Playlist:  World Music 101: Ethnographic Video for the Classroom by Samantha Lubrano

The videos in this playlist map onto commonly taught musical styles and traditions in basic undergraduate world music classes. Geographic coverage includes Africa, Asia, Europe, The Middle
East, North America, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Oceania
Duration / Pages
Date added
A Griot's Story
directed by Adam Rozanski; produced by Ozumi Films (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 2008), 56 mins  
Africa: Burkina Faso. Griot Traditions. Griots are wandering African musicians considered to be a repository of the oral tradition. This film focuses on a master drummer, Adame Drama of Burkina Faso, a descendant of a long line of griots. He is a contemporary griot whose mission in life is to preserve his heritage and pass it on the next generation.
2 Nov 2020
Living Cultures, The Baaka Opera
directed by Jean Queyrat, fl. 2001, in Living Cultures (Paris, Ile-de-France: ZED (Film production), 2006), 51 mins  
Africa: Central African Republic. Pygmie Culture and Music. In the heart of Central Africa's equatorial forest live the Baaka pygmies. Their life is a never-ending song that expresses their intense spirituality and their deep communion with the forest. Produced under the High Patronage of Unesco, this film follows the daily lives of a group of Baaka, whose lives revolve around hunting, honey gathering and singing.
2 Nov 2020
Gweru Women AIDS Prevention Project and the Mbira in Zimbabwe
directed by Jiri Novak, fl. 2012 and Otto Kallus, fl. 2011, in Unusual Cultures (New York: Big Media, 2012), 26 mins  
Africa: Zimbabwe. Mbira. The mbira, or thumb piano, is an integral component of Shona traditions, history and daily life. Here the instrument is introduced as an element of an AIDS prevention program in a Zimbabwean village.
2 Nov 2020
The Musical Steppes of Mongolia
written by Alain Desjacques, 1956-; directed by Heidi Draper, fl. 1994; produced by Heidi Draper, fl. 1994, Heidi Draper Production (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 1995), 51 mins  
Asia: Mongolia. Throat Singing. Alain Desjacques, a well-known ethnomusicologist, takes us on a pilgrimmage to find and record the best traditional musicians and singers on the steppes of Mongolia. We hear part of an epic song which takes the singer seven days to perform, completely from memory. The venerable flutist, Narantsogt, performs inside his yurt, producing diphonic sounds that mimic nature.
2 Nov 2020
Living Cultures, The Quest for the Gongs
directed by Jérôme Segur, fl. 2001; produced by Manuel Catteau, fl. 2007, in Living Cultures (Paris, Ile-de-France: ZED (Film production), 2006), 51 mins  
Asia: Vietnam. Gong-Making. In the mountains of the southeast Vietnam, Ma Bio, a Chu Ru woman, is one the few people who plays the gong, an ancestral drum considered an Oral Masterpiece of Human Heritage by Unesco. She teaches the gong to the young generation of her village.
2 Nov 2020
Unwritten Music of the Orient, Adaptable Kingdom: Music and Dance from Nepal (Himalayas)
directed by Deben Bhattacharya, 1921-2001; produced by Seabourne Enterprises, in Unwritten Music of the Orient (Montpelier, VT: Multicultural Media, 2004), 27 mins  
Asia: This film takes the viewer to a kingdom in the Himalayas, where tribal animism, Buddhism, and Hinduism live in harmony. In the folklore of Nepal, religious mask-dances with the sound of large barrel drums illustrate the age-old battle between good and evil. We also hear a gayen, the itinerant singer of the Nepalese folk tradition, side-by-side with temple songs.
2 Nov 2020
Oh, You Black Bird: The Forgotten Holocaust of the Romanies
written by B. Rychik; directed by B. Rychik; produced by Czech Television (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 2001), 59 mins  
Europe: The Czech Republic. Roma Communities and Culture. Although it is acknowledged that the Gypsies were the victims of the Nazi scourge, this downtrodden group has seldom told its story to the outside world. The Gypsies put their suffering into mournful songs which survive today. The film is laced with their music and their memories.
2 Nov 2020
A Kabul Music Diary
directed by John Baily, fl. 1973 (London, England: Royal Anthropological Institute, 2003), 52 mins  
The Middle East: Afghanistan. Post-Taliban Musical Landscapes. Ethnomusicologist John Baily returns to Kabul to see what is happening in the world of music one year after the defeat of the Taliban. The film documents a variety of musical activities, including performances of rubab lute music by Kabul's traditional musicians, songs of Afghan orphans, the Music Department of Kabul university and a student pop group playing electric guitars and keyboard. Implicitly, the film identifies some of the dilemmas facing those seeking to help Afghans rebuild their music culture.
2 Nov 2020
Across the Border: Afghan Musicians exiled in Peshawar
directed by John Baily, fl. 1973 (London, England: Royal Anthropological Institute, 2008), 54 mins  
The Middle East: Afghanistan. Music and Refugees. This documentary, directed by John Baily, features Afghanistan musicians exiles in Peshawar.
2 Nov 2020
Herat Films: The Annual Cycle of Music in Herat
directed by John Baily, fl. 1973; produced by John Baily, fl. 1973 (London, England: Royal Anthropological Institute, 1983), 54 mins  
The Middle East: Afghanistan. Traditional Genres and Styles. These videos were edited from seven hours of Super 8 film shot by John Baily during two years of ethnomusicological fieldwork carried out in the Herat region of western Afghanistan between 1973 and 1977. The films are of special interest because of the damage suffered by this region during many years of civil war.
2 Nov 2020
Spirits For Sale
directed by Folke Johansson; produced by Folke Johansson (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 2008), 59 mins  
North America: The United States. The Navajo Nation, Culture and Pow-Wows. In this film we hear from a professor of Native American history in San Antonio who discusses the five hundred tribes who lived in the US centuries ago and recalls the massacres they suffered. Gayle Ross, a respected Cherokeeteacher, feels Americans do not understand native people. Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota nation is deeply disturbed by the entire arena of cultural exploitation. Music, dance and pow-wow culture are woven throughout.
2 Nov 2020
Slack Key: The Hawaiian Way
directed by Eddie Kamae, 1927-; produced by Myrna Kamae, fl. 1970 and Rodney A. Ohtani, fl. 1998 (Honolulu, HI: Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, 1993), 1 hour 1 mins  
North America: The United States. Hawaiian Musical Traditions. This film is a moving journey into the beauty and meaning of Hawaiian slack key music. Director Eddie Kamae’s rare combination of master musician and cinematic storyteller is the key to showing how Hawaii’s cultural traditions and the ki ho’alu guitar intertwine – and opening the door to greater love of that music. Candid interviews and archival images combine with the music of many virtuoso performers, from legendary Fred Punahou and Gabby Pahinui to Raymond Kane and today’s Ledward Kaapana, to tell the slack key story from the 1830s to the present.
2 Nov 2020
directed by Robert Boonzajer-Flaes, fl. 1988; interview by Maarten Rens, fl. 1991 (London, England: Royal Anthropological Institute, 1986), 53 mins  
North America: The United States. Music at the Texas-Mexico Border. The film confronts the accordion music of Chicano immigrants in southern Texas with the traditional music of accordion players in Austria. Without making any final judgments on the ‘roots’ of ‘conjunto’ music of the Chicanos, the film is able to reveal the different claims to ethnic identity. Most interestingly, Chicanos in Mexico and Texas and Austrians comment upon each others’ way of playing Polka.
2 Nov 2020
directed by Elizabeth Massie and Matthew Buzzell; produced by Elizabeth Massie and Matthew Buzzell (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 2009), 1 hour  
North America: The United States. Mariachi Music in America. Musically stunning and emotionally compelling this film follows a group of Latina musicians as they break the gender barrier to perform mariachi music in America with passion and gusto. Along with a brief history of mariachi music, the film interweaves portraits of the women who often find their personal lives conflict with their desire to be full-time musicians.
2 Nov 2020
El Charanguero
directed by Jeffrey Briggs, fl. 1994; produced by Jeffrey Briggs, fl. 1994 and Simona Briggs, fl. 1984, Simona Productions (Montpelier, VT: Multicultural Media, 1994), 56 mins  
Central and South America: An intimate portrait of Jaime Torres, the world's foremost performer on the charango, a small stringed instrument created by the Andean Indians of South America. This is a rare inside view of the traditional music and rituals (including a ritual to Pachamama, Mother Earth) of the Indians of the Quebrada, a mountainous region of northern Argentina that was the southernmost part of the Inca empire. The film also contains dramatic concert footage, Jaime's band in practice, scenes from a Bolivian neighborhood in Buenos Aires, the dancing of a chacarera, as well as Jaime talking about his music, his culture and his life.
2 Nov 2020
Mangrove Music
directed by Carlo A. Cubero, fl. 2006; produced by University of Manchester. Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology (Manchester, England: University of Manchester. Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, 2006), 49 mins  
The Caribbean: The Caribbean island of Culebra is located between Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico and the English-speaking Virgin Islands. Musicians from Culebra draw inspiration from a variety of regional, national and global influences when composing and producing their distinctive music. This film follows two music groups from the island of Culebra and specifically looks into the processes and relationships that constitute an island musical identity.
2 Nov 2020
Pesepesega a le Gataula: Traditional Samoan Songs of the Gataula
directed by Steven Percival, fl. 2002 (Apia, Tuamasaga District: Paradigm Documentaries, 2008), 1 hour 2 mins  
Oceania: Samoa. Gataula Singing Traditions. The Gataula is a men's singing group from the village of Asua in Savaii. This film captures over an hour of singing and includes a brief commentary in the Samoan language. The group performed for Their Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta'isi and Masiofo Filifilia Tamesese Ta'isi during a visit they made to the village in early January 2008.
2 Nov 2020
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