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Stravinsky’s third ballet for Diaghilev was no piece of naive primitivism: he worked painstakingly with an expert on ancient Slavonic customs, Nikolay Roerich, to ensure the scenario’s ethnographic accuracy, and worked a number of published folk melodies into the score. Of those many already embodied the irregularities of metre and accentuation that The Rite exploits to such violent ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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In order to put Western classical music into a global and historical context, one must survey the music of ancient civilizations as well as the traditions of the non-Western world. From what is known of this music it was – and is – performed in a vast range of cultural environments and with many functions other than for entertainment in ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The earliest recorded dynasty in China, the Shang (c. 1766–c. 1122 bc), developed the system of writing that today offers a record of Chinese musical activity spanning 5,000 years. From these writings can be gained information on the destruction and reinvention of music theory through centuries of change: its mythological origins, theoretical basis, an inventory of court ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The South Asian region is centred on India and includes the neighbouring modern nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The region now called Pakistan saw the rise and fall of the Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world. Scarce archeological objects showing drums and an arched harp give a ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The vast Southeast Asian region includes the island republics of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the mainland states of Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. The mainland countries, particularly Vietnam, have been greatly influenced by Chinese culture and Buddhism. Indonesia has been influenced by Hinduism and Islam, and the Philippines ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The ancestors of the indigenous peoples of North and South America migrated from Asia across the frozen Bering Strait over 20,000 years ago. Even after millennia, some characteristics are shared between Oriental and Amerindian music: monophonic forms, large intervals, a tense vocal style, rattles and frame drums, and the importance of music in healing rituals. ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The Oceania region includes three principal areas – Melanesia (from the Bismarcks to Fiji), Polynesia (Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti and Samoa) and Micronesia (north of the equator and west of the International Date Line). The music of the Pacific islands (some 7,000 to 10,000) has been shaped by the alternating forces of isolation, migration and contact within ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Since classical antiquity, the varied cultures of Africa have fascinated Europeans, but it was only in the twentieth century that musicologists overcame the traditional concepts of ‘primitivism’ to discover the richness of the continent’s music. African performing arts are intimately bound to life – the music is woven into the fabric of society and culture. It is inseparable from ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The Near East includes two of the world’s earliest civilizations – Mesopotamia and Egypt. From the few artefacts found in Mesopotamia something is known about Sumerian instruments and the circumstances in which music was played. The Egyptian musical culture shared characteristics with that of Mesopotamia; they played similar instruments and music was also closely associated with rituals and worship. Within the ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The government-enforced isolation of Native Americans in the United States has fostered cultural independence, in contrast to the marked musical acculturation between the Hispanic-speaking and Amerindian societies in South America. But in modern times, North American groups have tended to set aside tribal differences and seek a pan-tribal cultural unity. The ‘Ghost Dance’, a religious cult led by Jack ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The two great architectural styles of the medieval age were the Romanesque and the Gothic. The Romanesque, with its round-arch forms borrowed from classical buildings, is a massive style, characterized by solid pillars supporting the great stone roof vaults that were a new feature of construction. It is often crowded with imaginative sculpture. During the twelfth century, ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Gamelan music had a great influence in the West, notably at the 1889 Grand Universal Exhibition in Paris, where the shimmering timbre of the orchestra made a profound impression on Debussy and Ravel. The gamelan was introduced to the United States at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. This musical style comes from the very diverse Indonesian culture ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Guido of Arezzo (b. c. ad 990/5) was perhaps the most influential music theorist of all time. He not only wrote one of the most widely read treatises of the Middle Ages, the Micrologus, but he also invented the system of lines for notating music that is still used today and a method of teaching melodies using the syllables ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Most Indian classical music has three main components: a solo melody line, a rhythmic accompaniment and a drone. Vocal music is predominant, although modern Western audiences are more aware of instrumental genres. Improvisation, a key feature of Indian music, is based on the elaborate rules of the ragas and talas, which are the principal formal concepts ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The fundamental characteristics of Arab classical music are described in splendid treatises including those by al-Kindi (c. ad 801–873) and al-Farabi (d. c. AD 950), in which we read of melodic and rhythmic modes, aesthetics and the physics of sound. The classical music of the Arab world is unified by a system of modes called maqam – analogous to the ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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