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World Music Day celebrated today

Jun 18, 2010, 2:27 PM

The Gambia will join the rest of the world to celebrate World Music Day today Friday 18 June 2010. The celebration is to remember the origins of the term World Music (in relation to the selling of this type of music) began in 1982 when World Music Day (Fete de la musique) was initiated in France. The celebration is expected to bring a lot of Gambian musicians to perform on stage, and is to be held at the Alliance Franco-Gambiene along Kairaba Avenue starting from 6 pm to 2 am.

According to a press release sent to Entertainment recently, the purpose of the celebration is to remember the World Music Day, which is to be celebrated every year on June 21.

The release further stated that World Music Day is an important way for music enthusiasts all over the world to hear the enormous diversity of sounds and styles which, collectively, amount to world music.

Although it primarily describes traditional music, the world music category also includes popular music from non-Western urban communities (e.g. South African township music) and non-European music forms that have been influenced by other so-called third-world music (e.g. Afro-Cuban music), although Western-style popular songs sourced from non-English-speaking countries in Western Europe (e.g. French pop music) would not generally be considered world music.

On the 29 June 1987 a meeting of interested parties gathered to capitalise on the marketing of this genre. Arguably, popular interest was sparked with the release in 1986 of Paul Simon’s Grace Land album. The concept behind the album was to express his own sensibilities using the sounds he had fallen in love with while listening to artists from Southern Africa. Before 1987, world music had a following, but it was still difficult for interested parties to sell their music to the larger music stores. The first concern of the meeting was to select the umbrella name that this new music would be listed under.

Suggestions included World Beat and prefixing words such as Hot or Tropical to existing genre titles, but World Music won after a show of hands, but initially it was not meant to be the title for a whole new genre, rather something which all of the record labels could place on the shelves of records in order to distinguish them during the forthcoming campaign.