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John Baily

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 ...




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....


Algeria, People's Democratic Republic of  

Tony Langlois

(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....


Richard Crawford, Philip V. Bohlman, Chris Goertzen, D.K. Wilgus, Julien Olivier, Bill C. Malone, Barry Jean Ancelet, Mick Moloney, Marcello Sorce Keller, Stephen Erdely, Şahan Arzruni, Christina Jaremko, Mark Levy, Robert C. Metil, Michael G. Kaloyanides, Janice E. Kleeman, Timothy J. Cooley, Kenneth A. Thigpen, Margaret H. Beissinger, Margarita Mazo, Mark Forry, Robert B. Klymasz, Portia K. Maultsby, Gerard Béhague, Charlotte Heth, Beverley Diamond, Nazir A. Jairazbhoy, Zhang Weihua, Susan M. Asai, Youyoung Kang, George Ruckert, Amy R. Catlin, and Ricardo D. Trimillos




Gerhard Kubik

(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, ...


Argentina (i)  

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 ...


Argentina: Art music  

Gerard Béhague

There is scant evidence of musical life in Argentina during this period. As in most Latin American countries, the earliest efforts to establish a regular musical life in the European sense were made by missionaries, especially the Jesuits whose missions covered the Paraná river area and the La Plata region (Paraguay and Argentina). Music was important in the catechization of the indigenous Amerindian population, but the absence of conventual historians and the disappearance of the music archives of the Jesuits (see Lange) restrict any assessment of music-making during the 16th and 17th centuries. The first missionaries were Father Alonso Barzana, a Jesuit, and Francisco Solano, a Franciscan who was eventually canonized.

The first reference to an organ in the church of Santiago del Estero dates from 1585; the first school of music was founded by Father Pedro Comental (1595–1665). The music taught was mainly plainchant and polyphonic song, and Amerindians and African slaves soon became skilful musicians and instrument makers: there is documentary evidence of locally made European instruments before ...


Argentina: Popular music  

Irma Ruiz

The beginnings of Argentine popular music can be dated to about 1890, when the tango emerged in Buenos Aires. Until the 1970s, three main areas of popular music were recognized: tango; ‘folk’ music (urban versions of rural genres of Creole origin, also categorized as nativist music); and rock nacional. Since then, the boundaries between these distinctions have become more complex as these musics have interacted and musicians have crossed over, playing more than one genre. Two other popular phenomena, cuarteto and bailanta, also deserve mention.

This dance has become the musical identity of Argentina for the world at large. The Tango emerged in the port and slums of Buenos Aires and the La Plata river area during a period when the population swelled, with 6 million immigrants (Italians, Spaniards, East Europeans) entering the country between 1870 and 1930. Whether instrumental or sung, the tango remained a dance until the end of the 1950s, when, due to social change, it was displaced among the younger generation in favour of foreign music, leaving tango largely as the music of older generations. Tango has enjoyed recurrent revivals, none of them major, the last and most important of which is the present one, which has given rise to countless dance classes, including an extra-curricular course at the University of Buenos Aires. At first there were many different types of tango that were played and danced in different social environments. Later on, the genre consolidated, acquiring a definite character. The only genres that can be considered true predecessors of the tango are the habanera and the ...


Argentina: Traditional music  

Irma Ruiz

Distinctions within traditional Argentine music are based on both musical and non-musical historical criteria and arise according to whether the music is that of a pre-Hispanic indigenous group (for further discussion of the music of Amerindians in Argentina see Latin America, §I) or is Creole, that is of Spanish language and musical heritage, occasionally with some indigenous features. The main differences lie in the presence or absence of European influences in the music and texts of songs and the degree to which societies and groups themselves share the cultural institutions of the majority. The imposition on the indigenous population of the Spanish language and of Roman Catholicism and its religious calendar prepared the ground for the development of a rural Creole culture, creating the environment for Creole music traditions, which later absorbed other incoming population influences. At the same time, in terms of language and religious belief, some pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures survived into the 20th century. In the 20th century the musical map was inevitably altered, and significant changes occurred due to the migration of population from rural to urban areas, the partial adoption of Protestantism by some indigenous groups and the increased popularity of Creole music. The Amerindian–Creole dimensions of traditional music, instrumentaria and dance vary according to region....


Armenia, Republic of  

Alina Pahlevanian, Aram Kerovpyan, and Svetlana Sarkisyan

(Armenian Hayastan)

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 bce as well as by numerous rock paintings and ancient written sources. Originating within the Armenian uplands, and assimilating in the course of its history several ancient peoples on the edges of Asia and in Anatolia (the Hurrians, the Assyrian-Aramaic and Urartian peoples), Armenia was already a slave-owning state with a single language and with its own distinctive culture by the 3rd millennium ...


Richard Crawford, Philip V. Bohlman, Chris Goertzen, D.K. Wilgus, Julien Olivier, Bill C. Malone, Barry Jean Ancelet, Mick Moloney, Marcello Sorce Keller, Stephen Erdely, Şahan Arzruni, Christina Jaremko, Mark Levy, Robert C. Metil, Michael G. Kaloyanides, Janice E. Kleeman, Timothy J. Cooley, Kenneth A. Thigpen, Margaret H. Beissinger, Margarita Mazo, Mark Forry, Robert B. Klymasz, Portia K. Maultsby, Gerard Béhague, Charlotte Heth, Beverley Diamond, Nazir A. Jairazbhoy, Zhang Weihua, Susan M. Asai, Youyoung Kang, George Ruckert, Amy R. Catlin, and Ricardo D. Trimillos




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

(Ger. Österreich)

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 bce) and the Roman occupation testify to the antiquity of Austrian civilization. The development of a musical culture from the beginning of the Middle Ages has essentially been determined by Austria’s geographical position in the centre of Europe, its Alpine terrain, the coming of Christianity and the settlement by Germanic tribes. External influences, especially of the races at its borders – the Latin peoples, the Slavs and the Magyars – further affected the area’s cultural evolution. Although each province has a place in Austria’s cultural history, the musical centres have always been the cities of Salzburg and Vienna....



Jean During

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....





Gilbert Rouget

(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 (...