Music Lacks Attention in United Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Just as we can be sure that once we cross the border out of the United States the laws that we are governed by will not be our own; so, too, can we be sure that our cultural tastes in Western music will differ too amongst the people whose culture we enter as we leave the United States.

Like Byrne, Jeff Todd (ed., 1992), emphasizes the point that each culture will have its own music; Mexico and Latin America have Salsa, and other cultural music as we move south through South America, and into the Caribbean islands, like Cuba. In each of these places, we find folk and cultural variations of music that, in the context of their culture, are easy to enjoy, but not necessarily what we would choose to listen to at home instead of Bob Seger or Joe Cocker. Even the way in which music is referred to, varies; not all cultures call it music (Todd, 1992).

A picture then begins to unfold of world music as something very different than what we are used to; but not so different, so unique, as to cause us to pursue it a level of phenomena in the way that Americans often pursue things or interests of different, strange, or unique nature. Rather, Americans wait to be lured to new things, including music, through clever advertising, or in the case of YouTube, the internet self-expression sensation; then when one is caught completely off guard, candidly -- or as candidly as one can be with the knowledge that they are linked to the internet where thousands, or even millions of voyeurs will be peeking in on them. Such was the case some years ago of a young high school student who videotaped his self chair rocking/dancing to a Hungarian rock rhapsody, becoming a YouTube most viewed (at that time) sensation. Equally important, however, is that the young man cast into the spotlight a world music, to which he chair danced, and caused the song to be one of the most widely recognized songs in America -- even only briefly.

Music, it is the fruit of the soul, and it surrounds us in our daily lives. To the extent that world music takes on a variation of our own Western music, and perhaps even our culture, such as Caribbean reggae, performed by the genius of people like the late musician Bob Marley; then we embrace it. But if it is too reflective of the distinct society of the culture from which is born in the minds of; then we avoid it. Every once in a while, in a motion picture film, or a quirky internet performance, or, on occasion by high profile play on a radio station of something oddly magnetic like Gregorian Monks; we find ourselves held spellbound by the music of another culture, but when the spell is over, we move on in our fast, unappreciative American way.

Except for the flukes, then, and for those friends who visit foreign places and bring back with them the memento of that culture's music to play while friends view pictures of far away places; then Americans not only are not exposed to world music, but one might believe they even avoid it. Perhaps for the most part they are of a like mind with Byrne; they hate world music.

Works Cited

Byrne, David. Crossing Music's Borders: 'I Hate World Music,' New York Times,

October 3, 1999.

Nettl, Bruno (ed). Excursions in World Music, Up Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall, 2004.

Slobin, Mark, Titon, Jeff, Todd, Jeff (ed). Worlds of Music, Chapter I, the Music

Culture…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Byrne, David. Crossing Music's Borders: 'I Hate World Music,' New York Times,

October 3, 1999.

Nettl, Bruno (ed). Excursions in World Music, Up Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall, 2004.

Slobin, Mark, Titon, Jeff, Todd, Jeff (ed). Worlds of Music, Chapter I, the Music

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