Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways showcasing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

Without support from authoritive references this site would not be possible.

In Counterpoint of Cultural Contrast

HomeClassical European AmericanNative FolkMiddle EastIndian-AsianJapaneseAfricanAnd More
Fiddle & BluegrassCountry/balladJazz & Blues
Throat SingingNative American


Barbershop harmony is based on four part singing. One of the rules when writing this style of music is that none of the four parts can be doubled. In other words, no unison or octave intervals are used. Each voice must at all times carry its own part and be an integral part of the harmonic structure.

For four part writing that means utilizing very complex chord structures. Dominant seven chords, such as C,E,G, Bflat are commonly used but many varieties of major, minor, augmented and diminished forms of " six", "seven" and even "nine" chords are used as well.

Barbershop singing utilizes the physics of overtone harmonic generation. A good quartet works hard at blending parts together in just the right combination of tone and loudness so as to "ring" the chords. When this is done well pitches may be heard that are not actually sung. The blending of the harmonies themselves produces a "fifth" tone.

The physics involved is difficult to capture in a recording so often the "chord ringing" effect will be lost; but, trust me, it is there in a live performance,

  The Barbershop Harmony Society is proud to present your 2009 International Quartet Champions....representing the Central States District...Crossroads!!!!!!!! They opened their semi-final set with this rendition of 'Lucky Old Sun' arranged by David Wright.

Crossroads-2009 International Quartet Champions


Rap is a type of music that is deeply personal. It is a product and voice of frustraion and a vehicle of statement. Often woes of racism, substandard living and/or political statements are heard. Outcry against injustice and pleas for equal rights lie at the heart of Rap.

This being the case, many listeners not personally involved in the dynamics of Rap my find it vulgar and distasteful. Expression of generations old bitterness does not lend itself to socially excepted pleasantries and "niceness" of content.

Yet, Rap is surely a form of music in its own right. It showcases what we do to ourselves; and bring on to ourselves.

The music form is of interest. The voice is prominant while the instruments provide a constant repeating backdrop. Highly articulated vocal inflection, recitation and complex syncopation  contrast sharply with the simple 4/4 beat style of the accompaniment.

Lyrics and text are of central importance. The whole purpose of the music is to set the stage whereby the emotion, color and flavor of the message may be captured and implemented.

Both selections to the right are good examples of rap used both as a political tool and as an outlet for personal expression.

Rap is a form of music that stemmed from hip-hop culture. Hip hop is a lifestyle with its own lingo, dress code, etc. In the words of KRS-One, "hip-hop is something you live, rap is something you do."

Hip-Hop Defined:

Hip-hop is a form of popular music that's comprised mainly of emceeing and deejaying. The other two components that complete the four elements of hip-hop are graffiti and breakdancing. As hip-hop evolves into big business, the four elements (emceeing, deejaying, graffiti, and breakdancing) are constantly being merged with others like clothing trends, slang, and general mindset.

Hip-Hop Started in the Bronx:

A product of cross-cultural integration, rap is deeply rooted within ancient African culture and oral tradition. Hip-hop is believed to have originated in the Bronx by a Jamaican DJ named Kool Herc. Herc's style of deejaying involved reciting rhymes over instrumentals. At house parties, Herc would rap with the microphone, using a myriad of in-house references. Duplicates of Herc's house parties soon drifted through Brooklyn, Manhattan. Herc and other block party DJs helped spread the message of hip-hop around town and spawned tons of followers.

Hip-Hop As a Melting Pot:

Hip-hop as a musical melting pot is still evolving. It has become more eclectic, borrowing from soul, jazz and live instrumentations with the likes of De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and most recently Kanye West championing the ‘soulful rap’ movement.

Fear - 'Hate' (a Hip-Hop classic from '95) - new version!!!
Samples Special Ed "cause i'm coming with a hate only made from what it made me" from Crooklyn Dodgers' Crooklyn Dodgers, 1994.


juma4 September 07, 2008Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki by X Plastaz
This is East African / Tanzanian Hip Hop. Last video of the late mc Faza Nelly from X Plastaz, Tanzania's most well known hip hop crew who merge Swahili rap and traditional Maasai music. This video to the song 'Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki?' about poverty in Tanzania was partly recorded on top of Ol Doinyo Lengai, a remote, active volcano and the Maasai's 'Mountain of God' which had its 1st major eruption in years the day after Nelly died.

For a complete English translation of this song click on this link:




Native American Indian

It is amazing how the creativity of mankind takes the universal tools of melody, harmony, rhythm and style, combining in different ways, forming such diverse manners of art and expression! From the East Indian, half a world away, are the American Indian tribes; the Native Americans.

Much more on Native American music is available on this website. Just click on the "Native American" tab



Note: This site on "Global Music Appreciation" is a work in progress. Thie main purpose of being online at this point of development is to allow collaborators and friends to view the progress, make suggestions and provide comments.

You may find "scratch notes" concerning future implementaion of goals. Pages will still be partially complete or even blank.

Yet, there is still an ever-evolving growing selection of music from around the world linked too in this site. You are welcome to look, play and experience music as performed from around the world.