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Old 05-27-2012, 03:42 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I've met plenty of backpackers and young people from many different nations - in all continents - and within the backpacker 'community' there seems to be a sense of global identity and 'oneness' that I really like. Maybe this is further reinforced by the fact we are all travellers who are curious and open-minded about other cultures.

Do you feel that globalization, and modernization are making cultural differences much less important? I mean humans are humans, we're much more alike than we are different, but there are still subtle differences. Spaniards tend to be a bit more chatty in general, Koreans are big on loyalty, Scandinavians are a bit detached but polite.

I do feel a good majority of people in the world live a modern, somewhat pluralistic 'Western' lifestyle, whether they be from Bogota or Beijing, Perth or Prague. They consume, they aspire to a good job, some aspire to make a difference.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:22 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
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I think so, though I hope diversity doesn't die out in the name of corporate capitalism. I think we can get along and still be different, I hope?
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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In a way, yes.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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The most vivid example is the genre of music called "World Beat". Fundamentally, this is music squeezed into the constraints of the obligatory rhythm of American urban genres, heavily dominated by the percussion, but featuring a vocalist who sings in a non-English language. Nothing is more uniform in the world than the prevailing contemporary music beat.

The younger generation has been force-fed this music by Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI, all competing for the biggtest share of exactly the same sound. Their brands are as different from each other as American beer brands. And as inspiring. Here's a test. Go to an online stream of a popular music broadcast from any country in the world. See how long you have to listen before you hear a song that is not sung in English.

Last edited by CowanStern; 05-28-2012 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,652 posts, read 16,702,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowanStern View Post
The most vivid example is the genre of music called "World Beat". Fundamentally, this is music squeezed into the constraints of the obligatory rhythm of American urban genres, heavily dominated by the percussion, but featuring a vocalist who sings in a non-English language. Nothing is more uniform in the world than the prevailing contemporary music beat.

The younger generation has been force-fed this music by Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI, all competing for the biggtest share of exactly the same sound. Their brands are as different from each other as American beer brands. And as inspiring. Here's a test. Go to an online stream of a popular music broadcast from any country in the world. See how long you have to listen before you hear a song that is not sung in English.
You mean stuff like this?:


Magic System 'Tango Tango' - inédit tiré du best of "D'Abidjan à Paris" - YouTube
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowanStern View Post
The most vivid example is the genre of music called "World Beat". Fundamentally, this is music squeezed into the constraints of the obligatory rhythm of American urban genres, heavily dominated by the percussion, but featuring a vocalist who sings in a non-English language. Nothing is more uniform in the world than the prevailing contemporary music beat.
This does not correspond to the definition of "world beat". World beat to me is music that is original to other parts of the world that people from other parts of the world (where that music is "foreign") will listen to.

It's Americans listening to the Gipsy Kings...

The French listening to Cesaria Evora....

The British listening to Myriam Makeba...

The Swedes listening to Tarkan...

What you describe does exist for sure, but I don't think it can be characterized as "world beat", at least not according to the definition I have always heard.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowanStern View Post
Here's a test. Go to an online stream of a popular music broadcast from any country in the world. See how long you have to listen before you hear song that is not sung in English.
I think it depends on the country. In much of northern Europe (Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, etc.) the airwaves are dominated by music in English, but in places like France, Spain, etc. there is more of a balanced mix of music in English and music in the national language.

I would say in most parts of the world outside of Europe music in English is very, very present, but that music in the local language (which may just be a locally repackaged version of American-style stuff it is true) is still very present and usually holds its own vs. the juggernaut.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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Not to be argumentative, but I just went and listened to some tracks by Cesaria and Tarkan, and they sound to me pretty much as I described. Both have a very heavy percussion rhythm, especially Tarkan, and "beat" is very definitely the operative word in the expression "world beat". Without a very dominant percussion beat that will fit into the landscape of a gangbanger driving by, Sony Music is not interested in putting it out there.

There are plenty of cultures all over the world that developed their musical forma independent of the western model, but music producers wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole, unless they could lay a disco-inspired percussion beat in over the top of it. Tune into an internet music streaming source and select World Beat, and listen to it. It's beat-beat-beat-beat, in an amorphous contimuum. With never a slightest adulteration by soukous or tango or even bollywood. No Umm Kaltoum, or Lata Mangeshkar, or Mbelia Bel or Tsehaytu Beraki, no matter how popular or revered they are in their home country.

It's the beat of the narrowed culture of the younger generation. You won't find anybody in the youth hostel with Teresa Tang in his earbuds, nor even Juan Luis Guerra or Paolo Conte. In short, the music of the younger generation falls, with the same beat, into two sub-categories. One percent is World Beat, and 99% is American style pop sung in English.

Last edited by CowanStern; 05-28-2012 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
24,953 posts, read 31,926,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowanStern View Post
Not to be argumentative, but I just went and listened to some tracks by Cesaria and Tarkan, and they sound to me pretty much as I described. Both have a very heavy percussion rhythm, especially Tarkan, and "beat" is very definitely the operative word in the expression "world beat". Without a very dominant percussion beat that will fit into the landscape of a gangbanger driving by, Sony Music is not interested in putting it out there.

There are plenty of cultures all over the world that developed their musical forma independent of the western model, but music producers wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole, unless they could lay a disco-inspired percussion beat in over the top of it. Tune into an internet music streaming source and select World Beat, and listen to it. It's beat-beat-beat-beat, in an amorphous contimuum. With never a slightest adulteration by soukous or tango or even bollywood. No Umm Kaltoum, or Lata Mangeshkar, or Mbelia Bel or Tsehaytu Beraki, no matter how popular or revered they are in their home country.

It's the beat of the narrowed culture of the younger generation. You won't find anybody in the youth hostel with Teresa Tang in his earbuds, nor even Juan Luis Guerra or Paolo Conte. In short, the music of the younger generation falls, with the same beat, into two sub-categories. One percent is World Beat, and 99% is American style pop sung in English.
I largely agree with you, although I would like to make a few points.

Tarkan certainly is globalized pop fare: in Turkish, with some intonations typical of his region of the world, but you are right: it's got the same beat.


But I disagree about Cesaria Evora. Her musical style was "morna", and it is totally authentic and indigenous to her home country. If it was influenced by anything external it was "fado" from Portugal, and has nothing to do with the global pop music scene...

Also, I do think there is more diversity out there than you give the world credit for.

For example, this kind of music is very popular with young people where I live:


Dégénération/reel du fossé - YouTube


Clip: "Tant qu'on aura de l'amour" des Cowboys Fringants version "Portraits" - YouTube
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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True, there are a few pockets in the world where even the younger generation has their own sense of righteous nationalism, and Quebec is one of them, where they have a sense of pride in shunning world culture to celebrate their own. Even in the 1960s, surrounded by American top 40, Quebec stations played only Francophone hits. But I bet there is not a single radio station in all of Germany today that plays more German than English contemporary popular music. There is a Google Widget that you can tune to a couple dozen German, French and Italian stations, and every one of them plays nearly all English language songs.

I like your second clip a lot. Americans have this great, world-class artistic culture a few hours drive down the road, and aren't even aware of it.

Last edited by CowanStern; 05-28-2012 at 03:45 PM..
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