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Music : MUS 239: Intro. to World Music

Includes research guides on jazz studies, music education, piano pedagogy, world music, instrumental and vocal resources, and much more!

Introduction to the Course Guide

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of world music resources, it is our hope that this page introduces users to the range of materials that are available through the Music Library at Missouri State University. If you have a specific research topic that you'd like to explore, you can arrange a one-on-one consultation with a member of our library staff by emailing us at: Music&


Streaming Video

This 12-part video series, entitled Exploring the World of Music, looks at music from around the world as it explores themes such as music and the environment, music as cultural memory, and how technology changes music. The individual episodes are 30 minutes long, and each includes several 5-minute video segments that focus on a particular music culture. 

Program 1, “Sound, music, and the environment”

Ganga singing from Bosnia 11:35-17:50; Tuvan throat singing 17:50-25:25

Program 2, "The transformative power of music"

Program 3, "Music and memory”

West African griot song 3:00-5:50; Storytelling ballads in rural America 5:50-10:00; Aboriginal ritual song and dance 12:35-14:55; Irish music in America 14:55-18:05

Program 4, "Transmission: learning music"

North Indian classical music; African village drumming

Program 5, "Rhythm"

North Indian tala 5:08-8:43; Japanese shakuhachi 8:43-11:11; West African drum ensembles 11:11-17:38; Afro-Cuban rumba 17:38-20:45

Program 6, "Melody"

Arabic maqam system 9:15-14:35; Irish ornamentation and sean nos singing 14:35-18:46; North Indian raga 18:46-23:27

Program 7, "Timbre, the color of music"

Program 8, "Texture"

Program 9, "Harmony"

Program 10, "Form, the shape of music"

Western music - sonata form 3:20-8:50; Jazz - improvisation over AABA form 8:50-13:30; Traditional Japanese music - narrative form 13:30-17:38; African music (from drumming to gospel) - call and response form 17:38-22:18; Irish dance music - AABB form 22:18-25:20

Program 11, "Composers and improvisers"

North Indian raga 2:50-4:10; Jazz 9:04-13:32; Arab classical music 13:32-16:43

Program 12, "Music and technology"


Smithsonian Folkways


Meyer Resources: Related DVDs

Irish Music

The Music Traditions of India

Gypsy Music

Music in Africa

Balinese Gamelan and Dance

The Music Traditions of China

Music and Politics in Eastern Europe

Latino/Hispanic Music

Native American Music


Meyer Resources: Performance Guides

African Music

 Cajun Music

 Chinese Music

  • Music from the Tang Court  
    Transcriptions of court entertainment music which was "borrowed" and then preserved in manuscript form by the Japanese Imperial Palace. The selections (written for 2 mouth organs, zither, and lute) include an "Introit to Perfect Virtue," music for spear throwing, and a tune representing the sounds of a flock of geese.
  • Jiao ni ru he tan zou pi pa ("Teach You How to Play Pipa")
    In Chinese. Includes exercises for pipa as well as over 30 pages of short solo material.
  • An Introduction to the Gu-Zheng (4 volumes)
    All in English, this 4-part series serves well as a beginning-to-intermediate method book for the Western zheng student. Volume 1 introduces the instrument (with detailed diagrams and instructions on stringing & tuning the instrument as well as securing the four plectra, or picks, to the player's hand). There are also 15 short exercises, or lessons, designed to build facility in the right hand plucking technique. Volumes 2, 3, and 4 contine the lesson sequence (16-72) by gradually incorporating more advanced techniques, and the series culminates with a complete solo called "Little Wooden Bridge," which would be suitable for a recital, jury, or public performance.

Hawaiian Music

 Irish Music

 Jewish Music

  • Klezmer Fiddle: A How-To Guide
    Includes music for 16 tunes (with parts for fiddle, second fiddle, and cello/bass). The companion CD is also available, with complete performances as well as backing tracks w/2nd fiddle, accordian, bass, and drums.
  • Klezmer Clarinet Duets
    12 short duets, including Havah Nagila, Az der Rebbe est, and Chiri Biri Bam.
  • Mordechai Gebirtig: His Poetic and Musical Legacy 
    Mordechai Gerbirtig was a Polish Jew who lived through World War I and the subsequent realization of independence by Poland, but did not survive the massacre of Jews by the Nazis during World War II. This collection includes 49 of his political/social songs: A Lidele, Tayer vi Gold ("A Song, Precious as Gold"); Gevalt Vel Ich Shrayen ("The Outcry"); Es Brent ("It Burns"). The second half of the book contains poems and songs without musical score, including Hulyet, Hulyet, Vilde Sochrim ("Make Merry, Black Marketeers") and Blayb Gesunt Mir, Kroke ("Farewell, My Cracow"). Texts are in both English and Yiddish.
  • Yes, We Sang!
    Songs from the ghettos and concentration camps of World War II Europe, arranged for voice and piano (with both English and Yiddish lyrics).
  • New Haggadah Melodies
    The sixteen songs in this collection were newly-composed by author David Alster-Yardeni to fill "the need for new singing material" during Jewish festivals such as the Passover Seder. Each song is notated in "lead sheet" style (as a single-line melody, with chord changes written above).

Spanish Music

 Traditional American Music



Meyer Resources: Journals and Reference Materials

Scholarly journals often provide the newest research and up-to-date information on upcoming publications and festivals.

   Here is a list of relevant journals that are available to you online.

Many of our books focused on music traditions from around the world are located in the following sections on the shelves:

        ML199-360  History               ML480-548  Instruments             ML3565-3776   History/Styles

The following sources are all available in the reference area of the music library. These do not normally check out to students.

Ref ML100 .G16 1998 - The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

Each volume in this series contains an overview of the geographic region, a general survey of its musical traditions, and more detailed descriptions of selected musical genres. The individual articles are supplemented with photographs, drawings, maps, and musical examples.

Volume 1: Africa

Volume 2: South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

Volume 3: The United States and Canada

Volume 4: Southeast Asia

Volume 5: South Asia (The Indian Subconitinent)

Volume 6: The Middle East

Volume 7: East Asia (China, Japan, Korea)

Volume 8: Europe

Volume 9: Australia and the Pacific Islands

Volume 10: The World's Music (General Perspectives and Reference Tools)

Ref ML101 .A9 O94 1997 - The Oxford Companion to Australian Music

This single-volume encyclopedia covers the full spectrum of music in Australia, from ancient Aboriginal traditions and European-derived orchestral, operatic, and concert music, to Australian folk, jazz, country, rock, and experimental music. The alphabetical entries include biographies of key figures and groups, major musical organizations and companies, musical works, genres, instruments, terms, and some of the historical and cultural contexts within which Australian music can be placed.

Ref ML101 .I47 O94 2011 - The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Music of India

Fully cross-referenced, and with over 5000 entries by more than 100 leading experts from all over India and abroad, this 3-volume encyclopedia includes detailed biographical notes on composers, musicians, and dancers in classical, folk, film, and other musical forms over the last 2000 years. Over 200 rare photos and paintings from family albums and private collections are included, as well as sections on the music of India's neighboring countries, the influence of Western music on India, and the prevelence of Indian music in popular drama and film.

Ref ML101 .I73 V35 1999 - The Companion to Traditional Irish Music

Ref ML106 .C8 O7613 2004 - Cuban Music frrom A to Z

Ref ML108 .F27 1981 - An Annotated Glossary of Arabic Musical Terms

Ref ML108 .K37 1990 - Selected Musical Terms of Non-Western Cultures: A Notebook-Glossary

Ref ML128 .E8 P67 2004 - Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide

Ref ML128 .E8 S4 1992 - Ethnomusicology Research: A Select Annotated Bibliography

Ref ML128 .F75 K44 1997 - North American Indian Music: A Guide to Published Sources and Selected Recordings