Traditional Chinelo Music and Dance from the Mexican State of Morelos

This video clip shows some traditional dance music from the central mexican state of Morelos, about 80 km south of Mexico City. The music is played by marching bands and consists of short phrases which are played over and over again while the dancers walk jumping through the streets. At a certain moment, the flow of the music will be interrupted by a long note usually played by the trumpets. At the end of the long note, another frenetic melody starts and is played again and again until the next long note on the trumpets.
This scheme will be performed for hours and is a challenge for dancers and musicians. It can lead to a state of trance. Consider that the parades usually happen under the burning sun of central Mexico and that the costumes of the dancers are of heavy fabric. The participants sure need to drink a lot of beer during the parades …

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Australian Aboriginal Music Performed on the Didgeridoo

This video clip shows an aborgin from Australia playing the typical instrument of this region of the planet: the didgeridoo. The didgeridoo produces an unique sound while the instrument itself remembers some horns played by people from other countries.
The players produce very long droning tones on this horn which is achieved by a technique called circular breathing. Circular breathing is used by musicians from different musical environments, for example by jazz trumpet and saxophone players.
The australian population counts with different tribes and each tribe has its own religious rules regarding the playing of this sacred instrument. While some tribes allow all members to play the didgeridoo, others don’t let their women play it and still others don’t allow children to play it.
The didgeridoo has made its way to the modern music environment and there are many recordings of didgeridoo sounds belonging to world music, trance, techno and other modern music styles.

Los Tigres del Norte Performing the Corrido Camelia la Tejana

This video clips features the mexican group Los Tigres del Norte (The Tigers of the North) with one of their most successfull hits: Camelia la tejana (Camelia, the girl from Texas).
Los tigres del Norte are a group that plays in the tradition of the Northern Mexico music style.
This tune forms part of the origins of a modern kind of mexican folk music called the narcocorrido (somehting like ‘narcotics song’) which is musically based on the traditional corrido while the lyrics here are foccussing on drug dealers and mafias smuggling drugs, being presented as somehow positive or heroic characters which resulted in the later prohibition of performances with this kind of contents. At preesent time the prohibition has not yet gathered a general acceptation among the mexican population, specially among the lower class and rural people, or maybe the prohibition was voided later. If you have any more precise information, we would apreciate your comments.

For those of you who speak a little spanish we offer the lyrics of the tune:

Salieron de San Isidro procedentes de Tijuana
traían las llantas del carro repletas de yerba mala.
Eran Emilio Varela y Camelia La Texana.

Al pasar por San Clemente los paró la Emigración,
les pidió sus documentos, les dijo: – ¿de dónde son?
Ella era de San Antonio, una hembra de corazón.

Cuando una hembra quiere a un hombre por él puede dar la vida,
pero hay que tener cuidado si esa hembra se siente herida;
la traición y el contrabando son cosas incompartidas.

A Los Angeles llegaron, a Hollywood se pasaron;
en un callejón obscuro las cuatro llantas cambiaron.
ahí entregaron la yerba, ahí también les pagaron.

Emilio dice a Camelia:
-hoy te das por despedida, con la parte que te toca
ya puedes rehacer tu vida.
Yo me voy pa’ San Francisco con la dueña de mi vida.

Sonaron siete balazos, Camelia a Emilio mataba.
La policía sólo halló una pistola tirada.
Del dinero y de Camelia nunca más se supo nada.

John McLaughlin Performing with Indian Group Shakti

Watch this video with the great guitar player John McLaughlin performing live on stage with Shakti, a group of indian musicians. This music belongs to the fusion genre and is a wonderfull combination of western and eastern music.
As many musicians from the western world, John McLaughlin has been interested in eastern culture for some time and has released several albums that clearly show the influence of indian music in his playing. One of the most remarkable albums in this sense is the LP with Carlos Santana and Michael Walden.
Notice that the two female music instrument players are sitting in the background which has mostly to do with the indian way of thinking and living.

Kongar-ol Ondar Performing Throat Singing together with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

This video clip shows an amazing singer from Mongolia called Kongar-ol Ondar who is performing some incredible vocal music: in some parts of the tune he sings three notes together. And there are no overdubs or playback! He is performing together with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, but on this particular song he is singing a capella (which means vocal music or singing without accompaniment). Kongar-ol Ondar doesn’t need any accompaniment because he acompanies himself with his other voices. lol.
This technique is called throat singing and originally comes from the russian republic of Tuva, the technique is also practised by the people from Mongolia. It seems to be difficult to learn it, teachers say that it takes about 10 minutes to explain it and lots of hours of practice.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones have been playing for over 14 years now, performing shows in genres like bluegrass, jazz and fusion. Bela Fleck himself plays the electric banjo and the group likes to be creative. They never play the same show twice in a row and like to bring in new elements like they do here with the throat singing of Kongar-ol Ondar.
If you like to listen to more throat singing and vocal music videos, feel free to visit this page with more examples.

Latin Music Lesson by Rebeca Mauleon Teaching the Clave Concept

Rebeca Mauleon is dedicated to music and teaching it, giving private lessons as well as clinics and master classes. She specially likes afro-carribbean music and has been teaching about it in many universities and colleges around the world. She is a writer too and her “critically acclaimed books on Latin music have been adopted into the programs of such prestigious institutions as the Berklee College of Music in Boston and Stanford University”.
In this video, Rebeca talks about and demonstrates the clave concept which is present in all latin music styles. It is played originally by the instrument with the same name, clave, which consists of two wood sticks, one hitting the other, in a very basic pattern. This pattern counts with two bars, having two beats in one bar and three beats in the second bar (or the other way around). Notice that the time is 4/4, not 5/4!

Turkish Folk Music with a Polyphonic Flavor from the Black Sea Region

Watch this video with a turkish choir singing an ancient tune from the Black Sea region. Human voice is one of the nicest sounding music instruments and people sing around the whole world. When arranged for various voices, the tunes become much more interesting than the antique medieval choir music sung during the services of the catholic church.
The different voices can simultaneously sing different notes and so build a chord. Then of course, the melodies must follow certain rules in order to stay within the harmonies without sounding dissonant. One of the most illustrative methods for understanding and writing music for up to four voices is Harmonielehre by Arnold Schoenberg who shows the rules for the independent voices as well as the resulting chords and the rules the voices must follow in relation with the other voices in order to build the typical western counterpoint and in relation with the harmonies established by the simultaneously sounding voices. This type of arrangement is called polyphonic music.