Brasslands
Uniting Cultures Through Music

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Whose Is This Song?
Part of the Series: Anthropology 101 Collection
In her search for the true origins of a haunting melody, the filmmaker travels to Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria. The trip is filled with humour, suspense, tragedy and surprise as each country's citizens passionately claim the song to be their own and can even furnish elaborate…
Funeral Chants from the Georgian Caucasus
The villages of the Svaneti province are located in north-western Georgia, in the valleys that lie between the mountains of the Caucasus. The Svans represent about 1% of the Georgian population. Their language differs from the Georgian language, and their religion is a syncretism of Orthodox Christian faith and pre-Christian…
Of Bards And Beggars
Of Bards and Beggars documents in detail, a musical ritual called Pabuji Jaagran, an all night epic recitation by Indian Rajasthani folk musicians. This story centers around a folk deity called Pabujib, a protector of livestock. The Pabuji legend is widely popular in Western Rajasthan among a shepherd community from…
New England Fiddles & New England Dances
Since colonial times, the fiddle has enjoyed a primary place in American traditional music. Playing the fiddle is both intensely personal and an expression of cultural aesthetics. The fiddler provides the spirit and music for dances which are important elements for community cohesion. New England styles and tunes originate in…
Are'are Music
A fascinating documentation of the traditional musical culture of the 'Are'are people of the Solomon Islands, in the South-Western Pacific. The three LP records published after a first one-year field-research in 1969-70 were a "phenomenal surprise" (Garfias) as they revealed a completely unknown music (outside of the Solomon Islands) of…
Duduki of Tbilisi - Eldar Shoshitashvili and His Students
While the rural polyphonic songs of Georgia (Caucasus) are internationally appreciated and have become a national symbol, the urban instrumental music of the eastern part of the country is less well known. The Georgian duduki, a double-reed wind instrument of the oboe family, is known by different names in neighboring…
Shaping Bamboo
For the 'Are'are people of the Solomon Islands, the most valued music is that of the four types of panpipe ensembles. With the exception of slit drums, all musical instruments are made of bamboo; therefore the general word for instruments and the music performed with them is "bamboo" ('au). This…
The Feast-Day of Tamar and Lashari
The Pshavi people of the eastern mountains of the Republic of Georgia perform a ritual which can be characterized as a syncretism of ancient polytheistic beliefs and Orthodox Christian faith, but which is qualified by city habitants of Tbilisi as "pagan". The ritual of Tamar and Lashari celebrates queen Tamar…
Polyphony of Ceriana - The Compagnia Sacco
In Ceriana, a village in West Liguria on the southern slopes of the Italian Alps descending to the Mediterranean coast, people love to sing. Among not less than five choirs, The Compagnia Sacco, founded in 1926, is the most committed to preserve the traditional drone polyphony. Different from Corsican and…
Tough, Pretty or Smart
Tough, Pretty or Smart portrays The Patoka Valley Boys, a six-person string band comprising one of America's finest old-time and bluegrass musical groups. Through their own words, the "Boys" proclaim their love for their music.
A Sigh And A Wish: Helen Creighton's Maritimes
Renowned folklorist Helen Creighton single-handedly compiled North America's largest collection of folklore and music, much of which would have disappeared forever if not for her tenacity, collecting stories and songs from the Gaelic singers of Cape Breton, French Acadians, the Mi'kmaw, and the Black communities of Nova Scotia. Her name…
An African Brass Band - Traditional Music of Cote d'Ivoire
At the beginning of the 20th century in Jacqueville, near Abidjan in the Cote d'Ivoire, traditional music was forbidden by the missionaries. But the inhabitants' enjoyment of their local festivals proved stronger, and the little town developed its own brass band. This is the story of that brass band, a…