‘Wild songs’ (without words), sophisticated choral singing, improvisations, pastorals and newer song forms.
Erik Marchand singing, with his accompanist Thierry Robin finding the ud better suited than guitar or mandolin to the intervalic arrangements of quarter tones peculiar to this repertoire.
Terrific recordings of Atege (or Bateke) contrapuntal polyphony from the past sixty years, with its elaborate tertiary structure, each part called a different name and using a different vocal technique.
Polyphonic song — a kind of broken, yodelling counterpoint — accompanied by drums, sticks, sanza, vegetal trumpets, hand-clapping.
Mainly for rituals of initiation, possession and mourning, with the women singing and shaking a tchege, besides drums, a palm branch hit with a stick, a harp, and a bow played with the mouth.
From King’s Lake to the Lake of Constance — yodels and three-part mountain songs; zither, accordion, clarinet, dulcimer, harp, ocarina…
The Theodore Vassilikos Ensemble powerfully performing Petros Bereketis — extended variations on eight modes — the most important composer of the golden age of Byzantine music, an eastward Bach.
Stirring, beautiful historical recordings of paralogues — deep, traditional melodies — drawn from folklore, everyday life and classical mythology: solo voice, or choral, or with clarinet, ud, lyre, violins.
Creole, accordion-led quadrilles derived from 19th-century French high society. Sweetly melodious, highly rhythmic, Caribbeanized with a deep African twist. Tanboudbass drum, siyak guitar, triangle, chacha shaker.
Possession and funeral songs and drumming, full of Africa, but sustaining its Indian Carib roots.
Following in the footsteps of Bela Bartok across Transdanubia, the Highlands, the Great Plain: marvellous recordings over thirty years of hurdy-gurdy, cymbalum, shepherd’s pipe, bagpipe, popular song.
This is great. Traditional and theatre music from Vietnam, the celebrated singer mazily leading dan tranh zither, dan bau monochord, sao flute, dan kim lute, dan co fiddle and trong percussion.
The gamelan component of topeng dalang classical drama, played trenchantly and bewitchingly by farmers from this island in the Indonesian archipelago (one of three and a half thousand).
Work songs, music and songs about everyday life, or the calendar, or perhaps to run alongside ritual feasts, with guitar, mandolin, accordion, guimbarde, tambourine, bagpipe and reed flute.
1950s recordings, mostly vocal, with wide range and variety — Alpine choral polyphony, poetic improvisation from Central Italy, funeral laments from the South, Sicilian songs to cure tarantula bites…
For each mask a song, wearers transforming their voice into a supernatural being’s — distorting it, or speaking into an instrument, or secretly substituting an instrument. With rattles, bells, drums.
Musical accompaniments to kabuki theatre, by this pre-eminent Japanese chamber orchestra, with voice, shamisen lutes, fue flute, and kotsuzumi, otsuzumi and taiko drums.
With accompaniment on the sanshin lute — a lovely, melodic blend of Japanese, Chinese and South East Asian styles characteristic of the Okinawa archipelago (formerly the independent kingdom of Ryukyu).
The medieval story of the Heike clan — combining drama and heroics with Buddhist reflection on the ephemerality of existence — sung by Kakujo Iwasa and Kakuryu Saito, with lute accompaniment.
Six deeply spiritual pieces from the Kinko School, developed in eighteenth century Japan by wandering zen monks for whom this flute music was a pathway to enlightenment.
The Jongmyo Jeryeak is a combination of vocal and instrumental music, with dancing: solemn and majestic ritual music for drums, gongs, bells, chimes, zithers, fiddles, oboes and flutes, in honour of royal ancestors.