Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Traditional Asian American Music: Idea Sketch

The umbrella term “Asian American” as applied to music may attempt to unite all forms of music stemming from Asian Americans into one category, but traditional styles of music from many different regions have influenced what Asian American music is today. These different traditions over the years have crossed boundaries and come together, providing much influence in some techniques and instruments used in Asian American music as well as becoming popular activities like Taiko. These regional styles differ in many ways, and it proves important to ascertain a background knowledge of these forms in order to better understand modern Asian American musical influence.


-pansori- long vocal and percussive music played by one singer and one drummer
-pungmul- drumming, dancing, and singing
-sanjo- played without a set rhythm, shifting tempos.
-zither and geomungo (6 stringed zither)
-haegum (2 stringed fiddle)
-daegeum (flute)
-piri (oboe)
-jing (large hanging gong)
-buk (barrel drum)


-oldest forms = shomyo (Buddhist chanting) and gagaku (orchestra court music)
-biwa hoshi- storytellers accompanied by lutes
-Min’yo- lute and taiko. Umbrella term for “folk” including work songs, religion songs, children’s songs, and festive songs
-Okinawan folk- uses different instrumentation than mainland Min’yo folk, and uses scales other than pentatonic which is found in min’yo
-biwa- lute
-shinobue (flute)
-sanshin- okanawa
-shamisen- used in mainland folk, unlike sanshin in Okanawa


-Bauls- mystic minstrels
-Bhangra- lively form of music and dance- festival of Sikhs
-Bhavageete- form of expressionist poetry and light music
-Dandiya- dance oriented folk
-Lavani- uses Dholak, song and dance


-Chinese opera
-Chinese folk
-Tibet- important in Tibetan Buddhism
-Guangxi- southern China
-Yunnan- southwest China
INSTRUMENTS (link to other wiki pages)
-Woodwind/persussion- dizi, sheng, paigu, gong
-Strings- erhu, zhonghu, dahu, banhu
-Plucked strings- guquin, sanxian, ruan, etc

Reggae in Asian-America: summary of findings

Reggae in Asian-America is a relatively unexplored area of study but there are musicians who have been successful. Byron Lee, Apache Indian and other Asian-American bands have succeeded in the reggae genre and there is a definitely Asian presence in Jamaica as well as other Caribbean communities around the world. Many attribute the ultimate success and widespread appeal of reggae music to the Asian presence during the early 70s, when the reggae genre was receiving attention from mainstream audiences. Pioneers like Byron Lee and Thomas Wong can be credited for the early success of dancehall, reggae, soca and other Caribbean-inspired musical genres.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wiki Brainstorm

Here's the list of the musical categories that we brainstormed in class:

Rock/subgenres (Yapei)
Musical Theater
Spoken Word
Folk/Acoustic (Ashley)
Traditional (Sarah)
Soca (Nureya)
Reggae (Kelsey)

Let's figure out who wants to cover which musical category for the rest of the term.