World music has often been an interesting and fascinating genre of music. Even if one does not necessarily understand the language that is spoken within the music, they can feel the emotions associated with that music in most cases, such as classical Persian music. World music encompasses a myriad of styles from around the world that can range from certain types of music genres blended together to that of traditional music that initiates from the country in which the singer is from. Music that has not originated from the United States is typically generalized as world music, but to the countries where the music came from, it is simply music. Hence, the implication is American in context because we as Americans are accustomed to familiarity rather than branching out to something unusual or different as far as musical tastes. World music helps to lift the barriers we have on cultures by expanding the palates we have of other countries' traditions and their cultural perspectives on sounds and musical styles suhc as Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
Huun-Huur-Tu is a music group from a particular area known as Tuva, along the border of Mongolia that is a Russian Federation republic. The group's style is one known as throat singing, where singers sing both notes and overtones. This allows for a distinctive melody to be performed. An overtone's sound is usually similar to that of a flute despite it emanating from the human voice. With Huun-Huur-Tu, the lyrics were not understood because they were in Tuvan. Tuvan throat singing is often described as deeply evolved and fresh and new. It was likened to a "person who could sing a sustained low note, while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally-by the same person, at the same time" ("Alash"). It was easy to see in the music clip how involved the singers of Huun-Huur-Tu were in what they were singing and saying within their songs. While listening to Huun-Huur-Tu, the group seemed extremely involved with the audience that was listening to them. The audience in turn, was also involved clapping after each performance as well as listening intently to what the members were saying in reference to the purpose of their singing. Musicians reach out to their audience.
Music has a profound connection to the identities of all of us, which is deepened only by us being opened to experiencing it audibly. Our era is moved by recognitions of sonic virtuality in that we are transported within the worldly music to certain fantasies. The sounds that come from certain types of instruments, and voices are definitive to us because they bridge the gap to our culture. Music then on a worldly scale is sound in motion harmonizing and bringing every culture together as one irrespective of the differences in cadence, inflection, tone and style. Music is experienced as a celebratory sign. The tensions between cultures are moved away through the precise characterization of diversity (Feld). Huun-Huur-Tu’s music is a musical journey that music lovers of all types can respond to regardless of not necessarily understanding the purpose of throat singing, or even the culture in which it has been derived from.
It can be said that world music lives up to the name in which it has been exercised. Much of the genre has opened an understanding of the contemporary and traditional histories of the countries in which the music comes from. Music such as that of the live performance of Huun-Huur-Tu promotes a cross-cultural understanding through the possibilities of individuals living and experiencing the effects of the tones and musical meanings of what is being communicated by fantasizing about what they mean and living them in reality.
"Alash." Alash Ensemble. 2013. Web. 14 June 2013. <http://www.alashensemble.com/>.
Feld, Steven. "A Sweet Lullaby for World Music." Public Culture 12.1 (2000): 145-171. Print.