Vocal polyphony constitutes one of the expressions proper to the South of Albania; it is unknown in the North. These polyphonies are of two types, depending on whether they come from the Tosk country (Toskëri) or the Lab country (Labëri). In either case this is a multipart singing over a drone which serves as a tonal basis. Each Lab group comprises a soloist singer, the marrësi or taker, the kthyësi who answers him with a jerky sounds and the hedhësi or pitcher who enters the polyphony at specific moments. They are accompanied by a choral drone, iso.
Turkmens, born nomads, have an obvious taste for the arts, whether in weaving, poetry or music. Poetry and music are performed by minstrels who were once itinerant, the bakhshi. Until very recently, the bakhshi were exclusively male. Today, women seized this art and some of them are invited to major Turkmen annual festivals.
> Baghdad tradition. A tribute to Yusuf Omar (1918-1987)
The Iraqi maqâm is a set of traditional vocal and instrumental suites. Each of one is built on a specific melodic mode. The poems of love, most of the time, are chosen by the singer in a vast literary and dialectal corpus. The maqâm is an expressive music, with nostalgic or dramatic colours enhanced by various ornemental techniques which sound like sobs or lamentations.
Among the common characteristics of the Batak who live in the north of the Island of Sumatra, the main ones are adat, social and ceremonial organization of social behavior, and the ancient religious representations which still survive in spite of the influence of both Christianity and Islam. In other respects, however, the Batak people differ so much that a specific cultural identity may be attributed to each group. These differences are particuliarly obvious in their music.
> Anthology of Maluf, Arab-andalusian music, vol. 5
Maluf remains one of the major expressions of Tunisian classical music and has maintained the refinements of its multi-secular origins at the crossroads of the Andalusian and Ottoman traditions. Each work called Nuba, is a vocal and instrumental suite in which are interspersed vocal improvisations and instrumental solos.
In Anjouan, island of the Comoros archipelago, festivals, whether religious or social, provide the main opportunities for dancing and making music. However, while male musical activity takes place in public, that of the women on the contrary is restricted to within their own homes.
The tembang sunda, also called cianjuran, developed during the 19th century in the Court of Cianjur. Then, it spread out in the whole Sunda country and became the classical chamber music of the West Javanese region. The song, supported by the flute, seems to spread out freely on a sonorous rug strictly woven by the zithers.
This recording is a contribution to the public dissemination of Judeo-Spanish songs as sung by its original transmitters. Its unedited and “original” content precisely conveys the variety of sources included in the Sephardi folksong legacy.