Global Updates From World View
March 2010

Music Around the World
By Carina Brossy, World View

Music is the universal language of mankind. 
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Throughout history, music has been used by civilizations all over the world to express beliefs and strengthen personal and social identities. Some claim it is the single most uniting factor in the world today, transcending gender, race, and creed to unite individuals from every walk of life. In this month’s Global Update, find out how much you know about music around the world, the history behind the masterpieces, and how your students can become more informed about an art form that helps define the cultures of the world and promote positive change.

Global Instrument Quiz


Word Bank

Puerto Rico


Instructions: Match the following musical instruments with its corresponding country of origin from the word bank to the left. Answers are found at the bottom of the page.

1. Djembe – regional percussion instrument originating from the Mandinka people of this country. Traditionally crafted djembes are carved in one single piece from hollowed out hardwood trees. The drumheads are typically made from goatskin and more rarely can be antelope, zebra, deer, or calfskin.

2. Erhu – two string fiddle that can be traced back to this country from as early as the 7th century. The erhu is placed on the lap vertically. The left hand moves vertically to touch the strings for the right pitch while the left hand (with the bow) moves horizontally to make the sound. The erhu is mainly an instrument for melody and sounds similar to the human voice.

3. Sitar – plucked string instrument ubiquitous since the Middle Ages. It derives its resonance from sympathetic strings, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber. The instrument is balanced between the player's left foot and right knee.

4. Güiro – believed to have originated with the native Taino people from this island nation. The güiro is made by carving the shell of a gourd and carving parallel fluting on its surface. It is played by holding the güiro in the left hand with the thumb inserted into the back sound hole to keep the instrument in place. The right hand usually holds the scraper and plays the instrument.

5. Didgeridoo – known as the wooden trumpet or “drone pipe”, this wind instrument was developed by the indigenous population of this country at least 1,500 years ago. The instrument is traditionally made from Eucalyptus trees which have had their interiors hollowed out by termites or have died of other causes.

Get Involved

“Music can change the world because it can
change people.” ~ Bono (U2)

 CB1Global Music Project
Global Music Project is an international non-profit organization working to unite humanity through music and cultural awareness, thus bringing about collaboration and peace. Artists and participants strive to reach a global audience, preserving dying music in third world countries and inspiring support in areas facing social and/or economic crisis.

CB2Oxfam International
Oxfam International is focused on fighting the root causes of poverty at the international level. Among many other initiatives, Oxfam provides the opportunity for children ages 5-14 to celebrate music from around the world.

CB3Putumayo World Music
Putumayo World Music introduces people to the music of the world, and, as their motto claims, is “guaranteed to make you feel good!” The company has committed more than $1 million dollars to worthwhile non-profit organizations around the world, supporting the communities from which the music originated. or

CB4Silk Road Project
The Silk Road Project is a modern metaphor for the multicultural and interdisciplinary exchange once represented by the historic Silk Road trading route. This not-for-profit organization operates under the vision of connecting various cultures by bringing together artists and audiences from across the globe.

CB5Urban Youth Empowerment
Hip Hop culture was founded on the ideals of peace, love, unity, and having fun, and is the genre now considered the “voice of youth.” The Global Awareness through Hip Hop Culture Program provides middle school and high school children the opportunity to express themselves through the writing and performing of Hip Hop.

Educator Resources

PBS Kids – Maya and Miguel
Students can remix music using different world instruments.

War Child – Musician Emmanuel Jal
Listen to music from social activist and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal.

National Geographic – World Music
Introduce students to artists and music initiatives around the world.

World Wise Schools – Peace Corps
Lesson plans explain how music shapes the lives of individuals from across the globe.

Smithsonian Folkways
Classroom guides explore music and its influences throughout history.

Global Music Lyrics
Discover lyrics from all genres and time periods.

PBS Music in the Classroom
Create a musical instrument and learn about rhythm, sound, and how music affects mood and the role it plays in our lives.

Apple’s GarageBand
Using your Mac get instant access to over 100 realistic software instruments — pianos, strings, drums, guitars, horns, and more. Just create a new track, choose your instrument, and play.

World Music Staff Picks

Carina recommends…
Product DetailsAlbum Title: Breathing Under Water
Musicians: Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale
Genre: Blend of traditional Indian sitar and western contemporary music; guest performers include Sting and Norah Jones (Anoushka’s half sister)

Julie recommends…
CB6Album Title:
Putumayo’s Caribbean Playground
Musicians: Various musicians/singers from the Caribbean (Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guadeloupe, and more)
Genre: International Caribbean children’s music
In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Putumayo is re-releasing Caribbean Playground and will be donating 100% of our proceeds from the sale of each CD to The Red Cross.

Katharine recommends…
CB7 Album Title: Tanto Tempo
Musician: Bebel Gilberto

Genre: Brazilian jazz/samba


Lauren recommends…
Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa SessionsAlbum Title:
Throw Down Your Heart
Musician: Béla Fleck
Blend of traditional bluegrass, banjo, and West African music

Leslie recommends…
SavvatoAlbum Title: Savvato
Musician: Giorgos Mazonakis
Genre: Greek modern laika; pop singer


Neil recommends…

Shaka ZuluAlbum Title: Shaka Zulu
Musicians: Ladysmith Black Mombazo
South African, Zulu traditional


Robert recommends…
CB8Album Title:
I Dreamed a Dream
Susan Boyle, Scottish (singer and star of Britain’s Got Talent competition)

Genre: Celtic, English and American ballads, spirituals

Answers to World Instrument Quiz

Djembe - Mali (most notably used throughout West Africa)

Erhu – China
Sitar – India
Güiro – Puerto Rico
Didgeridoo – Australia

*Instrument descriptions from

Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at with your "update-worthy" items!

Reader Mailbag

If you have comments about any of the information contained in the Global Update, send us an email! Perhaps your comments will appear here in this new section of the Global Update.

World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Register Now!



OCTOBER 20-21, 2010
for K-12 educators

NOVEMBER 9-10, 2010
for community college educators

Cost (NC educators): Registration is $150 per person. A Team of 4 is $500. A Team is comprised of 4 or more individuals from a school, college, or district. Only $125 for each additional Team member.

Cost (Out-of-State Educators): Registration is $250 per person.

For more information, or
to register go to:

Lang Lang and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra
March 23, 2010
Carolina Performing Arts
UNC Chapel Hill, Memorial Hall

Lang Lang is a symbol of the youth and future of China. He has played sold-out concerts with the world’s best orchestras and most renowned conductors, and is seen as the most exciting keyboard talent in years. For more information, please visit


New Harmonies:
Celebrating American Roots Music

Traveling Smithsonian exhibit presented by the North Carolina Humanities Council and sponsored by Our State Magazine

New Harmonies

This traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit makes its first stop at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and takes visitors on a journey through the development of America's creative expression through music, including the blues, country western, folk ballads, and gospel. The exhibit invites visitors to explore and experience the cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth. For more information, go to
The exhibit will make its way around North Carolina to the following locations:

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History
March 1 - April 24

Warrenton - Warren County Memorial Library
May 1 - June 12

Elizabeth City - Museum of the Albemarle
June 19 - August 1

Goldsboro - Arts Council of Wayne County
August 17 - September 18

Mars Hill - Rural Life Museum at the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies, Mars Hill College
September 25 - November 6

Shelby - Don Gibson Theatre

2010 Toyota International Teacher Program

Application now available for the 2010 Toyota International Teacher Program to the Galapagos Islands, a fully-funded professional development program for U.S. educators. Funded by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and administered by the Institute of International Education, the program aims to advance environmental stewardship and global connectedness in U.S. schools and communities.

The program will take place November 20 - December 4, 2010 and the deadline to apply is May 26, 2010. Full-time classroom teachers and librarians of all subjects for grades 6 - 12 are eligible to apply! 

Please visit for application instructions, FAQs, and to apply online. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, email at or call (toll-free) 877-832-2457.


Baaba Maal
April 27, 2010
Carolina Performing Arts
UNC Chapel Hill, Memorial Hall

Renowned for his fiery performances, Senegalese world music giant Baaba Maal's unique blend of traditional West African song, Senegalese pop, reggae, and dance has established him as a seminal artist in his field. For more information, please visit