Cross-Cultural Fusion Analysis


Part of the phenomena of world music is the appropriation by Western musicians of non-Western instruments,
sounds, structures and styles. There is also the appropriation by non-Western musicians of elements of
Western music, including instruments, sounds, structures and styles. These types of recordings are often
referred to as “world beat,” “ethno pop,” or “world pop.” This paper will analyze and evaluation the
appropriation of music from other cultures.
For this paper, you will explore the appropriation of traditional music by Western musicians. Choose one
recording from the list below. Write a critical review of the recording addressing the following:
Briefly describe the musical and aesthetic concept behind the recording answering this question: “What was
the goal of the artists?”
Discuss how traditional non-Western music is incorporated into the sound of the music. Be sure to utilize
musical terminology and scholarly sources to express your ideas.
Does the Western artist show musical respect for the imported tradition(s) represented on the recording? If so,
how? If not, why not?
Offer a critical evaluation about ways in which the project succeeds or fails as music, and in developing crosscultural relationships and understanding.
Peter Gabriel, “Passion” (created for The Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack based upon Middle Eastern
Kate Bush, “The Sensual World” (featuring Bulgarian women singers)
Paul Winter, “Kurski Funk” (jazz and Russian village music)
Outback, “Dance the Devil Away” (Australian Aboriginal music combined with folk guitar)
Baka Beyond, “Spirit of the Forest” (jam sessions with Baka Pygmies and composer/guitarist Martin Cradick
Linda Ronstadt, “Por un Amor” (featuring Mexican and Mexican-American musicians)
Talking Heads, “Born Under Punches” (appropriation of scratch, funk, Afro-Beat and jùjú rhythm)
“Ambilanao Zaho” (pop/avant-garde guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley with musicians in Madagascar)


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