Various Artists

The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan

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The term "Silk Road" applies to a number of trade routes that were frequented by merchants and other travellers through Eurasia between 200 BC and 1500 AD. These actually included both land and sea routes, and would have brought travellers into contact with a wide variety of social, political and, as this generous two-disc set makes plain, musical cultures. Organized and overseen by famed cellist Yo Yo Ma, The Silk Road is a sort of musical travelogue that documents some of these widely disparate musical traditions. Each of the two discs offers a slightly different focus: the first is titled "Masters & Traditions," and focuses on what would be considered "classical" music in each of the cultures represented; the second, "Minstrels & Lovers," presents what might be considered pop or folk music, divided into nomadic, festal and spiritual subgenres. For many Western listeners, the classical traditions will actually be more familiar, which is part of what makes this collection fun -- while many of us have heard the occasional example of Tibetan throat singing or Japanese shakuhachi music, it's likely that the pishro tradition of Azerbaijan or Uzbekistani lute music or the elaborate Jew's harp techniques of Kazakhstan will be a new experience for many. Highly recommended to anyone with an ethnomusicological bent.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:11 Amazon
2 03:50 Amazon
3 01:25 Amazon
4 02:30 Amazon
5 03:39 Amazon
6 04:20 Amazon
7 01:52 Amazon
8 03:13 Amazon
9 04:08 Amazon
10 02:50 Amazon
11 02:57 Amazon
12 02:20 Amazon
13 02:19 Amazon
14 03:27 Amazon
15 02:13 Amazon
16 02:19 Amazon
17 02:01 Amazon
18 04:04 Amazon
19 03:51 Amazon
20 02:16 Amazon
21 02:45 Amazon
22 03:54 Amazon
23 03:29 Amazon
24 02:49 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:21 Amazon
2 03:32 Amazon
3 02:29 Amazon
4 03:38 Amazon
Alpamish Epic
5 04:49 Amazon
6 02:49 Amazon
7 01:21 Amazon
8 04:38 Amazon
9 03:53 Amazon
10
Kuu
03:28 Amazon
11 03:38 Amazon
12 02:04 Amazon
13 02:21 Amazon
14 03:32 Amazon
15 04:25 Amazon
16 03:45 Amazon
17 02:31 Amazon
18 03:22 Amazon
19 04:05 Amazon
20 04:38 Amazon
21 03:22 Amazon
22 04:05 Amazon
23 04:38 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick