An umbrella category for musical styles associated with specific regions or ethnic groups of the world, such as reggae, klezmer, native American flute music, and African highlife.
For sites in the English language. Sites in other languages should be submitted to an appropriate subcategory of World/.
The music styles of sub-Saharan Africa.
Sites about music in North Africa should be submitted to Arts: Music: Styles: World: Middle Eastern.

Sub-Saharan music sites that are location-specific may also be listed in Regional. For instance, an African music organization can be listed here as well as in Regional based on its location.

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a Nigerian-born and British-educated musician, fused West African highlife with Western funk, jazz, and R&B, creating a style of music he named Afrobeat. Though based in his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, the music had strong popularity across Africa. Afrobeat songs were written in local languages, as well as in Pidgin English and English. Following Kuti's death in 1997, his son Femi has carried on the Afrobeat tradition. The late 1990's Afrobeat movement has been deeply influenced not only by Fela Kuti's music but also his politics, embracing topics like militarism and globalization in its music.
Cajun and Creole music developed in parallel in Southwest Louisiana as a regional expression of jazz mixed with rhythm and blues. In the late 1940s, the vest frottoir, or rubboard, was added as the principal rhythm instrument and the new sound was called Zydeco. This category is for sites about both Cajun and Zydeco music.
Please submit sites that focus on either Cajun or Zydeco, but not both, to the appropriate subcategory.
A form of folk music developed in Trinidad, West Indies, and originally sung at carnivals. In Trinidad, calypso music is generally sung to a guitar and maraca accompaniment that establishes a complex counterrhythm with the voice of the singer in a style probably based on the percussive rhythms of native African music. Since about 1945, steel drums (oil drums, modified and tuned) have also been used, often played in bands.
Sites that are not in English should be submitted to the appropriate category under World.
Caribbean styles of music.
Sites that are not in English should be submitted to the appropriate category under World.

Sites about bands and artists that primarly play one style of music should be submitted to that style''s category.

The traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany (in France), Galicia (in Spain), Cornwall (in England), and the Isle of Man. This music is also found in areas which have historically come under the influence of Celtic regions, including parts of the US and the maritime provinces of Canada. The style also includes newer music based on the traditional Celtic sounds. Traditional instruments include the harp, fiddle, pipes and drums.
A type of folk music which most likely originated in the 1820's in Portugal, and characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor.

Its roots may include the traditional music of Portuguese sailors, African slave rhythms, and Arabic influences. There may have been some influence from Brazilian traditions like Lundum and Modinha.

Amália Rodrigues (1920-1999) was probably the most important figure in the genre’s development - and was known as the "Queen of Fado". Mariza, Mísia and Ana Moura are perhaps the best known modern exponents.

The roots of flamenco come from many sources: Morocco, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Greece, and other parts of the Near and Far East. The gypsies from the south of Spain created this music day by day since their arrival to Spain in the 15th century. It is believed that the word "flamenco" is a mis-pronunciation of the Arabic words "felag" (peasant) and "mengu" (fugitive). It is known that flamenco began to be used as a synonymous for "Andalucian gypsy" in the 18th century. Originally associated with music of Southern Spain, it is now popular throughout Spain, and artists can be found everywhere in the world. The basic flamenco ensemble consists of guitar, singer, and dancer. Additionally, singers will perform "palmas," a kind of precise rhythmic hand-clapping. Other instruments have been introduced into flamenco, including the cajón, flute, violin, bass, oud, and cello.
Please only submit sites that have English-language content. If the site is only in Spanish, please submit to:

World: Español: Artes: Música: Estilos: Flamenco or World: Español: Artes: Artes escénicas: Danza: Flamenco

Gamelan has for centuries been a prominent music of certain Indonesian islands (most notably, Java and Bali), central to the temple, the court, and the daily lives of the people. Gamelan encompasses a number of different musical forms, each differing in melodic structure, instrumentation, region, language, and performance contexts. The word "gamelan" also refers to the instruments of a gamelan ensemble.

Gamelan ensembles are usually percussion-oriented and include gongs, drums (kendhang), bar-shaped metallophones (saron, gender, slentem), and cymbals made of iron and bronze. Flutes (suleng) and stringed instruments (rebab, cither, celempung) may also be included.

Gamelan ensembles sometimes perform without any additional visual component, or are integrated into dance dramas and shadow-puppet theatre, known as wayang kulit. Wayang kulit is often an all-night experience, featuring stories of the Ramayana infused with modern political commentary, sung by the pupeteer (dalang) in the national language of Indonesia (bahasa Indones) as well as local dialects and sometimes even English (if there is a large American or Australian contingent in the crowd).

Gamelan became popular outside Java and Bali during the 1930s World Fairs, when ensembles performed for European and American audiences that included composers such as Debussy, Britten, and Poulenc. With the advent of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology (particularly as practiced at UCLA by scholars such as Ki Mantle Hood), sets of instruments were brought to the West and Americans and Europeans began practicing gamelan. Currently, there are hundreds of active gamelans outside of Indonesia, and festivals all over the world featuring gamelan music have become a popular forum for gamelan aficionados.

This category features web sites that offer information about Hawaiian music.
Sites that are not in English should be submitted to the appropriate category under World.
Information about Inuit music organizations, styles, and artists.
This category covers traditional religious Jewish music as well as other styles such as klezmer.
Please submit entries for Klezmer performers to the sub-category Klezmer/Bands_and_Artists. Please submit entries for cantors to the sub-category Chazzanut.
Music has played a vital role in preserving Kurdish culture. Poetry, historical narratives,literary works and current events were always sung and spread by troubadours, musicians, or musical family members. "Dengbej" are the singing story-tellers who carried the Kurdish heritage of the poetry and music down through the centuries to modern times. With great determination and despite the odds, the Kurds have succeeded to have writers, musicians and many artist. Every singel artistic element, which was born from the midst of the Kurdish people, faced immense difficulties and underwent harrasment. A single song in Kurdish is considered a great sin, so far as the oppressors are concerned. To this day, many Kurdish artists are killed or sent to prisons.
An umbrella category for styles associated with the cultures of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Examples include merengue from the Dominican Republic, tango from Argentina, samba and bossa nova from Brazil, calypso from Trinidad, and rhumba, mambo, and salsa from Cuba.
For English-language sites that deal with styles within the Afro-Latin music umbrella. Non-English language sites should be submitted to the appropriate subcategory in
For online, email, and paper magazines featuring articles, reviews, and information about world music artists, events, and recordings.
Please submit only sites with a substantial amount of English language content.
The word "mariachi" originated in the language of the Coca Indians as early as the 1500's. It meant simply "musician" and was used to mean any person that engaged in musical activities...

The instruments of a modern mariachi group will include violins, trumpets, a vihuela, a guitarrón and one or more guitars. Many groups use other unconventional instruments such as flute or accordion, but these are not accepted as mariachi standard. The harp and the guitarra de golpe, a guitar variant, are sometimes used and are considered proper mariachi instruments. Both of these were part of the colonial and cuarteto mariachi groups of the 1800's and early part of this century. The guitarrón and vihuela give the ensemble a very distinct sound. Theses two instruments are not found in any other kind of ensemble.

The guitarrón is a large bass guitar-like instrument with a large belly in the back. It has six strings tuned within an octave and a half range. This is the heartbeat of the mariachi ensemble. The vihuela is a small guitar variant also with a belly and five treble strings.

The attire of a mariachi group also defines this type of band. Mariachi musicians adapted the "charro" (Mexican Cowboy) suit as the standard costume when performing. Although many variations have been tried, it has remained the required dress. The "traje" consists of botines or ankles boots, a sombrero, a mono or large bow tie, a chaleco or short jacket, snug trousers without back pockets, a wide belt and botonaduras or shiny buttons on the side of the pants...

Mariachi groups have an almost universal repertoire. Nearly every group is expected to know certain material that is native to the genre. These include songs such as Cielito Lindo, Jalisco, El Son de la Negra and El Rey. The definitive song form is the son. The son in indigenous to mariachi music and has several notable characteristics. The rhythmic pattern is an alteration between 3/4 and 6/8 with heavy syncopation. Trumpets and violins make extensive use a grace notes, and the lyrics are usually humorous or nonsensical.

-- Rene Benavidez, International Folk Culture Center
Sites which offer online sales of mariachi costumes, sheet music, and other supplies should be suggested under Shopping/Ethnic_and_Regional/North_American/Mexican/.

Sites which offer online sales of recorded mariachi music should be suggested under Shopping/Entertainment/Recordings/Audio/Music/Specialty/Regional_and_Ethnic/Latin/.

This category features sites with information about Middle Eastern music. These sites might include instructions on how to play Middle Eastern instruments, historical information about great recording artists, or sound clips of Middle Eastern music. The Middle East is a large region, encompassing the countries of Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. There are many peoples who live in the Middle East, including Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Persians, Israeli Jews, Mezrahi, Armenians, Circassians, Laz, Lor, Druse, Gypsy, and Berber peoples. In addition to music of these peoples, this category also contains new music, written in the Middle East and abroad, that is either performed on the instruments, based on the melodies, rhythms, and modes, or about subjects of the Middle East. Middle Eastern music sites are organized as follows: the top level contains general sites about music Arts/Music/Styles/World/Middle_Eastern/Bands_and_Artists contains individual artist pages. Arts/Music/Styles/World/Middle_Eastern/Labels_and_Distributors contains record labels and distributors of Middle Eastern music. Arts/Music/Styles/World/Middle_Eastern/Sound_Files contains sites with streamable or downloadable MP3s, RealAudio, MIDI, and other popular audio and video formats.
Please only submit sites in English.

Türkçedeki web sitesileri World/Türkçe''nin doğru subkategoriye sununmalı.

Farsi language sites should be submitted to the proper subcat of World/Farsi.

Native American music is diverse and no longer necessarily restricted to tribal tradition or affiliation with original people's historic works. This category contains links to contemporary, traditional and non-traditional, Native and non-Native, and mixed styles of Native American music, that may be inspired by or built from, but is not limited to, the traditions of Native American music. We are including Native American performers who bring their tradition to other styles or content areas of music.
Sites that are not in English should be submitted to the appropriate category under World.
Organizations focused on world music. This includes organizations that sponsor concert and concert series, fund artists and groups, and work with communities to create a greater diversity of ethnic, regional, and traditional music activities.
Sites about polka music around the world.
Sites providing information and playlists for world music radio shows. Also, sites featuring streaming web broadcasts of world music.
Typically we do not list " stations" and ampcast broadcasts.


Popular Algerian dance music form. Famous performers of Rai include Cheb Nasro and Cheb Khaled. The Rai ensemble is a mix of traditional North African instruments (oud, doumbek, gimbri) with modern electric instruments (guitar, bass, keyboards), featuring singing in the Arabic language.

The history and context for the development of Rebetiko is complex. Socially, it has its roots in the experiences of urbanisation in Greece in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and of the forced "exchange of peoples" between Europe and Turkey as the Ottoman Empire collapsed after WW1. A large population of refugees, ethnic Greeks from Asia Minor, brought their music and instruments - at a time when political and cultural élites were more interested in western European influence.

Rebetiko developed as an "urban blues" in the context of the poverty, unemployment, oppression, deprivation (and inevitable prostitution, criminality and drugs) experienced by the recently urbanised slum communities and the refugee populations.

It was very popular in the 1930's through the experience of Nazi occupation. In the 1950's, what had been "the music of the underworld" became a symbol of a new united Greece, emerging from WW2 and civil war. In the process, it became somewhat sanitized, and merges into the development of modern forms of Greek popular music.

One of the first truly international music styles, reggae has its origins in the ska and rocksteady studios of Kingston, Jamaica. Some of the first reggae studios (Black Ark) later went on to create new genres, including dub, ragga, and even the prototype for American hip hop. The most famous proponents of reggae are the Marley family (Bob and Ziggy), whose bands toured the world and produced some of the best selling singles and albums of all time. The first producer of Bob Marley and the Wailers was Lee "Scratch" Perry, legendary father of dub (originally meaning the B-side of a record, with drum breaks and dropouts for MCs to shout out over).
Sites that are predominantly shopping-related should be submitted to Shopping/Entertainment/Recordings/Music/Specialty/Reggae .
Soca is a Caribbean dance music form popular on Dominica and Trinidad islands. Often confused with Calypso, it remains a separate musical style. The name "soca" is formed from the words "soul" and "calypso" which shows the music's roots as a blend of Caribbean calypso and soul music from the USA.
Please submit sites pertaining primarily to Soca music. Please submit Calypso sites to


Steelpan music is played in an ensemble. The instruments were originally made from steel oildrums, invented in the 20th century in Trinidad. They are the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.
Sites about steelpan instruments should be submitted to Arts: Music: Instruments: Percussion: World: Steelpan.

Sites about steelpans or steelpan music in Trinidad and Tobago can also be submitted to Regional: Caribbean: Trinidad and Tobago: Arts and Entertainment: Music: Steelpan.

Taiko is the Japanese art of drumming. Originally the music of the court and temple, the drums were played singly or in pairs. The modern style of taiko performed as an ensemble is called kumidaiko. This style was created by a jazz drummer, Daihachi Oguchi, in 1951 and has since gained worldwide popularity.

The word "taiko" literally means "drum" or "fat drum." When used in certain compound words, such as for styles of playing, types of drums, and ensembles, the "T" sounds like "D" and it is spelled "daiko."

Online stores featuring taiko drums should be submitted to Shopping: Music: Instruments: Percussion.

Online stores featuring taiko recordings should be submitted to Shopping: Entertainment: Recordings: Music: Specialty: World: Japanese.

Music, bands and artists, resources, and sites on worldbeat music (sometimes also known as world fusion or ethnic fusion). Worldbeat music usually borrows from multiple cultures (such as combining African drumming traditions with Celtic vocals and Indian instrumentation) or sometimes multiple styles (such as native American pow wow music over a dance track). This is a good place to find sites that don't fall neatly into one of the Regional or Style-based categories in Regional and Ethnic Music. A more complete definition on worldbeat music can be found at
Please only submit sites in the English language. Non-English sites should be submitted to the appropriate category in World.