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Myanmar  

Robert Garfias, Judith Becker and Muriel C. Williamson

[(Union of) Burma; Myanmar Naingngandaw]

Country in South-east Asia, formerly known as the Union of Burma, occupying the westernmost part of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. The peoples of Myanmar include the Burmese proper, that is the Burmese-speaking people who live in the central and lowland areas of the country; their linguistic and cultural neighbours, the Arakanese (Burmese, Yahkaing), who occupy south-western Myanmar; and various peoples living in the hills, each with a unique language, culture, music and dance tradition.

Little is known of the music and culture of the Burmese hill tribes beyond a few general anthropological studies. Three prominent groups are the Kachin in far northern Myanmar, the Shan, who are closely related to many ethnic groups in Thailand and who occupy north-eastern central Myanmar, and the Karen in south-eastern central Myanmar. There is also a large Mon minority who are related to the peoples of Cambodia and other regions of South-east Asia. The Mon peoples are also known as the Talaìng by the Burmese....

Article

Namibia  

Gerhard Kubik and Moya Aliya Malamusi

Republic of. Country in south-west Africa. It has an area of 824,269 km² and a population of 1.73 million (2000 estimate). European colonial influence in south-west Africa began in 1847, with the activities of the Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft, gradually arousing German interest until the formal establishment of German authority over the territory in 1884. Formal declaration of independence of the new nation of Namibia occurred in 1990.

Namibia is scarcely populated; the southern half is largely desert, and the rural population is found mainly in a narrow strip in the north, bordering Angola.

The diversified population's languages fall into three groups: (a) Bantu languages; (b) Khoisan languages such as Nama, Damara, !Ko, !Kung’ etc. (fig.1); and (c) Indo-European languages (German, Afrikaans etc.). Some population elements form clusters with subdivisions. During the era of South African apartheid 12 ethnic groups were officially distinguished.

Article

Richard Widdess, Gert-Matthias Wegner, Carol Tingey and Pirkko Moisala

(Nep. Nepal Adhirajya)

Country in Asia. It extends from the peaks of the high Himalaya in the north to the plains of the Terai in the south, bordered by India and Tibet. There are three major ethnic groups: the Indo-Nepalese, the Tibeto-Nepalese and the indigenous Nepalese, composed of peoples such as the Newars, Gurung, Tamang etc. Although Nepal is the only official Hindu state in the world, there is a strong Buddhist presence, which is often reflected in an intermingling of beliefs and practices. The physical and cultural geography of the country is extremely varied, and communication between areas is often made difficult by the topography, leading to great cultural diversity even between adjoining valleys.

Gert-Matthias Wegner

One of the most complex musical cultures in the Himalayan region is that of the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, who speak a Tibeto-Burman language. Over a period of two millennia the Newars developed an elaborate civilization based on agriculture and on trade with India, Tibet and China. Buddhism, Hinduism and many other cultural elements were adopted from neighbouring India but re-shaped according to local needs. The influx of Buddhist and Hindu refugees from northern India following the Muslim conquests of the 12th–13th centuries was an important stimulus to Newar culture. Newar civilization flourished under the Malla kings (13th–18th centuries), whose rival kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur competed in architectural, artistic and cultural splendour; several rulers themselves excelled as musicians, dancers, composers, poets and art patrons, particularly Jagajjyotīr Malla (reigned ...

Article

Mervyn McLean, Angela R. Annabel and Adrienne Simpson

Country and group of islands in the south Pacific Ocean. It is located about 1900 kms south-east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and comprises two main islands, North Island and South Island, and several much smaller ones, including Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. The population is highly urbanized: of about 3·8 million people (est. 2000), around 75% live on North Island, most in the cities of Auckland and Wellington.

The original inhabitants of New Zealand, the Maori, are a Polynesian people who migrated to the islands around the 10th century; today Maori comprise about 12% of the population. There are also significant expatriot Maori communities in Australia, the USA and the UK. Most New Zealand families have relatives of Maori descent and thus, in effect, a double cultural heritage. Maori is now an official language of New Zealand, with English.

The most comprehensive collection of Maori music can be found in the Archive of Maori and Pacific Music, which was established in ...

Article

T.M. Scruggs

(Sp. República de Nicaragua)

Country in Central America. It is the largest of the Central American republics (130,000 sq. km) and encompasses two broad cultural areas, the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts. It is bounded in the north by Honduras, east by the Caribbean, south by Costa Rica and west by the Pacific. 90% of the estimated population of four and a half million live on the western, Pacific Coast region.

Archaeological findings and descriptions by cronistas, early Spanish writers, are the primary sources for musical practices before sustained European contact. Both are almost entirely restricted to the southern lowlands of the Pacific Coastal zone. The archaeological record indicates two major migrations from central Mexico, that of the Chorotegas, a Mangue-speaking group, and the Nahuatl-speaking Nicarao. Less definite is the place of origin or time of arrival of the smaller Matagalpan group dispersed in the central highland region, which may be of South American origin. Throughout the lowland region, archaeologists have found small tubular and globular duct flutes in different sizes and with a variety of numbers of holes and tunings. In ...

Article

Niger  

Veit Erlmann

(Fr. République du Niger)

Country in West Africa. It has a total area of 1,186,408 km², and a population of 10·8 million (2000 estimate). Like its neighbour Mali, Niger is situated between Arab cultures to the north and sub-Saharan African to the south. A sovereign state since 1960, Niger is historically, linguistically and culturally diverse and is far from possessing a unified national identity.

Four languages with subdialects are spoken, each belonging to one of the major African language families: Hausa, Songai-Dyerma (Songhai-Dyerma), Tamajeq (Tamachek) and Fulfulde. There are at least four major population groups – Hausa, Songai-Dyerma, Tuareg and Fula (Fulani or FulBe) – and within each subgroups are recognized. Several minorities are also known, such as the Manga in the far south-east, who speak Hausa, but are culturally akin to the Kanuri. Also to the east of Zinder live a number of Kanuri-speaking peoples formerly known as ‘Beriberi’ (now considered a derogatory name), and small communities of Kanembu and Buduma on the shores of Lake Chad....

Article

Country in West Africa. It has an estimated population of 128·79 million (2000 estimate) and a total area of 923,773 km². It is one of the most musically diverse countries in Africa. The high profile of music of a few groups ( see Hausa music, Yoruba music and Igbo music ), and the relative familiarity of certain heavily promoted urban subgenres serves to obscure the overall picture of Nigeria.

If the pattern of musical styles and musical instrument types can be reduced to a single factor, it is the interweaving of Islamic influence, spreading southwards from the desert kingdoms in Niger and Chad, encountering the differing types of music characteristic of such southern peoples as the Yoruba, Edo (Ẹdọ or Bini), Ijo (Ịjọ), Igbo and Efik/Ibibio. Christianity became a significant factor on the 19th century, spreading widely throughout southern Nigeria and in parts of the north, such as the Jos plateau, where Islam has been resisted....

Article

Norway  

Arvid O. Vollsnes, Reidar Sevåg and Jan-Petter Blom

(Nor. Norge )

Country in Scandinavia. The kingdom of Norway came under Danish rule in 1380; the Norwegians seized independence and wrote a new constitution in 1814, but the Kiel treaty forged a union with Sweden in the same year. In 1905 Norway again became a sovereign state.

The oldest archaeological finds of musical objects are bronze lurs (long curved trumpets probably used in cult processions or for signalling) from 1500–500 bce, found both at Revheim in the west and Brandbu in the east, and bone flutes. Wooden musical instruments were found in the excavation of Viking ships dating from around 850 ce. A lyra-shaped harp from Numedal and a sheep-bone fipple flute from Bergen survive from the 14th century. Wood carvings in stave churches of the Middle Ages depict the ancient Norse harp, apparently a kind of lyre, and a sculpture in Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim) shows a fiddler with a string instrument, probably the old Norse ...

Article

Oman  

Dieter Christensen

Country in south-eastern Arabia.

The current territory of the Sultanate of Oman constitutes the core of a former empire of possessions and coastal trade routes that flourished in the first half of the 19th century. This declined into progressive isolation until 1970 when, following the discovery of oil, the present state was consolidated and gradually opened to global relations. The richness and diversity of performing practices in Oman in the late 20th century reflects historical trade relations and population movements, particularly those that brought substantial numbers of Africans and Baluchis to eastern Arabia. Omani society is transforming from a weakly governed tribal system into an Arab nation-state. The ongoing processes of negotiation among heterogeneous ethnic groups have drawn expressive behaviour into the centre of personal, social and national concerns; performances that combine music, poetry and dance are particularly important. Recent innovations also include a symphony orchestra in the capital, Muscat, and the legalization of dish antennas that give access to global television broadcasts....

Article

Regula Qureshi

(Islami Jamhuriya e Pakistan)

Country in north-western South Asia. It lies along the watershed of the Indus river system and the surrounding mountains and desert ( fig.1 ). Historically a part of the Indian musical region, Pakistan has developed a distinct musical culture that has links with Afghanistan, Iran and, to a lesser extent, the Islamic Middle East.

Pakistan comprises four culturally and linguistically distinct regions, corresponding roughly to the four provinces of Punjab, Sind, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan. Of these, only Sind is exclusively contained within Pakistan; Baluchistan extends into Iran, the Punjab into India and the Pathan population of NWFP into Afghanistan. Pakistan also controls the northern and western portions of Kashmir , currently disputed territory.

Pakistan’s national language is Urdu, the Muslim lingua franca of South Asia. The main regional languages are Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi and Pashto. Historically, Pakistan comprises the Muslim majority areas of India (initially including East Bengal as East Pakistan, since ...

Article

Panama  

Gerard Béhague, Roque Cordero and T.M. Scruggs

(Sp. República de Panamá)

Country in Central America. The most southerly state of Central America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the east and Colombia to the west. It has the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south, connected by the Panama Canal. Panama covers an area of 75,517 km² and has a population of 2.86 million (2000 estimate).

Gerard Béhague

Little documentation of musical activities in the Cathedral of Panama City during the colonial period is available. It is known that Juan de Araujo (1646–1712), who ended up as maestro de capilla in La Plata (today Sucre, Bolivia) Cathedral, was active at Panama Cathedral from 1676 to, presumably, 1680, the year he was appointed at La Plata. No work composed in Panama during the colonial period or the 19th century is extant.

Only in the 20th century did the cultivation of art music develop in Panama, mostly centred in and around the National Conservatory (beginning in ...

Article

Irma Ruiz

(Sp. República del Paraguay)

Country in South America. It has an area of 406,752km² and a population of 5·5 million (2000 estimate). The river Paraguay marks the divide between two geographically and culturally distinct areas, populated since ancient times by indigenous peoples. To the east is sub-tropical jungle, inhabited by horticulturalists belonging to the Tupí-Guaraní linguistic group. To the west is the northern Chaco, whose inhabitants are hunter-gatherers belonging to the Maskoy, Mataco-Mak′á, Guaycurú and Zamuco groups. The population of both regions also includes peasants of creole and foreign descent. The only common link between the indigenous cultures of the two areas is that they exist in the same country, where Guaraní-Spanish bilingualism is well established both in practice and, since 1992, by law, according Paraguay singular status in Latin America. The spread of Guaraní was encouraged by the mingling of races in the early days of the Spanish conquest. It was also later adopted by the Jesuits in order to avoid contact between the Spaniards and the natives living in ‘reductions’, as the stable communities established by the missionaries were known. Sources of information about musical activity in Paraguay are sparse and unfortunately imprecise. Juan Max Boettner’s book (...

Article

Gerard Béhague and Thomas Turino

(Sp. República del Perú)

Country in South America. It is situated on the Pacific western seaboard and covers an area of 1,285,216 km², bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. The country declared independence from Spain in 1821 and achieved full independence in 1824. The legal existence of Amerindian communities was recognized in the constitution after 1920. The population of 25·66 million (2000 estimate) is predominantly Amerindian and mestizo, and the original Inca language of Quechua is spoken by c16·5% as the second official language, Spanish being the first. Aymara is spoken by some 3%, mainly in the Southern Andes.

Gerard Béhague

Peru, the administrative centre of practically all Spanish South America from the Spanish conquest (1526) until the 18th century, occupied with Mexico the most important place in the Spanish colonial empire. During the colonial period Lima (the ‘City of Kings’) and Cuzco, the city of the Incas, developed an active cultural life. At Cuzco music was cultivated at the cathedral and the Seminario de S Antonio Abad (founded ...

Article

José Maceda, Ramón Santos, Lucrecia R. Kasilag, Della G. Besa and Leonor Orosa Goquingco

(Republika ng Pilipinas)

Country in South-east Asia comprising a complex archipelago on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean to the north-east of Indonesia.

José Maceda, revised by Ramón Santos

The Philippine islands have become isolated from centres of cultural change in insular and continental South-east Asia. A strong Hindu influence in Java and Bali and a Buddhist mission in Thailand made scarcely any impression on the Philippines: there are no temples like those of Borobudur or Angkor Wat, stories of the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa (popular in South-east Asian countries) are not represented in shadow plays, and Hindu gods are much less known than in Indonesia. Islam was the only great Asian tradition that left a significant mark among powerful groups in southern Mindanao and the Sulu islands, while Spanish and American institutions changed the cultural patterns of about 90% of the population, now totalling about 90 million. This vast majority, living in most parts of the islands, speak only eight languages, whereas the remaining 10% speak more than 100. The major 38 cultural-linguistic groups are represented in ...

Article

Poland  

Katarzyna Morawska, Zygmunt M. Szweykowski, Zofia Chechlińska, Adrian Thomas, Jan Stęszewski and Krzystof Ćwiżewicz

[Polish Republic] (Pol. Rzeczpospolita Polska)

Country in eastern Europe. Christianity was introduced in the late 10th century, and in 1025 Bolesław I became the country’s first king. With the death of Bolesław III (1138) the kingdom was divided into principalities and was threatened by outside powers, but it was reunited in the 14th century by Wladisław I and his son Kasimir the Great. By the Union of Lublin (1569) Poland absorbed Lithuania, thus reaching its maximum extent, and subsequently prospered both economically and culturally. In the 18th century the country was attacked by both Sweden and Russia, losing considerable territory; by the First Partition of Poland (1772) much of the country became West Prussia, while Lithuania was lost to Russia and Galicia to Austria. By the Second Partition (1793) further territory was lost and the country was reduced to a third of its former size; with the Third Partition (...

Article

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco and Manuel Carlos De Brito

(Port. República Portuguesa)

Country in Europe. Occupying a total area of 91,905 km² on a strip of land in the western Iberian peninsula (and including the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores), Portugal is bordered to the north and east of the mainland by Spain and to the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean. The population is 9·79 million (2000 estimate) with c1 million in the capital and largest city, Lisbon .

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

Portuguese musical traditions and contemporary popular musics reflect multifarious historical, cultural and political processes, to which they also contributed. Some traditional song and dance genres, musical styles and instruments are pan-Hispanic and pan-European. Other music traditions resulted from Portugal's direct and prolonged contact with non-European cultures from North and sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Brazil. Portuguese maritime exploration and overseas colonization, which started in the 15th century and ended with the independence of its former African colonies in ...

Article

Donald Thompson

Country in the Greater Antilles associated with the USA, with Commonwealth status from 1952. The first contact of Europeans with the Caribbean island was in 1493 during Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to America. Colonization by Spain began in 1508, and the seat of government became established at San Juan, now the island’s largest city and the centre of commercial and cultural life.

Donald Thompson

During the first three centuries of Puerto Rican history, musical life centred on the church and the military garrison. Early records are scarce because many ecclesiastical archives and other sources of information were destroyed in fires, hurricanes, sackings and sieges. Early in the 16th century an organist and a chantre were requested for the cathedral, whose construction had begun in 1511. At the end of the 16th century the cathedral, described as being as beautiful as any in England, possessed a fine organ. Capitulary Acts of ...

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Harold S. Powers

revised by Richard Widdess

In 

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