Professional / Music Essay

Music Cultures of the World

From ancient times, music has occupied a very important part of human culture. It is very significant in almost all parts of human activities. There is music for almost all activities of men. Music in different aspects of human culture makes our culture even more beautiful.

It is often said that music is the universal language of the world and this rightly so because you do not have to understand or speak the language of a particular place before you enjoy the music they produce, music can break through any language barrier.

All over the world, there are different types of music that different groups of people make and this is even one of the things that make music a very beautiful thing. The different musical cultures that exist all over the world is what this article is about. Some of the most popular musical cultures of people all over the world are explained below.

• The Jazz music of America

The jazz music is a genre that originated from the African Americans of the United States in the 19th and 20th century, it started in the communities of New Orleans and with time spread through all other parts of the country.

The jazz music often referred to as the ‘classical music of America’ since the 1920s has been recognized as a major form of musical expression.

Jazz music is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Although jazz music is often regarded has difficult to define, because it contains many subgenres, the main defining element of jazz music Is improvisation. The centrality of this improvisation is majorly due to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues which was a form of folk music that arose among slaves that worked on plantations. These songs were structured around a call and response pattern which can still be noticed in the jazz music today.

• The music of Sudan and South Sudan

The musical history of Sudan has been through a lot of ups and downs which started with the strict sharia law that was implemented in 1989. This law affected the growth and the development of music as various notated musicians were inhibited from performing freely. At this time, the Europeans contributed greatly to the musical balance of the country by supplying new musical instruments, musical styles, a military band and more.

Sudan also has a lot of traditional music with a lot of value and beauty. Examples of this Sudanese traditional music include the Dervish music, Nuba music, Haqibah music, and the southern Sudanese lyrical music.

The modern Sudanese music evolved into what was known as the post –Haquibah style which dominated in the 1940s, 1950s and the 1960s. This period was marked by the introduction of tonal instruments from the east and west. Introduction of instruments such as violin, accordion, oud, table, and bongo.

• Egyptian Music

Music has been an important part of Egyptian culture. The bible even documents the instruments played by the ancient Hebrews all of which were correlated in Egyptian archaeology.

The ancient Egyptians make use of music to appease their gods and also used music extensively in their religious activities. The ancient Egyptians even credited the invention of music to their god Bat who was the god of music.


Egyptian music played an important role in their folk stories, and they were commonly used in magic and rituals. During the Neolithic period of Egyptian history, rhythms were unvaried and the music was created to serve these rhythms. Other periods in which Egyptian music experienced a lot of development were the Neolithic period and the pre-dynastic period.

• Australian Music

Australian Music has an extensive history made up of unique and intriguing facts. The indigenous Australian music which is up to 40,000 to 60, 000 years old has produced a lot of unique music styles that are still respected and practiced today. In ancient times, the Australian music was majorly based on the music of Aborigines and the Torres Strait Islanders who were the major occupants of the land at that time. To these people, music formed a major part of their social, cultural and ceremonial activities. The early music of these people was characterized by the didgeridoo which was their major instrument at that time.

As centuries passed, the music of the people of Australia was influenced by the western and indigenous musical styles as Australia was one of the major settlements of the British colonies. These western influences acted the Australian folk music and the bush ballads such as Waltzing Matilda. But with time the Australian music blended and adjusted to this influence and even evolved to produce better music quality.

Presently, Australian music ranges across a broad section of trends concurrent with the trends in the United States and the United Kingdom.

• English Music

Throughout history, the United Kingdom has been noted to be one of the major producers of music and one of the major sources of music craft. The history of the United Kingdom draws its basis from church music (since it was one of the major Stronghold of the catholic church), western culture, traditional folk music and the instrumentation of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Later, around the 20th century, the influence of the United States began to affect the English Music but later the British explosion took place and the British rock bands and musicians begin to gain influence in the United States and the world at large.

English Music played an important role in their religion, folklore and also various other activities, that held significance in their culture.

So as you see although there are still a lot more music cultures in the worldMusic Cultures of the World, here are some important once to help you in understanding the diversity that exists in the various music genres around the world.

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