Archive for August 7th, 2010

August 7, 2010

Klezmer

Klezmer [klez-mer] is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre consists largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. Although the genre has its origins in Eastern Europe, the particular form now known as klezmer developed in the United States in the milieu of Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants who arrived between 1880 and 1924.

Of all the musical styles which influenced the traditional Klezmer musicians, the Romanian influence seems to be the strongest and most enduring. Traditional Romanian music was heard, adopted and adapted by Klezmer musicians. This fact is reflected in the dance forms found throughout the entire surviving Klezmer music repertoire (e.g., Horas).

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August 7, 2010

Zydeco

Zydeco [zahy-di-koh] is a form of American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of Creole music. The rural black Creoles of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas still sing in Louisiana Creole French. The word is derived from the French word le zaricot, which means ‘green beans’ or ‘snap beans.’

Usually fast tempo and dominated by accordion and a form of a washboard known as a ‘rub-board’ or frottoir, zydeco music was originally created at house dances, where families and friends gathered for socializing. Sometimes the music moved to the Catholic Church community center, as Creoles were mostly Catholic. Later it moved to rural dance halls and nightclubs. As a result, the music integrated waltzes, shuffles, two-steps, blues, rock and roll, and most dance music forms of the era. Today, the tradition of change and evolution in the music continues. It stays current while integrating even more genres such as R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, urban hip, ska, rock, Afro-Caribbean and other styles, in addition to the traditional forms.

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August 7, 2010

Playing For Change

Playing for Change is a multimedia music project created by the American producer and sound engineer Mark Johnson with his Timeless Media Group, that seeks to bring together musicians from around the world. Playing For Change also created a separate non-profit organization called the Playing For Change Foundation which builds music schools for children around the world.

The creators of the project, Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono, traveled around the world to places such as New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, India, Nepal, the Middle East and Ireland. Using a mobile recording equipment, the duo recorded local musicians performing the same song, interpreted into their own style.