part of the Mediterranean region, although most of its territory lies in the Sahara desert, extending from the Sudan to southern Algeria; to the south, it borders the sub-Saharan African states of Chad and Niger.

Since ancient times Libya has been situated at a cultural crossroads, where different musical currents co-exist without destroying each other. Two factors contribute to the cohesion of Libyan society, which comprised an estimated 6·39 million people at the beginning of the 21st century, namely uniformity of religion (all groups of the population, whatever their origins, are Muslim) and a single official language, Arabic. Some minority dialects are used in the sung poetry of various regions. Traditional music continues to flourish, preserving certain features of ancient societies, which include the reservation of musical instruments for certain social groups, although such differences have been abolished in the institutions of contemporary Libya....


Juozas Antanavičius and Jadvyga Čiurlionytė

Country in eastern Europe. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was created in the 13th century. Lithuania was the last European state to convert to Christianity (1387–1413). In 1386 Grand Duke Jogaila was crowned King of Poland, and for 350 years Lithuania and Poland were united. During this period Russia, Prussia and Austria made territorial claims, and the Lithuanian-Polish state was partitioned three times. After the third partition (1795) Lithuania was a province of the Russian empire for almost 125 years. Tsarist oppression, with press and stage censorship, the closing of Vilnius University and the imposition of the Russian language in schools, theatres and publishing, provoked a national liberation movement. Following the revolution in Russia, Lithuania was proclaimed a sovereign state in 1918. In 1919 Poland began an occupation of southeastern Lithuania, including Vilnius (the capital), that lasted almost 20 years; Kaunas served as the capital during this period. After Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union in ...


Dimitrije Bužarovski and Trena Jordanoska

The Republic of Macedonia is a state in the central Balkans. It occupies the northern part of historical Macedonia, a wider region that also includes territories of the Hellenic Republic (the Republic of Greece), the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Serbia, and the Republic of Albania. As a crossroads of the Balkans, and on a transit route for the southern Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia has been inhabited since the earliest periods of human civilization in south-eastern Europe. The migrations of the tribes from the Russian steppes, the Pontic basin, and the Lower Danube created a rich cultural heritage, evident in the archeological sites from the Neolithic and Eneolithic periods. The ancient Macedonian kingdom expanded eastwards from about 700 bce and reached its climax during the reign of Alexander the Great (336–323 bce). In 146 bce Macedonia became a Roman province. The construction of the Via Egnatia road, which connected the Adriatic and Aegean seas from Dyrrachium (present-day Durrës) to Thessaloniki, influenced the development of the inland cities such as Lychnidos (present-day Ohrid) and Heraclea Lyncestis (present-day Bitola), while the Morava–Vardar north–south route contributed to the development of the cities of Stobi and Scupi (present-day Skopje). A catastrophic earthquake in 518 ...


August Schmidhofer and Michel Domenichini-Ramiaramanana

(Malagasy Repoblikan’i Madagasikara)

Country situated off the coast of south-east Africa. With an area of 587,041 km², it is the fourth largest island in the world. At the end of the 20th century, it had an estimated population of 17·4 million.

The origins of the Malagasy are unknown: many cultural phenomena indicate prehistoric contacts with South-east Asia, in particular the Malagasy language, which is most closely related to Ma'anyan in south Borneo and belongs to the Austronesian family of languages. Arabic, African and European influences were subsequently added to this original South-east Asian foundation. For a long time, the African element in the islanders' culture was thought to be slight, but it is now generally recognized that not only were African slaves brought to Madagascar but free Africans also emigrated to the islands. Elements of Bantu language exist in every Malagasy dialect and seem to have been established for some time.

The Malagasy of Asiatic origin have settled mainly in the highlands (the Merina people), while African influence is strongest among the people of the west of the island (the Sakalava and Makoa) and the south (the Bara, Mahafaly or Maharaly and Antandroy). Muslim communities in Madagascar were reported by early European travellers in the early 16th century; traces of Arab contact occur in groups living on the north-west coast (the Boina-Sakalava and the Antankarana or Tankarana) and the south-east coast (the Antaimoro or Taimoro)....


Gerhard Kubik and Moya Aliya Malamusi

(Chich. Dziko la Malaŵi)

Country in south-central Africa. It has an area of 118,480 km² and a population of 10·98 million (2000 estimate). The official languages are English and Chichewa (Chewa). The name Malawi first appeared on a Portuguese map in 1546, referring to a powerful empire with which Portuguese traders on the Zambezi river had contact. The languages spoken in the former Malawi empire, whose territory covered much of the present central region, part of the southern region and adjacent areas in Zambia and Mozambique, belonged to a dialect continuum now split into Chinyanja (Nyanja), Chichewa and Chimang’anja (Manganja). British influence in the area began in the 1870s. British Protectorate rule over the territory that was to be called Nyasaland was established in 1907. In 1953–63 Nyasaland was part of the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, ruled from Salisbury (now Harare). The territory gained independence in 1964 under the name Malawi....


Jack Percival Baker Dobbs, Patricia Matusky, Ivan Polunin, Tanya Polunin, Virginia Gorlinski and Patricia Samson

(Malay Persekutuan Tanah Malaysia)

Country in South-east Asia. The federation consists of 11 states of Peninsular (or West) Malaysia and the two states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo to the east.

The transliterations used here largely follow the system in M. C. Ricklefs and P. Voorhoeve, Indonesian Manuscripts in Great Britain (Oxford, 1977). This is based on the official orthography for Indonesian and Malay adopted in 1972, and that proposed for Javanese in 1973, with the following exceptions: in Javanese ḍ and ṭ (in Sudanese and Malay d and t) are used rather than dh and th; ě is used for the vowel sound as in the second syllable of ‘fallen’ and unmarked e for the vocal sound in ‘set’ or ‘fate’; c, consistent with the new orthography, represents English ch as in ‘chair’.

Jack Percival Baker Dobbs, revised by Patricia Matusky

West Malaysia is the peninsula stretching from Thailand to Singapore. Since its development as the crossroads of an important trading route between India and China, it has been the home of several peoples and now has a multiracial population, with groups (in descending order of numbers) of Malays, Chinese, Indians (with Pakistanis), Thais, ...



Eric Charry

(Fr. République de Mali)

Country in West Africa. It has a total area of 1.24 million km² and a population of 12·56 million (2000 estimate), 90% of whom are Muslim. An estimated several million Malians now live in neighbouring countries and Europe, especially in and around Paris. The vast extent of the landlocked country reaches from the woodland savanna of its southern borders with Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, north along the Niger river towns of Bamako (the capital), Segou, Djenne, Mopti and Tombouctou (Timbuktu) at the Niger bend, and then almost 1000 km north into the heart of the Sahara desert, where it is bordered by Mauritania on the west and north-west, and Algeria on the east and north-east (fig.1 ).

The name Mali derives from the 13th–16th century empire that was one of the most extensive and wealthiest in Africa. A class of people known as jeli (Maninka or Malinké) or ...



Joseph Vella Bondin, Sylvia Moore and Philip Ciantar

Country in Europe. It is the biggest of five small Mediterranean islands and also their collective name, with a population of around 374,000 (1997). Malta has a long history of contact with both southern Europe and North Africa, both of which have influenced its musics. St Paul was shipwrecked there in 60 ce and he started the conversion of the Maltese to Christianity. The Knights of St John gained control of the territory from the Normans in 1530, who had taken it from Arab rulers in 1090. The Knights of St John built the modern capital, Valletta, which gradually took over from Mdina as the centre of government and as a focal point of the islands’ cultural activities. Malta was annexed by the British in 1814 and gained full independence in 1964, becoming a republic in 1974.

Joseph Vella Bondin

Malta’s musical development closely mirrors that of Italy. The presence of plainchant in Mdina Cathedral since medieval times is attested by several documents; one dated ...


Michel Guignard and Christian Poché

(Fr. République Islamique Arabe et Africaine de Mauritanie)

Country in West Africa. The former French colony, which achieved independence in 1960, has an area of 1,030,700 km². The population of 2·58 million (2000 estimate) is composed of several peoples, most of whom are Arab-speaking Moors (Maures). These Moors, who call themselves the Beni Hasan, are mostly nomadic, descendants of Berbers who in the 11th century founded the Almoravide dynasty in Morocco, of Bedouin Arabs who arrived at a later date and of Africans. In the south, the Moors live in contact with sedentary settlements of Wolof from Senegal and Mbara (Bambara) from Mali, as well as with two other Mauritanian peoples, the Tukulor or Toucouleur (FulBe/Fulani group) and the Soninke (Sarakole).

Each of these peoples is subdivided into hierarchical castes, each caste often having its own characteristic musical activities. The common religion is Islam, which generally regards secular music, especially music for string instruments, as a somewhat disreputable form of entertainment. Nevertheless, hereditary classes of ...



Gerard Béhague, E. Thomas Stanford and Arturo Chamorro

(Sp. Estados Unidos Mexicanos)

North American country. Situated at the southern tip of the continent between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, it is bordered by the USA to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the south-east. It is the third largest country in Latin America (area c1,967, 000 km²). Previously the site of several indigenous cultures, notably the Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacán, Zapotec, Toltec and Aztec, the territory of Mexico was colonized by Spain after 1519. It became independent in 1821 and a republic in 1824. The majority of the population is Mestizo (of mixed European and Amerindian descent.

Gerard Béhague

There were remarkable achievements in the organization of musical life around the church and in the repertories performed, as the large number of extant works in Mexican archives confirms. At the outset of the Spanish Conquest church officials emphasized music in worship. Missionaries were instructed by Juan de Zumárraga, first Bishop of Mexico, to use and teach music as ‘an indispensable aid in the process of conversion’, and the admirable aptitude and talent of the Indians in learning the European musical system was constantly discussed in 16th-century missionary chronicles. In ...



Vladimir Axionov and Yaroslav Mironenko

[Moldova, Bessarabia; formerly Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic] (Rom. Republica Moldova)

Country in south-eastern Europe bordered by the Ukraine to the north, east and south and by Romania to the west. The capital city is Chişinău, and the population numbers c4.5 million, 75% of whom speak Romanian. In 1990 the country gained its independence and became known as Moldova.

Vladimir Axionov

Studies suggest that Moldovan folk customs derive from those of Thracian peoples (the Getae and Daci), strongly influenced by Roman and Slavonic arrivals. In the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries a national identity was formed, to be embodied in the Moldavian state with its capital at Iaşi (1387), and the resulting congruence of latinized (Wallachian) and Slav cultures had its effect on folklore, and thereby on secular and, in part, sacred music.

The first professional musicians in Moldavia were the lăutari and their ensembles, the tarafi, whose music was oral. The Orthodox Church, whose liturgies were originally in Greek or Church Slavonic, introduced the Romanian language in the 16th century, and the first manuscripts of chant in Romanian date from the first third of the 18th century. A further early musical tradition was that of the court and military orchestras, which flourished from the 15th century onwards. In the 17th and 18th centuries military bands took on a Turkish colouring and became known as ‘tubulkhanya’ or ‘meterkhanya’. Dimitrie Cantemir (...



Marcel Frémiot

revised by Charles Pitt

Country in Europe. It is an independent European principality in an enclave on the French Mediterranean coast. At the end of the 12th century it came under Genoese control, and from the 13th century the Grimaldis (Guelphs) fought for its independence; but they were successively dominated or protected by the counts of Provence, the dukes of Milan, the Genoese, the Spanish, the dukes of Savoy and the French. There were consequently many influences on Monaco’s cultural life. Some surviving folksong texts indicate Provençal influence in the 18th century; sea songs show Italian, Spanish and French features.

As early as 1406 the Avignon Pope Benedict XIII and his court stayed in Monaco and had music performed there. During the Renaissance, when Italian influence was predominant, the Genoese lords commissioned music, had manuscripts copied and protected printers. Music also flourished in the mid-17th century, when as a result of the Treaty of Péronne (...


Carole Pegg

Independent country in Inner Asia and landlocked between the Russian Federation to the north and China to the east, west and south. It covers an area of 1,565,088 km² (606,250 miles²) and has a population of 2·74 million (2000 estimate) of which an estimated 78·8% are classified as Khalkha [Halh] Mongols. Other Mongol groups include Altai Urianghais, Bargas, Baits, Buryats, Chahars, Darhats, Darigangas, Dörbets, Hamnigans, Harchins, Horchins, Hoshuts, Hotogoids, Mingats, Ölöts, Sünits, Torguts, Üzemchins and Zakchins. Turkic minorities within Mongolia include Kazakhs (5·9% of the population) and small numbers of Tuvans, Üzbeks (Chantous), Uighur and Soyot Urianghais, Tsaatans and Hotons.

Mongols emerged as a distinct group during the 11th and 12th centuries. The first Mongol Uls (Mongol nation) – a name reassigned during the 1990s to contemporary Mongolia – was established in 1206 by Temüjin (Chinggis Khan), who united the Mongolian tribes to create a nomadic empire, which, at its height, reached from Korea to the Black Sea (...