Friday, January 17, 2014

A World of Music

Chuck also teachers adult classes -see the Kumandi website for info
Go to for Chuck's adult drum lesson info.
We are just over halfway through the high school Short Term A, and I'm having a great time.  It's been probably 10 years since I sat in on a short term class (the last time was Russian for Beginners in 2003), and this January I've been sitting in on Chuck Cogliandro's West African Drumming class.  It's so much fun, and there are so many things I didn't know!
  • drumming is good for your brain.  Maintaining a rhythm with two hands, while the person next to you is drumming an entirely different rhythm, is a serious mental exercise.
  • in any one piece there can be 5 (or maybe more) distinct rhythms going on at the same time.
  • there are songs with words that are an integral part of the drum music (I never thought of it quite as music, either, just rhythm. No idea why. Duh.)
  • Paideia's elementary music program has a whole big bunch of djembe drums. Time to ask Miranda about that part of her program.  How long have I been here? And yet so much yet to learn.
There was a piece on All Things Considered just yesterday about globalFEST, a one-night music festival in New York that showcases artists from Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.   Being a librarian and an inquiring mind, I am reminded of the books, CDs and videos I've added to the collection over the years, on African music and on other music traditions & styles from around the world.  You can bet I'll be checking out a couple for myself, and you should come nose around and check out some too.  See a more complete list on the library catalog web page.

African Drumming

West African Drum & Dance: A Yankadi-Macrou Celebration -
a book, CD and DVD set

Drum Circle Facilitation - a DVD for leaders and learners

Garland Handbook of African Music - reading for the scholar, with a CD for audio examples

African Music and Musicians -
a few years ago an African Music class was offered during short term. Lots of DVDs to explore!

Rai (The Rough Guides series) - CD of "Arabic rebel pop" from Algeria and the Western Sahara.  Cheb Mami is the 'prince of rai."

On Tiptoe: The Music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo - the renowned South African a capella group

Cesaria Evora: Morna Blues -   the "Queen of Cape Verdean Blues"

Angelique Kidjo - singer/chanteuse from Benin, the "African Piaf"

Youssou N'Dour Live in London - Senegalese superstar

The Rhythm of Resistance: The Black Music of South Africa - DVD


The Music of Central Asia (The Rough Guides series) -  a CD of music from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikstan, and Kyrgyzstan.  With liner notes.

The Silk Road: Music, Art, and Poetry from Istanbul to Samarquand - DVD

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: The Last Prophet - documentary DVD of the late Pakistani star of Sufi Qawwali music

Latin America

Musica!: Salsa, Rhumba, Merengue and More - a guide to the dance music with a Latin beat

Rock en EspaƱol - explores the fusion genre which blends Anglo alt-rock with Latin folklore & music.

Compay Segundo - DVD - the Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club plays their classics


The Rough Guide to World Music - 2 volumes, arranged geographically by continent

Travel the World with Putomayo - music videos and live performances of popular international artists

The Rough Guide to Irish Music - CD - travel across Ireland through music

Ukulele for Dummies - book and CD set

Do you listen to or play international music?  Share your favorites in the comments.

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