World Music for Equal Dignity

Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) is primarily grounded in academic work. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life" as well. Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, however, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.

It is our quest to build bridges from social science to other areas of life. When we look around today, many listen to more or less the same music, mostly originating in the West. We believe that diverse cultural traditions should receive more respect and attention, which, in the case of music, means that the diverse cultural heritage in music that we find around the world should be valued more and made more visible in day-to-day life. We look for interested people, who would like to develop our WRelationsED page. Please see our Call for Creativity.


Please note that the entire HumanDHS website is maintained by volunteers, since its inception in 2003, and this is mainly done by Evelin Lindner. Until 2012, she usually pasted interesting news into this Links section. From July 2012 until 2017, she tagged interesting information on From 2017 onward, you see Evelin's personal list of interesting web links on Twitter:

Magdy Ahmed Mohamed gave the gift of his music
at the 31st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
in Cairo, Egypt 21st - 24th September 2018 (Video)

Already on 19th September, Magdy was so kind to sing for us the following songs:
• Zuruni kulli sana marra
• Zuruni kulli sana marra (second time)
• Amal hayati
• Mohammed Abdel Wahab
• Oh flower in my imagination, tango rhythm
• Aghadan al kaaq

Evelina Petrova
Evelina Petrova was born in an industrial city close to St. Petersburg. It was actually her grand mother who forced Evelina to study music in a local music school where she took up accordion at the age of twelve. Later on she continued her studies in St. Petersburg and graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory in 2002.  Much later she attended master course at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo (department of jazz and improvise music). From 2012 Evelina lives in Norway.
From the late 1990s she has performed a lot with her former teacher from St. Petersburg Theatre and Music Academy, trumpeter Vyacheslav Gayvoronsky. The duo has made two CDs and concerts throughout Europe and for example a 12-concert tour in Japan back in 2001. In 1998 the duo got a special prize for original music in an international competition devoted to Astor Piazzolla in Italy. The following year the Russian jazz critics announced Petrova as the Star of the Year. 
Evelina's solo concerts are usually based on her 12-piece compositional suite Yearly Circle which reflects the feelings and moods of the twelve months of a year. This suite was released on a CD by Leo Records in 2004. The concerts based Evelina Petrova are true heartwarming experiences. This young lady blends Russian folk music, classical and quite avant-garde improvised music in her playing. There are also elements of Jewish Kletzmer tradition and East-European brass music in it. There's such a big amount of power, primitive drive and creativity in her concerts that it is hard to believe that all that music comes from one woman and accordion only. 
Petrova utilizes in a great manner the possibilities of both her own voice and accordion, and, at the same time breaks the limits of the traditional expression of both. The accordion in her hands is sometimes a percussion instrument; sometimes one can hear pure, technically excellent accordion music. Her voice is her second instrument: she screams laughs, wails, growls, barks, huffs and puffs. Although she performs in a sitting position, her performance is also kind of a dance.
She swings and sways, and the accordion hops and leaps in her hands. It's almost a shamanistic ritual which sends shivers down your spine.
Furthermore Petrova also has a repertoire of the history of tango reaching from the traditionalists Malando and Karlos Gardel through Italian movie tangos up to modern Astor Piazzolla works and new St. Petersburg style Viktor Sobolenko tangos. 
During the many years Petrova has made performances in France, Canada, Belgium, Slovenia, Finland, Norway… and has performed in many renowned clubs and festivals.
Her main musical interest and inspiration as a composer comes from folk music. She is experimenting on various folk traditions attracting musicians, dancers, actors, artist of different approaches and experience and has generally focused on small ensembles, both as a performer and a composer. She is incredibly attracted by the ritual base of folk music which is in her compositions naturally connecting with minimalistic, contemporary and improvisational style.

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a youth orchestra based in Seville, Spain, consisting of musicians from countries in the Middle East, of Egyptian, Iranian, Israeli, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Spanish background. The Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian-American academic Edward Said founded the orchestra in 1999, and named the ensemble after an anthology of poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Landfill Harmonic
Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash.

Songs from Northern Bangladesh, captured by Wera Sæther
•  Bengali traditional music performed by young people
•  Bengali traditional music performed by young people
•  Bangladeshi girl singing
•  Devotional song by young Bangladeshi boy

Woman to Woman
No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself
No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself...
See more here.
- Words by Rabbi Sofer and Carolyn McDade; music by Carolyn McDade. We thank Linda Hartling for making us aware of this song.

Lasse Thoresen
The Concrescence Project: A Brief Description
November 2009
•  The Concrescence Project is an aesthetically orientated research project that intends to bring about innovations in vocal practise and composition. The project also includes theoretical research and pedagogical practise. Professor Lasse Thoresen (The Norwegian Academy, Oslo) is the artistic director of the project. The Norwegian Academy of Music has prioritized the project as one of its principal areas of aesthetic research.
•  Through the synergy between highly different, seemingly contradictory vocal traditions - ethnic as well as contemporary - new musical expressions can come into existence. In its present form the project attempts to combine Western classical singing with harmonic chant ("diphonic" chant) and Scandinavian traditional singing styles (kveding, kulning etc). To these sources is added a spectromorphological perspective (derived from the French Musique Concrète). Further reflection on the compositional possibilities of these elements makes evident the need for a theoretical understanding of microtonality and the series of harmonics ('Just Intonation').
•  Vocal exercises for improving note accuracy are being developed to help singers master microtonal intervals. Asst. professor Gro Shetelig Kruse (The Norwegian Academy of Music) is working on the development of a Microtonal Ear Training method for singers
•  Improvisation is used as a means to exploit musical potentials.
•  The project encourages a phenomenological approach – no expectations, clear observation of the moment, focus on concrete sound – rather than a priori models of musical organization.
•  The first phase of the project officially began in Oslo during the Ultima Festival 2005 with a four-day seminar/master class featuring the vocal ensemble Nordic Voices. Lectures and courses were presented by Tran Quang Hai, Berit Opheim, Lasse Thoresen, Gro Shetelig Kruse, Guy Reibel, Benoît Aubigny, Georg Friedrich Haas. The Ultima Festival/Geir Johnson acts as administrative coordinator of the project, with the support of the Norwegian Academy of Music.
•  The second phase of the project involved the composing of works based on the new possibilities which had been established. Georg Friederich Haas (Austria/Switzerland), Guy Reibel (Paris), Bernat Vivancos (Spain/Catalonia), Ragnhild Berstad (Norway); Henrik Ødegaard (Norway) and Lasse Thoresen were given commissions by Ultima to compose works that were performed 15 October, 2006, during the Ultima festival.
•  The third phase of Concrescence was the building-up of an elective course at the Norwegian Academy of Music with the Concrescence subjects, including lessons in free improvisation with prof. Sidsel Endresen. Open seminars during the Ultima festival have been integral to the project. The elective course is offered every year.
•  The fourth phase is an ongoing project with Latvia Radio Koris and The Royal College of Music in Stockholm with support from Nordic Culture Point (Kulturkontakt Nord, Foreningen Norden) involving workshops with the choir and seminars with composers. Works by Nordic and Baltic composers have been commissioned, for first performance during the Ultima Festival 2010, Oslo. Workshops and lectures are given by Gro Shetelig Kruse (microtonal ear training), Susanne Rosenberg (ethnic voice), Christian Zehnder (harmonic chant), Valdis Muktupavels (harmonic chant), Sven Ahlbäck (microtonal features of Scandinavian folk music), Karin Rehnquist (folk music and contemporary style), and Lasse Thoresen (microtonality, notation, just intonation).
•  The fourth phase comes to an end with the performance of the new works in Oslo during the Ultima festival, 17.-19 Sept. combined with seminars and workshops and lectures beginning 15 Sept.
•  To facilitate rehearsing microtonal parts, and composing with microtones, a computer program called Micropalette has been developed.

Turkish Folk Music and Turkish Art Music
Please see
We thank Hayal Köksal for making us aware of this site.

Fred Ellis
Fred Ellis is a New York City Elementary Public School Music Teacher and Music Therapist. On February 18th 2009, his debut music CD of original songs was released. He has been teaching regular and special education students for over 20 years, he holds a BA & MS in Education from Baruch College, an MA in Music Therapy from New York University, and an EdM in Music Education from Teachers College/Columbia University. [read more]

Freemuse and Deeyah Present: Listen to the Banned
Freemuse is advocating freedom of expression for musicians.
Music that makes dictators tremble and fundamentalists angry. Listen to the Banned is a unique collection of contemporary songs by artists who have been censored, persecuted, taken to court, imprisoned and even tortured for a very simple reason – their music. Music brings joy and gives a voice to the “voiceless” - a power that earns the condemnation of intolerant religious leaders and dictators alike. Presented by Freemuse and Deeyah, the compilation is a unique musical statement by artists who are united in one single, important issue – the protection of the freedom of musical expression, a freedom many take for granted. Their stories are told in the accompanying booklet. They include the story of Lapiro de Mbanga, who is currently imprisoned in Cameroon for a song critical of his country’s President and the story of Mahsa Vahdat, prevented from performing solo shows in her native country Iran. Also included are Chiwoniso Maraire (Zimbabwe), Farhad Darya (Afghanistan), Marcel Khalife (Lebanon), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d’Ivoire), Abazar Hamid (Sudan), Kamilya Jubran (Israel / Palestine), Kurash Sultan (Uighuristan), Ferhat Tunc (Turkey), Aziza Brahim (Western Sahara), Haroon Bacha (Pakistan), Fadal Dey (Cote d’Ivoire) and Amal Murkus (Israel / Palestine). Freemuse is the only international organization dedicated to protecting musicians and composers’ right to freedom of expression. The CD has been compiled by Deeyah, an artist who has stopped performing after having endured constant intimidation and physicals threats throughout her career. “This is a collection of songs from artists around the world who have faced censorship or had their music banned. These artists and other like them in the different corners of the world must have the right to exist and freely express their feelings and opinions through their art. We can not allow our freedom of expression to be compromised. Music must not be silenced” - Deeyah

Riddu Riđđu Festival
The Riddu Riđđu festival was started by the Sami associations in Kåfjord in 1991, as a Sea-Sami cultural festival. The festival has since become one of the largest Sami festivals and top annual festival for international indigenous peoples. The festival includes music, stage art, literature, children's program, Northern People's program, youth camp, film program, courses (work shops), seminars, art exhibition, market (bazaar), indigenous houses and much more. The festival has permanent support from the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs, the Sami parliament, Troms county and Kåfjord municipality.

Random Acts of Culture
On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. This event is one of 1,000 "Random Acts of Culture" to be funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years. The initiative transports the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into our communities to enrich our everyday lives. Learn more about this program and view more events. The Opera Company thanks Macy's and the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ for their partnership, as well as Organ Music Director Peter Conte and Fred Haas, accompanists; OCP Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden, conductor; and Sound Engineer James R. Stemke. See a complete list of participating choirs and more information. This event was planned to coincide with the first day of National Opera Week. For clues about upcoming Random Acts of Culture, find us on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
We thank Lynn King for making us aware of this initiative.

On August 27, 2009, we (Linda Hartling, Rick Slaven, and Evelin Lindner) had the chance to listen to Hawaiian singer Makana after our 13th Annual HumanDHS Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. Makana was honored with the Artist for Peace Award in 2005. Makana means “gift.” He believes that “gift” is what this music is. “It was given to me and I’m giving it to people. Learning how to give without having to receive is an endless lesson in unconditional giving. Learning to give my music unconditionally is one of the great challenges that I accept in my life to learn. I try my best to pull them into what I’m doing, but I’m here to serve everybody. I try to always give 110 percent whether they’re listening or not” (as quoted in a blog).

Makana kindly sends us his support and the following song (September 4, 2009):

makanaREFLECTIONS (throwing stones)
Creative Commona Makana Music 2008

How can I be such a fool?
I forgot the golden rule
Now it’s all coming around
Like an empty room echoes the sound

To hurt your heart, I did my best
But when my words hit your chest
I felt them flow right through, from you to me

Like I was
Throwing stones at a mirror
Throwing stones at a mirror

Rose petals fall to the floor
As the one you love walks out the door

My world is gone; a turning page
And though my mind is bold with rage
Compassion finds a place within my heart

Lover there's no use in
Throwing stones at a mirror
Throwing stones at a mirror

Who are we, and who are they?
Though we seem so different, we're mostly the same
But the people who fall through the cracks
Become the target of our attacks

We separate ourselves from them
Dehumanize our fellow man
Only our love can show us
We are one

Until then we're just
Throwing stones at a mirror
Throwing stones at a mirror
(Got to stop!) Throwing stones at a mirror
Throwing stones at a mirror

The Mahalohalo Kolintang Ensemble
Wayland Quintero and Sheila, Bernard Ellorin, and Leila Lagundino generously played at our 13th Annual HumanDHS Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. See pictures!

Ragnhild S. Nilsen - Arctic Queen
(see more under Ikhlaq Hussain)

Lyrics of Resistance: Vidya Shah
For 36-year-old musician Vidya Shah, coming out with the album Hum Sab-Celebrating Cultures of Resistance is where her love for music meets her calling for social issues and interest in advocacy. She tells Deepika Khatri about how it came about. How is Hum Sab relevant now? The 80s and 90s saw a lot of political rallies and movements. The poetry of those words is still alive today in the restlessness of the youth and their struggle for change. This album gives a new tune to those lyrics of resistance. I want it to permeate people’s consciousness, even if they are just humming to the music and don’t immediately grasp the lyrics. Where did the inspiration for the album come? I spent a year in Jhabua, a tribal district of Madhya Pradesh in the mid 90s, working with women and children and documenting their oral tradition. It made me introspective and I’ve wanted to put an album together ever since. The songs on this album draw from that experience, reflecting different cultures, whether it’s a song in Bhilali, Do Awazein for which Javed Akhtar wrote the lyrics or Ham Hain Iskey Maalik, written during the 1857 war of independence.

Christen Lien
Using guitar effects and a looping machine, classically trained violist Christen Lien performs original compositions that are a beautiful mixture of East and West, classical and postmodern, and acoustic and electronic. Lien's debut album is called Vol. I: Battle Cry, and it reflects a twenty-four year journey of mastering, then challenging and expanding classical Viola expression. Spontaneously creating then incorporating layers of live effects, Lien paints music with guitar effect pedals, live looping, melodic mixing and expressive performance.
Linda Hartling, Rick Slaven, and Evelin Lindner had the chance to listen to Christen Lien at the "Creating Change Together" 2009 Hollyhock Summer Gathering, July 26 - 31, 2009, Cortes Island, B.C., Canada. Please click here for photos!

A documentary film, part of a larger research on current Sami artistic and poetic expressions and inter-culturality. ADJÁGAS in Sami languages means "a state between sleep and awakening". It's the moment where you can have a vision about a different truth in the real surrounding the Self. Adjágas is also a musical project. Two young performers of yoik, Sara Marielle Gaup og Lawra Somby come together through a creative musical project; bringing the yoiking Sami tradition into the international musical scene. They have different lives styles and concerns, especially in relating to what it means to be a young artist with an indigenous background . They are working their way into the commercial music industry too. Yoik could be seen as a way of performing nature as well as people, animals and stories. But even more, as a means to mimicring the hi-stories that are embedded in the landscape and the relations that the landscape brings about. Our film explore also what in the waves of the past is worth struggling for understanding - and how the act of creatively yoiking brings together everyday life, politics and spirituality and becomes a language healing the pain from the history of the colonial past.

Jordi Savall & Montserrat Figueras
The Catalan musician Jordi Savall and his wife, the soprano Montserrat Figueras, have been named UNESCO “Artists for Peace” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an honour they share with other artists such as the flamenco dancer Joaquín Cortés, the Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil, María de Medeiros and the Chinese actress Gong Li.

Trio Mediaeval (Linn Andrea Fuglseth, Anna Maria Friman, Torunn Østrem Ossum)
Founded in Oslo in 1997, trio mediaeval has developed three distinct strands of repertoire: polyphonic medieval music from England and France, contemporary works and Norwegian medieval ballads and songs. The group's initial phase was inspired by intense periods of work at the Hilliard Summer Festival in England and Germany, and subsequently with Linda Hirst and John Potter.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Hvorostovsky remains deeply committed to introducing Russian music to audiences around the world and retains strong musical and personal contacts with Russia. He was the first opera singer to give a solo concert with orchestra and chorus on Red Square in Moscow; the concert was televised in over 25 countries. In 2005, Hvorostovsky gave an historic tour throughout the cities of Russia at the invitation of President Putin, singing to crowds of hundreds of thousands of people to commemorate the soldiers of the Second World War. The tour stretched from Moscow and St Petersburg, to Krasnoyask, Samara, Omsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo. Dmitri now tours the cities of Russia on an annual basis, often to stadium-size audiences...
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World Culture Open Centers
World Culture Open Centers (WCO Centers) facilitate the growth and development of individuals and communities by offering free space for the practice of creative arts, holistic wellbeing and humanitarian service. The Centers provide a platform for users to create, explore, learn and contribute their knowledge and skills in an environment of harmonious cultural exchange. The Centers are offered free of charge to users in order to foster a movement of sharing and a sense of ownership among members of the WCO community.
See also similar initiatives: and !

Ani: Singing for the Soul of Islam
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See also "When Making Music, Faith Is Incidental" by Ani Zonneveld: In this fourth article in the series on joint Muslim-Western business ventures, Ani Zonneveld, a singer, songwriter and president of Muslims for Progressive Values, describes some of the personal connections that develop between songwriter and artist, which help to create music that is “meaningful and multi-layered”. Zonneveld writes that their “willingness to listen to … diverse narratives nurtures an organic creative process” (Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 20 November 2007).

Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance." Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words. She has alternately been proclaimed as a "magician of the voice" and "one of America’s coolest composers." During a career that spans more than 40 years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts...
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Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer
Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer from Norway is a expressive singer, performer and composer with a big range of soundcolors in her voice, and she uses tones from more than 5 octaves. Her musical language has its source in both classical and ethnic traditions, and she works with exploring vocal combinations of these.
As a freelance singer and vocalexperimentalist she gives concerts, theatre related projects and voiceperformances in Norway and throughout Europe as a soloist, with Grzech Piotrowski World Orchestra, in the duo Memnon together with the pianist Helge Lien, in the quintet AKKU and other bands. Several composers have written music especially for her, like, for example, Synne Skouen and Henrik Hellstenius. She also worked with musicians as Marilyn Mazur, Marcin Wassilewski, Theodosii Spassov, Agnes Buen Garnås, Isak Anderssen and Bendik Hofseth and she works a lot with with theatrerelated projects. She gives lessons on the Academy of Music in Oslo, and at the Ole Bull Academy of Folkmusic, see
See a video with Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer singing for Anne-Katrine Hagelund who received the Beacon of Dignity Award on 30th August 2012. The ceremony was part of the Public Event of the 19th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, titled "In the Aftermath of the 22nd July: How to Sustain a Global Culture of Equality in Dignity or likeverd." For a webgallery of the still pictures of the event please click on the picture above or here.

"We Are One" - "World Anthem" of Love and Peace by Kevin Reid
200 singers, adults and children from many countries, participated to harmonize their
voices in joy and celebration:

As I look into my brother's eyes
Holiness is what I recognize
I see the truth in everyone
Let us stand and live as one
United everywhere
With love replacing fear

We are one, we are one
It's the truth of who we are
Everywhere let the flag of love unfurl
In our hearts lies the truth
Of the unity of life
We are one and the truth of life is love

As I look into my sister's eyes
Immortality is what I find
From the eternal we have come
Let us live in peace as one
Coming together everywhere
It's time for love to vanquish fear

We are one, we are one
It's the truth of who we are
Everywhere let the flag of love unfurl
In our hearts lies the truth
Of the unity in life
We are one and the truth of life is love

British Bhangra
British Bhangra is a genre of popular music that fuses Punjabi beats, music and lyrics, UK pop, RnB, reggae and other world sounds.  Its history in Britain dates back to the immediate post-war period when migrants from the Punjab, India, resettled their lives and homes in the UK.  In the post-00s the music can now be heard across the soundscapes of multicultural cities around the globe, to mainstream fashion and advertising, and even in the songs and music of Bollywood films.  British Bhangras centres of music industry are increasingly located in Birmingham and London, from where its musical products are distributed and performed internationally. Yet, this recent visibility is also marked by a history of cultural racism, community politics and a music and cultural industry that has struggled to stake its place in British popular culture.

Paul Potts
A very hands-on example of the healing that is entailed when a person comes out of bullying and humiliation, out of feeling insignificant and a nobody, into dignity, is the recent emergence of Paul Potts as a singer. Watch him on YouTube, see how the faces of the jury members change from skepticism to astonishment, then to awe and wonderment. Watch how the singer’s voice and face expresses a mixture of love and warm humility. Read the blogs and see how people appreciate Potts’s ability to convey something that is beyond this Earth, and how lacking technical proficiency or less than comme-il-faut outfit is of no importance. He does not sing for money and not even for the love of singing – he seems to have a love relationship with beauty that is so majestic that it seems to come from outer space and at the same time from the deep wisdom of his soul that transcends pain through this beauty.
See "Paul Potts reveals he considered suicide," and see, for example, this blog at
"I did listen to Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma and was not moved, in fact I shut if off as he and his singing was boring. No emotion. As for technical defects of Paul Potts singing... who cares? His performance made the hairs on my back stand up... Paul Potts may start a new genre of music which is long overdue..."
YouTube is overflowing of Paul Potts, see, among others:
First, have a look at !
Then see
Then see
Finally see .
And read about his coming out of humiliation into dignity.

Ethnomusicology, formerly comparative musicology, is cultural musicology or the study of music in its cultural context. Formed from the Greek words ethnos (nation) and mousike (music), it can be considered the anthropology or ethnography of music. Jeff Todd Titon has called it the study of "people making music". It is often thought of as a study of non-Western musics, but can include the study of Western music from an anthropological perspective. Nettl (1983) believes it is a product of Western thinking, proclaiming "ethnomusicology as western culture knows it is actually a western phenomenon"...
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See also The Society for Ethnomusicology.
See also Aesthetic Realism: A New Foundation for Interdisciplinary Musicology.
See also the Smithsonian Global Sound Library.

The First Emperor: 1+1=1!
"Where is the music that can harmonize heaven, earth, and man?" This is the question posed by the title character of Tan Dun's The First Emperor, which has its world premiere at the Met this month [December 2006]. It's a question that the composer asked himself as he worked on the score to the epic new work, which marries Eastern and Western musical elements in a tricky compositional balancing act. "It's not about being Chinese or Western, about being old or new," Tan Dun explains. "My favorite formula now is 1+1=1."
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The excitement surrounding the production is similarly international. A world premiere opera at the Met generates tremendous interest here, and in China, where Zhang Yimou is a kind of rock star, the momentous event is a source of overwhelming national pride. "The Metropolitan Opera made a bold and significant move in commissioning a project where the majority of the creative team is made up of Chinese artists," Zhang Yimou attests. "It is truly a rare occasion."
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Anna Dagmar: Can We Be Old Friends
New York city based pianist and songwriter Anna Dagmar created the song of peace "Can We Be Old Friends," where the last two enemy soldiers left standing decide not to kill each other.

Delhi Gharana

2007 – 2013
• Left: December 9, 2007, Ikhlaq's House Concert
• Right: November 1, 2013, concert in the New York Insight Meditation Center
Please click on the pictures above to see them larger.

• Please see also:
Ikhlaq Hussain playing Raag Megh at the LearnQuest Music Festival 2009 held at Regis College in Weston, MA April 10-12, 2009.
― Sitar Rendition at Virsé Launch - Raag Tilak Kamode by Ustad Ikhlaq Hussain, Virsé Org, published on Oct 15, 2015.
― His CDs "Destiny" and "Perfume of God" can be accessed from ITunes (only downloadable music) and CDbaby (CD and downloadable music).

• Please note:
Pandit (Master) Ikhlaq Hussain collaborated with Ragnhild Nilsen aka Arctic Queen after they met in New York City in 2007. When Ragnhild was back in Norway, she sang a yoik, sent the recording to Ikhlaq in New York City, and he improvised to her voice. Listen to Ragnhild & Ikhlaq!

November 4, 2016
• Sitar master Ikhlaq Hussain performed at the Harvard Club in New York City with tabla player Imran Khan!
• Please click on the photo above or here to see more photos.

November 28, 2018
• Ikhlaq together with Philip Glass, widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century, at a gathering convened by Jonathan Rose and his wife and their Garrison Institute at Urban Zen in New York City.
• Please click on the photos above to see them larger. Thank you, dear Judit for taking these pictures!

• See also
Love Letter 3 - Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo in Raag Yaman
15th August 2020, recorded in Geneva, for the 2020 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Virtual at Columbia University, New York City, December 10 – 12, 2020)

February and May 2021
Pandit (Master) Ikhlaq Hussain Played the Sitar for Paul Lindner at his 95th Birthday
(Video, 21st February 2021)
Paul Lindner is Evelin Lindner's father. He received many gifts of music for his birthday, among others, Pandit (Master) Ikhlaq Hussain most generously offered his mastery in playing the sitar.

Pandit (Master) Ikhlaq Hussain Played a Gayatri Mantra for Evelin Lindner at her Birthday (Video, 12th May 2021)
The Gāyatrī Mantra, also known as the Sāvitri Mantra, is a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda, dedicated to Savitr also known as Vedmata. Gāyatrī is the name of the Goddess of the Vedic Mantra in which the verse is composed.

Le sitar du disciple de Ravi Shankar résonne à Genève par Sarah Zeines, 21 mai 2021

Love Letter 5 - Raag Bageshree (recorded in Geneva on December 7, 2021, for the 2021 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Virtual at Columbia University, New York City, December 9 – 11, 2021)

An interview with Ikhlaq Hussain in UNToday, March 2022, page 52

Pandit (Master) Ikhlaq Hussain is the son of Ustad Imdad Hussain, who is part of a family of musicians from Delhi who play a unique "Delhi" style, a centuries old musical lineage of Delhi Gharana. This family passed the culturally-rich artistic wealth from father to son (women were also sometimes encouraged to learn). Ikhlaq is thus part of a chain of musicians dedicated to keeping their unique tradition alive throughout the ages. Included is the Sufi Saint Hazrat Amir Khusrao, the creator of the sitar and tabla in the early 13th century. While the Delhi Gharana is known for its prolific use of tabla, rhythmic expression and composition, Ikhlaq's grandfather Ustad Ahmadi Khan was the first in the Gharana to play the sarangi, a bowed, short-necked string instrument.

Ustad Imdad Hussain has been recognized for his musical achievement in his lifetime by his government, as he was employed with Pakistan Radio (the stalwart of cultural preservation and dissemination) from the age of 16 until retirement, and was sent around the world as an ambassador of Pakistani culture and art. While he has trained numerous students, including his son son Ikhlaq Hussain and his grandson Turab Ali, rigorously, there is still a part of the musical lineage that may be lost from one generation to the next, and a type of inevitable modification of style as time goes by and culture changes and "modernizes." Ustad Imdad Hussain's knowledge of the ancient system of music, which was originally valued equally for its alchemist as aesthetic properties, is possibly unparalleled by any living artists in Pakistan.

Ustad Imdad Hussain devoted his musical life to playing the sitar. He was recommended for UNESCO's "National Living Treasure" for his life work in keeping the tradition of classical music and the Delhi Gharana alive in Pakistan. Ikhlaq's immediate family was relocated to Pakistan after the partition and resides today in Karachi.

Ustad Imdad Hussain's son is Ikhlaq Hussain Khan. Ikhlaq's rigorous musical education was acquired from his father Ustad Imdad Hussain and subsequently from Ustad Kabir Khan. Ikhlaq has been following the style of Ustad Vilayat Khan Gayaki, as has also his father Ustad Imdad Hussain. Seeking out an expanded perspective of classical music, Ikhlaq received a scholarship from the Government of India to study with the renowned Pandit Ravi Shankar in New Delhi India in 1991, whose style is very different. Hussain is playing in the Gayaki Ang or vocal style, which is considered one of the most difficult sitar techniques. In the Gayaki Ang style, the musician emulates the flexibility of the human voice by reproducing its nuances on the sitar, perhaps the most challenging form of sitar playing.

Ikhlaq is one of the select group of South Asian musicians who have been awarded a permanent residency status (green card) by INS in the United States of America on the basis of being an outstanding artist of international status. Since 2001, he has been residing in New York City, among others. He is the music director of the Rajaf Quartet, which includes also Anna Dagmar-Piano, Premik Russell Tubbs-Sax, Naren Budahkar/Feroze Khan-Tabla. He was Artist-in-Residence 2014 at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. He tours extensively and has performed at MIT, Harvard U, Boston TV, to name a few.

Ikhlaq's personal mission is to promote South Asian classical music through teaching and performing. He believes that preserving and transferring his rich musical tradition and heritage will help to create and maintain peace at home and in the world.

Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi is a musician but also a music activist who plays for people and speaks for them. He is also the editor of a music on-line magzine called DooBeeDooBeeDoo.
See a video, the US website, the SoSaLa German website.
Sohrab closed the Public Event of our "Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict" at Teachers College at Columbia University on December 6, 2012, with his wonderful improvisation. We thank Fabian Freire and Mariana Vergara for their video editing work. Venue: Columbia University, Teachers College, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, Milbank Chapel.

Portuguese Fado (saudade!)
Fado (translated as destiny or fate) is a music genre which can be traced from the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. It is characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade, a word with no accurate English translation. (It is a kind of longing, and conveys a complex mixture of mainly nostalgia, but also sadness, pain, happiness and love). Some enthusiasts claim that Fado's origins are a mixture of African slave rhythms with the traditional music of Portuguese sailors and Arabic influence. There are two main varieties of fado, namely those of the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra. The Lisbon style is the most popular, while Coimbra's is the more refined style. Modern fado is popular in Portugal, and has produced many renowned musicians. Main stream fado performances during the 20th century included only a singer, a Portuguese guitar player and a classical guitar player but more recent settings range from singer and string quartet to full orchestra.
Amália Rodrigues introduced the most well-known variety of fado, while Dulce Pontes mixed it with popular and traditional Portuguese music.
Dulce Pontes is a Portuguese musician, songwriter and singer who writes and performs in many music styles, including pop, folk and classical music. She usually defines herself as a world music artist. Her songs contributed to the 1990s revival of Portuguese urban folk music called fado. Blessed with a powerful and dramatic voice, she is one of the most famous and respected Portuguese artists. See here her songs.
Cesaria Evora aka Cize for her friends, was born on August 27th, 1941 in Mindelo, Cape Verde. With her great voice and stunning looks she soon attracted attention, but her hopes to become a professional singer were yet to be fulfilled. The singer Bana and a Cape Verde women's association respectively invited her to record in Lisbon but not one single producer showed any interest. In 1988 a young frenchman of Cape Verde blood, Josè Da Silva offered her to come to Paris to record an album. She was 47 at the time and had nothing to loose, she had never been to Paris before, so she agreed. See here some of her songs.

Sami Yoik/Joik
Yoik, Joik or juoiggus is a traditional Sámi form of song. The Sámi people are a transnational minority living in “Sápmi”, an area of land stretching across the borders of northern Scandinavia, Finland, and throughout the Kola Peninsula of north-western Russia.
Originally, yoik (or joik, luohti, vuolle, vuelie, leu'dd, or juoiggu) referred to only one of several Sami singing styles, but in English the word is often used to refer to all types of traditional Sami singing. Its sound is comparable to the traditional chanting of some American Indian cultures. Each yoik is meant to reflect a person or place. This does not mean that it is a song about the person or place, but that the yoiker is attempting to transfer "the essence" of that person or place into song - one yoiks their friend, not about their friend. It usually has short lyrics or no lyrics at all. This type of song can be deeply personal or spiritual in nature. Improvisation is not unusual. There are other forms of yoik (in the expanded sense of the word) that have a more epic type of lyrics. In northern Sami areas, most yoiks are personal, that is, tied to a specific person. A yoik is often made for a person at the time they are born. It has traditionally been sung a capella, sometimes accompanied by a drum. It is sometimes set to other instruments. The tonality of yoik is mostly pentatonic, but yoikers are at liberty to use any tones they please.
• The first time Evelin Lindner was deeply impressed by music in her entire life was when Ande Somby, a law professor at the University in Tromsø/Norges Arktiske Universitet, sang a stunning yoik dialogue on emotions with his teenage son. This was at the Higher Education for Peace Conference in Tromsø, Norway, 4 – 6 May 2000. See also Ole Henrik Magga, at that time head of the Sami parliament, speak in his language. Evelin: "Many artists do yoiking, but I have never heard, not before nor since, the uncluttered and pure way Magga and his son sang. They used no instruments and no microphone, which was wonderful. To my view, too many artists use too many instruments and/or too many technical effects, which then drown out the purity of the expression of their voice..."
Please see:
• Folk Bands & Musicians online.
• On May 9, 2014, the Dalai Lama paid a visit to Norway and received a very special song from the indigenous Sami people. The president of the Sameting (The Sami Parliament), Aili Keskitalo, came with Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska, who sang for the Dalai Lama. You can see this event on the Norwegian news of today if you click on and, after the news have started, you click on item number 9.
"The Sami Yoik," by Kathryn Burke. We thank Anja Tiller for sending us this link.
• Joikefeber, documentary, 2014: Ylva, a young Sámi-Norwegian music major is yearning to connect with her heritage through the Sámi yoik singing tradition of her ancestors. As Ylva makes personal connections with different yoiking traditions and meets Sámi legends like Mari Boine, Johan Sara Jr. & Ole Larsen Gaino, undercurrents of shame and conformity come to the surface.
• The work of Torgeir Vassvik.
• Ande Somby: Hopefully there will be new yoikers in the future, Sami Rights, Jorun Rui luohtti joik yoik. We thank Anja Tiller for making us aware of the work of Ande Somby!
• Sami Grand Prix 2011.
• Sami singing a capella joik at a WISTA conference in Tromsø.
• Please note Ragnhild Nilsen's collaboration with Pandit (Master) Ikhlaq Hussain after they met in New York City in 2007. Ragnhild sang a yoik in Norway, sent the recording to Ikhlaq in New York City, and he improvised to her voice. Listen to Ragnhild & Ikhlaq!

Elfi Sverdrup
The Norwegian artist and singer Elfi Sverdrup uses multiple expressions. Since 1977 she has been working with several vokal traditions: Norwegian folk singing, throat singing from Mongolia and Tuva, Inuit women throat singing from northern Canada and Sami joik, working with the best masters of the different traditions. The last years her main focus has been making improvisations mixing the different styles. The Inuit tradition called katajak is a kind of a sound and breathing competition between to women. The one that starts to laugh has lost. This technique she uses to weave the different vokal styles together, using traditional melodies as the basis. She is working with poetry readings, especially her father Harald Sverdrups poems, but after her life companion Triztan Vindtorns death also with his poems. Through the years she has had lots of performances in Norway, but also in Finland, Iceland, The Faroe Islands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Croatia, and Bosnia.

Alexander Patrut
Alexander Patrut has kindly set out to create our first HumanDHS song! We hope that others will create more songs that express the idea of equal dignity (and a world without humiliation)!

Gharnati (Arabic for Granada)
Gharnati (Arabic for Granada) is one of the major Andalusian musical styles, migrated from Granada, Spain, to Morocco in the 15th century. Its roots lie in the diverse music schools of medieval Andalusia, where the Arab-Andalusian musical style originally developed some 800 years earlier. Gharnati was preserved by the Tlemceni families and other communities that fled Spain to settle in several places, Morocco, especially in Fes.
Amina Alaoui is a scholar of philology, linguistics, and dance, and a prominent exponent of the ancient music style gharnati. She was born in 1964 to a traditional Fassi family, and has pursued an eclectic musical path that lead her to work with musicians from medieval, Persian, and flamenco musical backgrounds. She is accompanied in many of concerts by the ensemble of Ahmed Piro, a native of Rabat who is considered one of the great Arab-Andalusian musicians.

Nadja Räss
Nadja Räss, with her colleagues, has embarked on a "Stimmreise," a journey of voice with voice. She has studied classical music, with a particular interest in the earliest folk music, namely textless vocal music, the earliest folk music, in Switzerland represented by "Jodeln," which she presents in innovative and authentic ways. She also connects this heritage with voice traditions in other parts of the world, for example, the use of voice in Lappland. Please see here some pictures from her performance at the 2006 SBAP Award for Applied Psychology.

Nadja wrote (23rd October 2006): So gibt es vielleicht eines Tags auch eine internationale Austauschkette für traditionelle Volksmelodien! Ich beschäftige mich vorwiegend mit den traditionellen Naturjodeln der Schweiz, welche keinen Text haben, und als ursprünglichste Form der "Volksmusik" gelten. So gibt es auch in anderen Ländern solche vokalen, textlosen Melodien und mehr solche kennenzulernen wäre toll! ...
Was hältst du von einen Aufruf zum Austausch von solchen traditionellen Melodien?

Please, if you have traditional melodies, let us exchange them!


After the SBAP prize: Everybody mingles and Nadja Räss sings. Please click on the picture to see more photos.