TNB Night Owl – Traditional Music Samples

Ceremonial mask from the island of Bali.
Ceremonial mask from the island of Bali. Image captured by the News Blender.

For a change of pace, sometimes it’s refreshing to listen to music that’s different than what we’re accustomed to. In that spirit, the Night Owl presents samples of traditional music from non-Western cultures around the world. In all honesty, I don’t really know much about any of this music or the cultures that produced it. The great thing about music, though, is that it’s universal. You don’t have to understand the language to appreciate the sound.

To ease the transition for Western ears, let’s start with Batzorig Vaanchig, a Mongolian throat singer. From what I can gather, he’s one of the best at what he does, and he’s really wired into social media. This first video is with his daughter, who’s keeping time with what appears to be the spine of an animal – probably a traditional percussion instrument in ancient Mongolia!

“Mongolian Throat Singing With My Daughter” (3:23):

Next, an international blend of Mongolian throat singing and Latvian bagpipes and drums. I think the Latvian group’s name is Auli. If you like Batzorig’s throat singing, search YouTube using his name. He’s uploaded a bunch of his best stuff, and performs in traditional Mongol attire.

“Hunnu Guren – Batzorig Vaanchig & Auli” (3:58):

Jumping to the South Pacific island of Bali, this music is played on the gamelan.

“Gamelan Bali (Balinese Gamelan) – Traditional Music” (3:45):

Now we go to Armenia. This music is either called “Argonauts” performed by Cabeiri or “Decaelus Purpuratus” performed by Kalaedo… the person who posted the video lists two song names and two artists, so hopefully it’s one or the other.

“Armenian duduk solo” (4:52):

Going back further in time, Shaanxi Changan, a “Female Traditional Music Troupe” performs the…
“Ancient Music Of Tang Dynasty” (27:19):

Shifting to the Middle East, one can easily imagine a group of people like this were common in antiquity, who were perhaps travellers in a caravan, or villagers, entertaining themselves after sunset.

“Traditional (Classial) Arabic Music from Kuwait (8:47):

For some reason, this Indian classical music seems familiar.

“Amazing Carnatic music | Jayanthi Kumaresh | Raga Shanmukhapriya | Saraswati Veena | Music of India” (5:54):

Easing us back home to more familiar music, Ronald Roybal is a Native American flutist and guitarist who, in his own words, tries “to make indigenous music more accessible to non-Indian people”.

“Ronald Roybal –  The Circle Stone / Sacred Mountain (Santa Fe, New Mexico)” (6:36):

Question of the Night: Do you have any favorite music of the non-Western, or just unusual, variety? If you do, please cite artist and song names, or a link!

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About Richard Doud 502 Articles
Learning is a life-long endeavor. Never stop learning. No one is right all the time. No one is wrong all the time. No exceptions to these rules.