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World music can be roughly defined as music that uses distinctive ethnic scales, modes and musical inflections, and which is usually, though not always, performed on or accompanied by distinctive traditional ethnic instruments, such as the kora (West African harp), the steel drum, the sitar or the didgeridoo. However, world music does not have to mean traditional folk music. It may refer to the indigenous classical forms of various regions of the world and to modern, cutting edge pop music styles as well. Succinctly, it can be described as "local music from out there", or "someone else's local music".

The broad category of world music includes isolated forms of ethnic music from diverse geographical regions. These dissimilar strains of ethnic music are commonly categorized together by virtue of their indigenous roots. Over the 20th century, the invention of sound recording, low-cost international air travel and common access to global communication among artists and the general public has given rise to a related phenomenon called "cross-over" music. Musicians from diverse cultures and locations could readily access recorded music from around the world, see and hear visiting musicians from other cultures and visit other countries to play their own music, creating a melting pot of stylistic influences.

Examples of popular forms of world music include the various forms of non-European classical music (e.g. Japanese koto music, Indian raga music, Tibetan chants), eastern European folk music (e.g. the village music of Bulgaria) and the many forms of folk and tribal music of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Central and South America.

This description is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses materials from the Wikipedia article "World music".

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