Ali Farka Touré
Smithsonian Folkways World Music Collection


In the Western world, "World music" refers either to music that doesn't fall into the North American and British pop or folk traditions or to hybrids of various indigenous musics. Certain styles -- such as Jamaican reggae or Latin pop -- grew large enough to be classified as their own genre, but everything else, from traditional Chinese music to African folk, is classified as world music. Worldbeat is something different than world music, since it's usually the result of Western hybrids and fusions, yet it still falls under the world music umbrella because it borrows styles, sounds and instrumentation from various indigenous musics.

International Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Watermark Enya
Cais Lô Borges / Milton Nascimento
Mama Look a Boo Boo Harry Belafonte
Zombie Fela Kuti
Ravi Shankar
Yatzah Masada String Trio
I've Got No Strings Gipsy Kings
Keep on the Sunny Side The Carter Family
So Danco Samba Stan Getz / João Gilberto / Antônio Carlos Jobim
Batidinha Antônio Carlos Jobim
Chan Chan Buena Vista Social Club
Bombon de Pollo Beny Moré
Meu Glorioso Sao Cristovao Jorge Ben / Gilberto Gil
Pêche a La Mouche Django Reinhardt
Cositas Buenas (Tangos) Paco de Lucía
Ballade de Melody Nelson Serge Gainsbourg
Aquarela Do Brasil
João Gilberto
Orinoco Flow Enya
Cordão Chico Buarque
Thiapathioly Etoile de Dakar / Youssou N'Dour
Un Amor Gipsy Kings
The Wind That Shakes the Barley/The Reel with the Beryle The Chieftains
Kuchh Dil Ne Kaha Lata Mangeshkar
Set Youssou N'Dour
Brown Skin Girl Harry Belafonte
So Danço Samba Antônio Carlos Jobim
Michelangelo '70 Astor Piazzolla
The Fool on the Hill Sergio Mendes
Man Smart (Woman Smarter) Harry Belafonte
Sunflower River Blues John Fahey
Ya Ya Buckwheat Zydeco
Baby Gal Costa
Cinema Olympia Gal Costa
Fado da Adiça Amália Rodrigues
Is There Something Inside You? Buckwheat Zydeco
Corcovado Astrud Gilberto
Lam Tooro Baaba Maal / Mansour Seck
Tom Dooley
Doc Watson
Cotton Eyed Joe John Renbourn

International subgenres and styles [+]