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Expanding Horizons:

World Music in the Bandroom

Presented by

Michael Sweeney

Director of Band Publications – Hal Leonard

Question:

“Why study music from around world? Why not just play music from THIS country?”

(an administrator or parent might ask)

Answer:

“Our” music is a result of musical influences from outside our country. (Unless we only speak of the music of Native North Americans). Similarly, we study “world” history and not just the history of our own country.

Exploring music from around the world is a powerful way to expand our students’ limited world view, as well as adding much needed variety to our concert programming. Learning to celebrate and appreciate cultural differences (rather than being fearful of them) can lead to increased global awareness, and help us all become more tolerant and understanding citizens of our planet.

Music is not really a “universal language” yet the way it permeates our daily lives certainly is universal. We can recognize a common bond with all cultures using music as:

• An expression of what’s happening in our lives – whether joyful or tragic

• A celebration of important events and milestones

• A basis for dance and movement

• A means for coping and healing

And, of course, there are specific differences in music between cultures:

• Types of instruments used

• Melodic and harmonic concepts

• Use of rhythm and meter

The purpose of this clinic is NOT to be a comprehensive study of all styles, but rather offer a snapshot of a select portion of the endless varieties of the world’s music and ways to relate these to the modern concert band. Works for concert band listed in this clinic represent only a sampling of available titles demonstrating a “world music” flavor from many different publishers, and in varying degrees of authenticity. With the inherent limitations of the school band format and traditional band instruments, it’s often impossible to represent music from other cultures in a truly authentic manner. However, “authenticity” may be more accurately reflected in the understanding of the culture and the meaning behind the music, rather than simply focusing on the mechanics of a musical performance.

Hopefully this clinic will serve as a springboard and spark an interest in further study into the exciting richness of our ever-changing musical world.

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The Question of Authenticity:

When the music of different cultures is translated into music for the modern concert band, and using “Western” musical concepts and instruments, some degree of compromise is to be expected. How this compromise is handled becomes a critical factor when deciding the degree of authenticity in any given piece.

Ultimately we need to become immersed in the spirit of the music, and understand its function in everyday life – from the joy and exuberance of dance music, to the range of emotions expressed in song. World music can help us step outside the box of obsessing over “right notes” and a stuffy formal performance at the expense of finding the heart and soul of what the music means.

Most Authentic

• Uses actual melodies and harmonies, along with authentic instruments

• Uses actual melodies and harmonies, adapted for band instruments

• Addition of tasteful harmony, and concert band instrumentation

• Original new themes are used, but in a characteristic style

• Original new themes are used, but lacking a characteristic style

• Rhythmic and/or melodic stereotypes that feel inappropriate

• Only the title itself hints at any authenticity (WINO - World In Name Only)

Least Authentic

A Strategy for Implementation:

• Identify a region, and select an appropriate band piece

• Research and listen to authentic sounds, and learn about the culture

• Compare these musical elements with the band piece and discuss with students

• If possible, contact local people with this ethnicity and get their input on the process

• Build a lesson plan, including a list of student outcomes

• Involve other school departments (ex. History, Art, Drama

)

• Consider using some sort of multi-media presentation at the concert

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I. Native North American

Background:

With so many different Native American cultures, generalizations about the music are very difficult. However, common ground can be found in the notion that music often serves as a connection to spirituality or life-cycle events including ceremonies of worship, prayer, and healing. In some native cultures, the word for “music” and “medicine” is the same! Music is viewed as communal property – passed down through generations or originating from ancestral and natural spirits in dreams and visions – rather than something that is newly composed. As in many cultures throughout the world, dance plays in integral role in the musical styles.

Stylistic Features:

The voice and the messages conveyed in a song are of primary importance, although often accompanied by instruments. Harmony is rare in Native American music, and melodies are usually based on scales of 3 to 6 notes. A call-and-response style is common between a leader and a group, and most learning is by rote.

Instruments:

End-blown flutes which are made from wood, cane, or bone are common. There is a wide variety of percussion instruments, with the single-headed frame drum most widespread among the various tribes. Rattles are common and can be made from beads or shells attached to sticks, containers of pebbles or seeds, or attached to the clothing of dancers. The role of the percussion is usually to serve as a drone-like backdrop to the song or dance.

Band Literature Examples:

Title

Composer/Arranger

Grade

Publ.

Aztalan (City of Mystery) Dreamcatcher (Iroquois Folk Melody) Drums of the Saamis (First Nation, Alberta, Canada) Eagle Song (Squamish) The Gathering of Eagles (Squamish) Grandmother Song (Mohican) Lament and Tribal Dances Legend of the Ghost Dance (Sioux) Spirit of the Wolf

Michael Sweeney Robert Buckley

1.5

HL

1.5

HL

Samuel R. Hazo Bob Baker/Robert Buckley Bob Baker/Robert Buckley Brent Michael David Michael Sweeney Paul Jennings Michael Oare

3.5

HL

1.5

HL

3

HL

3

BandQuest

3

HL

2

HL

1

HL

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II. West African

Background:

Although impossible to generalize given the wide variety and number of different cultures within the “West African” region, music of this area often relies heavily on percussion instruments and happens in social situations not necessarily with the primary goal of creating “art.” The music is for ceremonies, celebrations, communicating with each other, and just coming together as a society. Music is viewed as simply an integral part of every day life, rather than a specific art form on its own.

Stylistic Features:

Where melodies are used, these are often simple in nature: diatonic or pentatonic. In contrast to the percussion, the melodies are rhythmically usually rather simple.

One aspect of African music is “Agbekor” from the Ewe (EH-way) people of coastal West Africa, and which originated as war music. The percussion playing incorporates elements of polyrhythms, repetition, call and response, and improvisation. The challenge is to hear the individual drum patterns as they relate to the entire musical texture, rather than focusing on the individual instruments.

Instruments:

In a typical Ewe percussion ensemble, a variety of instruments can be used to serve the following primary functions:

• Bell part (or Gankogui) - iron bell similar to large Agogo Bells, or Cowbells

• Gourd Rattle (or Axatse) - can be played by variety of shakers, rattles, shekere, etc.

• Single head drums (or Kaganu, Kidi, Kloboto, Totodzi) - varying in size, and can be played by toms, frame drums, djembes, etc.

Classroom Exercises:

1. basic two-part exercises showing 3 against 2 patterns

2. more complex vocal /clapping/tapping patterns showing each part of the drum ensemble (bell= “ding”; rattle= “chah”; drums= clapping and tapping)

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Resources: Titon, Jeff Todd. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World’s

Resources:

Titon, Jeff Todd. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World’s Peoples New York: Schirmer Books, 1996

General information on African music:

Article explaining Ewe drumming:

African grooves:

Band Literature Examples:

Title

Composer/Arranger

Grade

Publ.

African Portrait African Sketches Distant Thunder of the Sacred Forest Hambone

James Curnow James Curnow Michael Sweeney Libby Larsen

1

Curnow Music

2

HL

2

HL

3

BandQuest

from other regions of Africa:

 

African Harmony (with opt. Choir) Kenya Contrasts

Johan de Meij William Himes

4

Amstel

2

Curnow Music

Serengeti (Central Africa) John

Higgins

2

HL

South African Suite (South Africa)

John Higgins

2

HL

Songs

of Africa (South Africa)

1.5

HL

Today is the Gift (East Africa)

Johnnie Vinson Samuel R. Hazo

4

HL

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III. Latin American

Background:

The music of Latin America is a diverse mixture influenced by African music (from slaves transplanted by European settlers), Spanish traditions (from early conquering armies and settlers) and also music of the indigenous peoples.

Stylistic Features:

Covering a broad range of music styles and cultural regions, the music of Latin America can include the following. Each region has its own distinct musical characteristics and use of specific instruments.

• Argentina - tango

• Brazil - samba, bossa nova

• Caribbean - reggae, merengue

• Cuba - mambo, rumba, salsa

• Mexico - mariachi

• many others

Resources:

Introduction to Latin Rhythms:

Band Literature Examples:

Title

Composer/Arranger

Grade

Publ.

Amparito Roca Amparito Roca Blue Mambo Danza Final (from Estancia) Danza Final (from Estancia) Danzón No. 2 El Salon Mexico Joropo Seis Manuel (from Islas y Montañas)

Texidor/Winter Texidor/Fagan Michael Sweeney Alberto Ginastera Ginastera/arr. Longfield Marquez/arr. Nickel Copland/arr. Hindsley Johan de Meij Shelley Hanson

4

Boosey

3

Boosey

3

HL

5

Boosey

3

Boosey

5

Peermusic

5

Boosey

5

Amstel

4

Boosey

Tocata & La Tumba (from Islas y Montañas) Shelley Hanson

4

Boosey

Vientos y Tangos

Michael Gandolfi

5

Boosey

Volver a la Montaña (from Islas y Montañas) Shelley Hanson

4

Boosey

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IV. Celtic

Background:

Evolving from the early folk music of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, “Celtic” music has come to broadly encompass music from these countries. Although tunes have been notated, collected and published, the music is more traditionally passed down aurally from generation to generation. With widespread Irish emigration in the 1800s, particularly to the United States and Atlantic Canada, this music has continued to evolve and flourish. The “bluegrass” and country music of Appalachia is heavily influenced by Celtic music.

Stylistic Features:

The music tends to focus on melodies which are richly ornamented, and often varied each time they are played. As a result the accompanying harmonies tend to feature rather simple and straight-forward chords and progressions. Common modes: Major, Mixolydian, and Dorian.

The music can be loosely organized in the following categories:

• Vocal music - Folk songs, laments, and “old style” unaccompanied (Sean-nós)

• Instrumental music for listening - such as harp tunes, airs, etc.

• Dance music Jigs: notated in 6/8, usually in two sections of 8 measures each Reels: notated in 4/4 Hornpipes: notated in 4/4 but played in a lilting “swing” feel Polkas: notated in 2/4 Slip Jigs: notated in 9/8 Slides: notated in 12/8

Instruments:

In traditional Irish music the most common instruments are:

• Fiddle (violin) - dating from the 17th century in Ireland

• Irish Flute - typically made of wood and unique to Ireland

• Tin Whistle - or “penny” whistle, dating back to the 12th century

• Uilleann pipes (“elbow” pipes) - cousin of the Scottish bagpipes

• Celtic Harp - originally wire-strung, no pedals, and dating from the 15th century

• Bodhrán - frame drum with goatskin head and struck with a double-ended stick

Other instruments common today, but appearing later in history include:

• Accordion and Concertina (19th century)

• Mandolin

• Bouzouki

• Four-string Tenor Banjo (19th century)

• Guitar

• Hammered Dulcimer

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Resources:

History of traditional Irish Music:

Detailed description of tune types:

Band Literature Examples:

Title

Composer/Arranger

Grade

Publ.

An Irish Party in Third Class

arr. Richard L. Saucedo

3

HL

(traditional tunes “Blarney Pilgrim” and “John Ryan’s Polka”)

 

An Irish Rhapsody At Kitty O’Shea’s (incorporates several traditional tunes) Celtic Air and Dance (also #2, #3, #4) Celtic Air and March Celtic Farewell Down by the Salley Gardens Dublin Dances Dublin Sketches Fantasy on an Irish Air Irish Legends Irish Rising (rebellion songs) Irish Tune from County Derry Kirkpatrick’s Muse Molly on the Shore

Clare Grundman Johan de Meij

3

Boosey

5+

Amstel

arr. Michael Sweeney

1.5

HL

arr. Michael Sweeney Michael Sweeney arr. Michael Sweeney Jan Van der Roost James Curnow Richard L. Saucedo arr. James Curnow arr. Michael Sweeney

1.5

HL

3

HL

2

HL

3

De Haske

4

HL

2

HL

2

HL

2

HL

Percy Aldridge

Grainger

4

Southern

Jay Bocook

4

HL

Percy Aldridge

Grainger

5+

Southern

(traditional reels “Temple Hill” and “Molly on the Shore”)

 

Mountain Thyme Sòlas Ané (Yesterday’s Joy) Selkie (A Scottish Legend) Smash the Windows Two Celtic Folksongs Two Scottish Dances

Samuel R. Hazo Samuel R. Hazo Johnnie Vinson Robert Xavier Rodríguez arr. Paul Lavender arr. Johnnie Vinson

4

HL

4

HL

1.5

HL

4

BandQuest

2

HL

1.5

HL

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V. Southeast Europe

Background:

The Balkan region of Southeast Europe takes its name from the Balkan Mountains and includes the countries bordering this range. This area of the world has experienced political turmoil for centuries, yet the folk music has developed a distinctive and recognizable flavor. Similar to much of the world’s music, dance and celebration play an integral role.

Stylistic Features:

Melodically and harmonically the music has an exotic flavor resulting from use of distinctive scales. Here is the “Hungarian Minor Scale” used in much of Eastern European music.

Minor Scale” used in much of Eastern European music. Rhythmically the approach is opposite from the

Rhythmically the approach is opposite from the music of West African where the focus is on dividing (and subdividing) a pattern into smaller beats. The music of the Balkan region focuses on combining smaller beats into larger forms thereby assembling complex rhythmic groupings that correlate with specific dance steps. Below are types of Bulgarian folk dances which incorporate “short” and “long” rhythmic units.

dance steps. Below are types of Bulgarian folk dances which incorporate “short” and “long” rhythmic units.

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Resources:

Explanation of irregular meters: (includes YouTube links) http://www.fusionmagazine.org/against-the-odds-an-exploration-of-bulgarian-rhythms/

Basics of Bulgarian Dance, including costume:

Teaching the “Ruchenitza Bulgarian Folk Dance” - 7/8 (basic steps)

Dance step combinations:

Band Literature Examples:

Title

Composer/Arranger

Grade

Publ.

Albanian Dance Balkanya (Three Balkanese Dances) Cyprian Suite Greek Folk Song Suite Puszta (Four Gipsy Dances) Rikudim (Four Israeli Folk Dances) Slavonic Dances Slavonic Dance No. 3 Tirana

Shelley Hanson Jan Van der Roost Carol Barnett Franco Cesarini Jan Van der Roost Jan Van der Roost Dvorak/arr. Curnow Dvorak/arr. Longfield Carol Barnett

4

Boosey

4

De Haske

4

Boosey

4

De Haske

4

De Haske

4

De Haske

5

HL

2

HL

4

Boosey

Related works:

Armenian Rhapsody Arabesque

Johnnie Vinson Samuel R. Hazo

3

HL

5

HL

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VI. East Asia (China, Japan, Korea)

Background:

This vast area of the world has a rich musical heritage dating back centuries. Traditional folk music from these countries features instrumental music played on a variety of plucked, struck, or bowed stringed instruments as well as woodwind and percussion instruments. Vocal music is usually performed solo rather than in choral groups, and often in a thin or falsetto style.

Stylistic Features and Instruments:

Traditionally most melodies are constructed using the pentatonic scale, often homophonic in nature without complex harmonies or extensive accompaniment.

China:

One of the earliest instruments dating to ancient times is the “guqin” (or just “qin”) and is a plucked string instrument similar to a zither. This instrument tends to be very quiet and delicate in nature. Various sounds are created by plucking, stopped strings, and also use of harmonics. Emotion and inflection can also be represented by sliding sounds from note to note. Flutes and pipes made of bamboo have also been used for centuries.

Japan:

The distinctive Japanese “shakuhachi” bamboo flute in the hands of a skilled player can produce a rich variety of tone colors and inflections. Other important Japanese instruments include the “biwa” (short-neck fretted lute), and also various sizes of “taiko” drums which in ancient times were used to intimidate an enemy in battle, and also as a means of communication.

Korea:

Early folk music was based around a set of rhythmic cycles and melodies derived from established modes. Related to other Asian stringed instruments, the zither-like “gayageum” is one of the best-known Korean instruments. The “daegeum” is a large transverse flute made of bamboo and with a buzzing membrane which creates a distinctive sound. Percussion instruments include a variety of drums, gongs, bells, and chimes.

Band Literature Examples:

Asian Folk Rhapsody

Richard L. Saucedo

2

HL

Chinese Folk Rhapsody

James Curnow

2

HL

Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song

Samuel R. Hazo

4

HL

Japanese Folk Song Suite

Bin Kaneda

4

Shawnee

Korean Folk Rhapsody

James Curnow

2

HL

The Life of a Samurai

Satoshi Yagisawa

5

De Haske

Reflections on an Old Japanese Folk Song Philip Sparke

5

De Haske

Snow (Yuki)

Robert Buckley

1

HL

Variations on a Korean Folk Song

John Barnes Chance

5

Boosey

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About the clinician:

Michael Sweeney is currently Director of Band Publications for Hal Leonard LLC in Milwaukee, WI, and is directly responsible for the development, production, recording and marketing of new publications for school bands. As a composer and arranger he is particularly known for his writing at the younger levels for concert band and jazz. Since joining the company in 1982, Hal Leonard has published over 500 of his compositions and arrangements.

Mr. Sweeney is a 1977 graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), where he earned a degree

in music education and studied composition with Bernard Heiden, John Eaton and Donald Erb.

Prior to working for Hal Leonard he was a band director in Ohio and Indiana, working with successful concert, jazz and marching programs at all levels from elementary to high school.

A winner of multiple ASCAP awards, many of Michael’s compositions have become staples in

the repertoire for young bands. His works appear on numerous state contest lists and are included

in the acclaimed “Teaching Music Through Performance” series by GIA Publications. He has

received commissions ranging from middle and high school bands to the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Canadian Brass, and his music is regularly performed throughout the world. Michael is also in demand as clinician and conductor for honor bands and festivals.

Michael resides in the Milwaukee area where he enjoys fishing and playing traditional Irish music.

Selected works:

Imperium

1992

Ancient Voices

1994

Black Forest Overture

1996

The Forge of Vulcan

1997

Legends in the Mist

1997

Beyond the Seven Hills

1999

Knights of Destiny

2000

Lament and Tribal Dances

2001

Distant Thunder of the Sacred Forest

2003

Fires of Mazama

2005

Down by the Salley Gardens (arr.)

2005

Rumble on the High Plains

2005

Celtic Air and Dance

2007

Silverbrook

2007

Quad City Stomp

2008

Passages

2009

Earthdance

2010

Legend of Devil’s Lake

2012

Prelude and Pursuit

2012

Last Full Measure

2013

Due North

2014

Rock, River, Tree

2015

Celtic Farewell

2016

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