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The following program was originally released in 1967 though the ramifications vary from society to society. The formation of a new family unit is always a significant occasion and like most important events weddings are usually accompanied by and associated with music. We want to call you a good time at the time and I'm telling you you know those days with you sit in a variety of ways and for many different reasons. Oh the peoples of the world have been in a state. Michigan State University Radio invites you now to a program of music around the world produced and hosted by Michael Nicholas. No. Room in the room. Room.
In this country the implications and consequences of marriage vary according to individual circumstances. In many societies however certain factors are more regularized than a wedding is the formalisation not only of personal relations between the couple but also relations between families lineages clans tribes villages regions or even whole countries in case of royalty. Economic elements are always involved to some extent and there are often political implications as well. In a few isolated tribes such as the subject of Taiwan here singing a welcome to the bride. All the relations of society social economic political and ritual are dependent upon kinship connections and marriage alliances.
Most weddings involve important economic transactions in the modern industrial societies. There is more scope for variation on and deviations from the traditional patterns of who's to provide what for the wedding festivities and the newlyweds. But many societies have powerful traditions about this economic exchange. Some places have written laws about the amounts and how they are to be handled in other places there are understood rules that are no less strong for being unwritten or even officially disapproved. In some cases the groom's family has to give money or goods to the family of the bride. In some societies it's the other way around. Sometimes they are both expected to contribute and occasionally it even balances out. But where ever payment must be made before marriage can take place. There's always someone who can't afford it. There are some girls of Durban South Africa single mentor young man who can't marry because he doesn't have the cattle which must be given her family as well.
Customs do change over time though and although it's no longer the case evidently in Hungary at one time the groom had to pay for his bride because the Hungarian word for bridegroom translates literally as buying land and the word for a marriageable girl is literally a girl for sale. It sure is a village close to Budapest and the inhabitants have preserved many of the more colorful wedding traditions. The Hungarian state folk ensemble which has toured the United States performs a series of scenes depicting various ceremonial moments of a wedding in such as pressing the bride the groom's farewell to bachelorhood the binding of the bride here and the wedding which we hear now.
In Hungary it was a custom that during the party following the wedding the bride and groom were supposed to sit facing the window so people who were invited could look in to see them. And. Hear some women of Malawi are saying that they have been invited to a wedding and they're going to wear their most chic hats called dicks. Now.
On the coast of British North Borneo the people have a party the night before the wedding. Some to come in Zambia start out early in the morning walking to the wedding and singing a song of good wishes for the marriage as they go along.
Having arrived at the wedding in the Herzegovina province of Yugoslavia there's some question about how the ceremony is to begin. So two women asked Grampa to start the song in the wedding ritual. Than. The regret. In the wedding ceremony of the Swan The bride must go with her party to her future mother in law to formally request acceptance into the family. She says I've come to ask you to accept me.
I am. At a Christian wedding in Cape Province South Africa. The choral society sings while the couple signs the register the words express both practical advice about writing nicely in the register because a marriage certificate is going to be sent to a far country meaning Pretoria and general pleasure in seeing the various members of the tribe gathered at the happy occasion. The day. The ceremony is over and congratulations are in order. The bottlers singers of Chief comes Inzi of Rwanda wish the bride and groom happiness.
Near Albania the wedding guest proposed.
Then the wedding procession moves on to join the group of family and friends who have gathered to celebrate the event. This procession is in the region of functional in the chest young province of China. In Egypt the wedding is divided into two separate parts. First there is an exchange of rings vows and contracts detailing the economic
agreements. Then perhaps after a few days perhaps a whole year later there is a great feast and celebration. Music is more associated with the final festivities of course than with the business dealings and the solemn religious ritual performed earlier. We'll hear an Algerian singer named Marda which means Rose singing Egyptian wedding song called Yes knocked Latine for the lead. The lyrics are addressed to the bride and the groom and to both of their families. And they compare the couple to two tall palm trees and.
The next piece of music of the people of the Congo is played on some very interesting instruments. For drums with vibrating membranes inserted into the sides and therefore singing women play the chords by holding their mouths and singing notes out of alternating sides of their mouths as if they were playing a trumpet in the resonator.
Man of Rwanda accompanies a marriage song made by stretching strings across the mouth of an elongated draw. The short distance he makes between lines indicate pleasure and satisfaction. Sort of like a Spanish or a Greek or a swinger's. A Cambodian classical orchestra plays an ancient piece of music.
And that was a song similar to the instrument we just heard in the Cambodian orchestra and practically identical in form with instruments found in the Samarian tombs of the second millennium B.C.. In most of India. It's the main instrument used to accompany the long complicated wedding ceremony with a different type of song for each phase of the ceremony. So although it is used for other music as well there's a strong association between the sound of the shinai or as it's called itself. And weddings.
Especially the married ones.
And further to the west the same instrument which is there called the Sun plays for carries away the bride. In many societies the new bride has to leave her family and friends to go live in the household of her new husband's family where her role changes from that of beloved sister and daughter to shy newcomer and survival in law. Even though her upbringing has usually been geared to preparing her for exactly the situation she's often very sad to leave all she knows and loves to go live with strangers perhaps many miles away from her own family here. A new bride in Thailand laments having to go to another part of the country.
The wedding was exciting. The popular Japanese geishas song they million refers to a practice that seems to have been developed in order to avert the miseries often experienced by parties on both
sides. When a bride came to take her place in the household of her husband's family it seems that on Peugeot Island where the song originated the girl sometimes went to live in her future husband sort of a trial basis. If she couldn't get along with the family or fit into their routines or there were any personality clashes. The whole thing could be called off. She'd just go back home and the marriage ceremony would never take place. As far as I could find out this custom which impresses me as being quite sensible was never very widespread. Maybe too many girls pulled out. This girl was answering a friend who had just said Say I thought you got married. I was supposed to she says but the husband to me was ugly and his family and the neighbors didn't like me. So figuring it was a lost cause anyway. I went out of town with some friends and she proceeds to tell how they enjoyed themselves. As far as I know there's no North American Indian wedding music available on distort tapes. Only a few of the tribes use music for their marriage ceremonies and a wedding is such a sacred event that
outsiders probably wouldn't even be invited at all. Certainly not with tape recorders in hand. However a wedding is always a good excuse to have a party in dance the social dance songs of the Santa Clara public New Mexico and it accompanies a two step dance a style that's very popular amongst many Indian groups. Join us next week what will be the swing to some of the many interesting vocal styles and techniques used around the world. 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 lead in.
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Music around the world
Wedding 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 flute music from around the world.
Other 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: 67-37-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:51
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Chicago: “Music around the world; Wedding music,” 1967-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 9, 2022,
MLA: “Music around the world; Wedding music.” 1967-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 9, 2022. <>.
APA: Music around the world; Wedding music. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from