Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Beauty of World Music

I woke up early this morning and switched on the TV. Being so early, my choices of what to watch were limited to a few movies, documentaries, news and paid programming. So I stumbled onto the show World Music on LinkTV. Wow! At 6:00 CST I found myself listening to the most beautiful African and Haitian music with expressive music videos as accompaniment.

This particular program offered a set of political songs in the vein of U2. The music was as richly textured and melodious as anything by Enya. The videos with the love songs were sensuous without being embarrassing. Beautiful music, provocative videos.

The political nature of the songs reminded me of the stories about nursery rhymes being used in England to express ideas about the repressive practices of the reigning monarch of the day, the poem of Paul Revere with its “One if by land, two if by sea,” and the Negro spirituals from the days of slavery in the US. The songs reminded me of the “America the Beautiful,” our national anthem, “The Battle of New Orleans” and other songs of the celebration of victory and love of country. The power of music in uniting people and informing culture is so awesome.

The other aspects that struck me were the similarity of the music to modern new age, reggae, and adult rock music in the US, and the sophistication of the music videos. Surely we do live in a small world, a global neighborhood, with cultures mutually enhancing, influencing, and relating to each other.

Link TV, a satellite and cable channel, bills itself as “Television without Borders”. It has a set of internet links, one of which is; will take you there, too. Songs from the World Music show can be purchased at the Linktv Music Store. Unfortunately, there is no consistent indication on site about which songs go with which broadcast, so keep a notepad and pen or keyboard handy to write down artist, song title, and album title for the songs you want. Singles and albums are available.

A free song is offered for download. Streaming music allows you to listen to sample songs from an album. As with other television network sites, some of their documentaries and political commentary are also available as streaming video and for download.