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The following program was originally released in 1967. Thinkers and bells on her toes she shall have music wherever she goes. Though they produce it in a variety of ways and for many different reasons all the peoples of the world have been in a. Michigan State University Radio invites you now to a program of music around the world produced and hosted by Martin Nicholas. A certain proportion in some cases very high percentage of every society consists of children and even though there is a great deal of variation from society to society concerning the status the treatment the duties and privileges of children childhood specially the early years is always recognised as being a distinct phase of life. And since there is music related almost every element of culture life society it's not at all surprising that there are many songs about by and for children. Such
songs are among the least likely to be recorded though. If an American were asked to name all the different kinds of music he knows chances are he'd forget to include things like the farmer in the Dell or London bridges and the other songs that accompany games. Baa Baa Black Sheep Twinkle twinkle little star in the other nursery rhymes are often sung. Maybe even forget to include lullabies because these kinds of songs are sung almost exclusively by our two children and they're usually performed rather intimate casual and spontaneous circumstances. It's rather difficult to record either mother actually singing to her child or a group of children playing a game. But such situations are cavemen captured on wars specially in case of well advised music is performed more specifically for recording. But even when the performance is purposefully done for recording as with any situation involving children the results aren't always predictable. For example we'll hear of Elie Tong a woman of Zambia singing a jingle counting 1 to 10 on the fingers. A group of little girls were supposed to join in but just as the man making the recording got ready to punch the
button the little girls discovered the mirror qualities the hubcaps and bumpers of his car and they became so engrossed in admiring themselves and dancing to the reflections that they forgot to sing. And I got out the song. Here's a counting song sung by some chamber girls of Malawi. The influence of English on the local language can be heard in the counting. Can a one who can or two instead of a condom orgy beardy. I was thinking it's perhaps a little less surprising to hear English numbers used by a man leading some younger Che were
children in physical exercise drills at a Catholic school in Malawi. What's probably more surprising here is the complex drumming and singing being done by very small children. Meeting. The. Ears. Were the m i l. A M. E n. D n of.
The DMA. And the I'm. In the. The M E N. Let's go back to the chaebol girls who sing the counting song to hear them play a dancing game in which the participants are chosen one by one until everyone's had a chance to dance. It will be followed by a bit of a song sung by women as they pound corn into meal. It seems that the singing style the girls developed to accompany their dancing game will be used to accompany more
serious action within a few years. Of course children's games often are imitations of things their parents do. Here's a group of girls of South Africa some rubbing stones together to imitate growing grain and others are pantomiming we're going to make our children grow also practices you relations and shelter off music in that area. The same little girls play another pretend grown up game. It begins with them crouched in a circle
beating the ground with their hands and singing. We come from Rustenburg. We sell goods. Do you want to buy them. Do you want to bargain for them. Then one of the girls pretends to be a crying baby. One of the bigger girls picks you up put you on the back and tries to quiet her. Until finally another girl pretending to be the mother thinks and sings along. I don't want to.
In many societies children are expected to take responsibility for important tasks at quite an early age. Interest in societies in which animals are an important element of the economy very young boys are often put in charge of looking after the birds. A group of young Swati lads of Swaziland sing a herd boy song appealing to the quads to gather together and drop rain for the cattle they herd. If it's been dry or alternately to spread out and allow the sun to shine again. A group of Chinese children sing I have a great ambition. I can't wait
until I grow up and learn to be a farmer to plant rice and make terraces to reclaim marginal land to grow all sorts of nice grains and have richly stocked fish ponds. Oh and. Of course even though there are many children songs with serious or semi-serious import most children songs are just for fun. Instead 1 Children do a mock wedding singing game that has
some resemblance to our farmer in the dell. The song tells what happened to the wedding cake. The children form a circle and as each character is described the child representing that character is supposed to go to the center of the circle make the appropriate noise. First there is the giggling bride. Then the ants who bake the cake the mouse who nibble the cake the Catherine after the mouse to chase the cat the dog barks at the rooster the Col chase the dog the cat who got the milk from the cow. Then come the bride and her giggling attendants again. To little baker like Eskimo girls play another sort of singing gang.
Oh. Facing one another and keep singing verses trying not to laugh. Of course one of them breaks down. Children's songs are often about animals. There's a Turkish song called Billy P Which means. It tells of a pet rooster who
escaped in fright and flew from roof to roof. And this is a favorite children's song in Thailand also. I am.
A favorite song of Japanese children says we walk around. We become little birds and as we walk and sing our shoes also sing. When we pick flowers and put them in our hair we become robots pretty little rabbits and we dance in our shoes sing. Songs composed of nonsense verses are always great favorites with children both for the silliness of the
ideas and the musing combinations of songs. A favorite Bengali song tells about the heart lays eggs in the field and has two horns. Another verse tells about the frog and the children of the big frog live in the weaver's house eat. It says. Like this traditional song is accompanied by a combination of traditional Bengali and imported Western instruments playing a sort of arrangement. This song is often used as lullaby the mother patting the baby in time with the music.
Whereas most of the songs sung by children tend to be lively noisy exciting. Most of the songs sung to children are intended to produce the opposite result. The performers may have in mind a corollary of the old saying music soothes the savage beast. I knew from personal experience that it does sometimes work. But all the examples I happen to have record on successful cases such as this monkey man of Malawi singing to his child. When I am going on tour.
When I went on and on going on. In these four petty women of South Africa I don't seem to be having much luck either. When I am out I don't know. I.
Keep quiet my girl. Your mother will soon return. She's going to plant sweet potatoes. Keep quiet my girl keep an eye on my. Man I what do you suppose that the baby can't sleep on account of all the noise. I know. But I suspect most of you especially those who have that particular sound effect in your house without turning on the radio would prefer to hear the lullabies just as music. Here's one from Israel called. Initiative all the dollars tired and so she's going to sleep and all the other toys are going to sleep too. In the.
City. And here's a lullaby you might hear in a village in Cambodia. A young mother on the island of Palestrina near Venice Italy.
Oh I. See. I sing you a lullaby. May the crying leave me the suffering will bring you God's great sleep. Dear little darling thing. All babies are actually pretty. Home.
So American Indian lullabies. A man of Guatemala with an imitation of the flu. Go to sleep my baby you're the coyote will come for you. You better sleep child. And as Mexico.
Got away from them. At home in Michigan the Indian who calls himself chief White Bird plays and sings a song with a mysterious owl who's called who the owl is coming you'd better go to sleep little children or the owl will get you. This is Michigan State University.
Mother cries are you a child do you want a cookie. Do you want to sleep. My. Way.
And lastly Will you're a traditional Japanese lullaby accompanied by Western instruments. Go to sleep. You're such a little boy. Please sleep nice little baby. Where did you nurse maid go. She went to the village beyond the mountain. What did she bring you from the village. Bobbing doll in a paper doll. If you've not been lulled to sleep by now I'd like to invite you to join us next week when we listen to some examples
of cross-cultural influences. When I am born was the only one. We have presented music around the world with Martin Nicolas producer and commentator and we invite you to be with us again next week at the same time for music around the world. The only
time this program was produced for Michigan State University Radio originally released in 1967. The program you've just heard is from the program library of National Public Radio.
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Music around the world
Children's music
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on children's music from around the world.
Series Description
This series, hosted by Marta Nicholas, presents music from all parts of the globe.
Media type
Host: Nicholas, Marta
Producer: Parrish, Thomas (Thomas D.)
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-37-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:47
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Chicago: “Music around the world; Children's music,” 1967-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Music around the world; Children's music.” 1967-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Music around the world; Children's music. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from