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World Service Music Documentaries

BBC World Service

12
Followers
5
Plays
World Service Music Documentaries

World Service Music Documentaries

BBC World Service

12
Followers
5
Plays
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About Us

All the BBC World Service music podcasts gathered into one place. New documentaries will be added intermittently. Only available in the UK.

Latest Episodes

Our Love for Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music is an art form that’s been in the making for thousands of years and has exponentially grown in popularity, seeing a 70% increase in people taking exams in the UK alone. First mentioned in its simplest form in the Hindu scriptures known as the vedas, some 3,500 years ago, we tell the story of how the music has educated and liberated people across the globe, and why it’s more popular now than ever before.

48 min2019 JAN 5
Comments
Our Love for Indian Classical Music

It Jus' Keeps Rolling: The Story of Ol' Man River

In 1927 Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein created Ol’ Man River to bind their breakthrough Broadway musical Show Boat. Giving it an almighty showstopper. Audiences were carried away as ‘Joe’, the ordinary black labourer, took centre stage to sing of toil and suffering in the land of cotton along the banks of the Mississippi. From the beginning it thrilled with powerful contradictions. A song of black suffering by white artists in Jim Crow America where its mixed cast couldn’t even dine together. Its lyrics were racially charged and contested from the get go and before becoming a song of revolution and protest across three continents. Kern and Hammerstein wrote it specifically with rising superstar Paul Robeson in mind. The son of a slave, the singer of new Negro spirituals and, later, the voice of working class solidarity. But Robeson would not be the first to perform it. That would come a year later in London, beginning a complex personal relationship with the song including hi...

50 min2018 DEC 29
Comments
It Jus' Keeps Rolling: The Story of Ol' Man River

Aretha Franklin: Queen Of Soul

Aretha Franklin, for fifty years the Queen of Soul, with a voice of unique quality and who suffered a difficult and troubled life, has died at the age of 76. Jumoke Fashola hears from musicians, fans and producers from different parts of the world about what made Aretha Franklin’s music special. It Includes contributions from South African singer Lira, American musician Valerie June, record company mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden, singer Sarah Dash and music journalist David Nathan.

26 min2018 AUG 19
Comments
Aretha Franklin: Queen Of Soul

Martin Morales’s Peruvian Roadtrip

Peruvian-born chef and record producer Martin Morales heads back to his homeland to explore the inherent link between food and music in Andean culture. Martin starts his journey at the famous La Chomba restaurant in Cusco, where musicians queue to serenade the diners, and then heads to the tiny village of Lamay where the local delicacy is guinea pig on a stick. He then visits the Centre for Native Arts in Cusco where food and music come together with a dance about the Oca potato. Providing the soundtrack to the dance is the legendary violinist Reynaldo Pillco. Martin also meets singer Sylvia Falcon who enchants with a song that highlights the importance of the Coca leaf in Peruvian cuisine and culture. And, he talks to Peruvian music legend Manuelcha Prado aka the “Saqra” of the guitar – or the devil of the guitar. Plus, talented travelling musician Carlos – whose lack of teeth does not affect his ability to connect the with his appreciative audience. (Photo: Martin Morales. Cre...

49 min2018 APR 9
Comments
Martin Morales’s Peruvian Roadtrip

Yevgeny Murzin: Master of the Synthesiser

Due to the political climate in Soviet Russia of the day, Yevgeny Murzin was forced to build his synthesizer in secret with little access to electronic parts. Over next two decades (pre and post war), the ANS as it was known, was a self-financed, largely secret labour of love; Murzin had to work on it in his spare time over two decades with help from a like-minded, tight-knit circle of composers and technicians. Murzin finally completed construction of the ANS in 1958 and it was subsequently used by a number of pioneering 20th Century Russian composers such as Stanislav Kreichi, Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina and Edward Artemiev. The unearthly tones of the ANS were perfectly suited to the era of Soviet space exploration, and became the soundtrack instrument of choice for a series of classic Russian sci-fi films, the most famous being Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris released in 1972. Meet those who knew Murzin and saved his instrument from obscurity: Eduard Artemiev ...

49 min2018 MAR 31
Comments
Yevgeny Murzin: Master of the Synthesiser

Aretha at 75

Known as the Queen of Soul, voice artists have been in awe of Aretha Franklin for 50 years. In Aretha at 75 Mark Coles talks to musicians, fans and producers from different parts of the world about what makes her so special. Including contributions from South African singer Lira, American musician Valerie June, record company mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden, singer Sarah Dash and music journalist David Nathan. Producer: Bob Howard Photo: Aretha Franklin, Credit: Getty Images

26 min2018 JAN 3
Comments
Aretha at 75

Symphony of the Stones

Ancient history was not silent, so why is our study of it? The oldest-known musical instruments – bone flutes found in southern Germany – date back a little over 40,000 years. But how long humans have been making music in one form or another is a matter of great speculation. What did ‘music’ mean in the context of our Palaeolithic and Neolithic forebears? And, how did the human voice, archaeological artefacts and ancient sites themselves affect the sounds of their world. Travelling from Stonehenge and West Kennet in the United Kingdom to Cueva de la Pileta in Spain and on to Little Black Mountain in the United States, archaeologist and musician Miriam Cooke, witnesses how the techniques of archaeoacoustics – the study of sound in archaeological contexts – can help connect us to the past. She attempts to recover the soundtrack of our ancestors and then write a song about it. Contributors include professor Rupert Till from the University of Huddersfield, sound artist Oliver Beer...

49 min2017 DEC 4
Comments
Symphony of the Stones

Gabriela Montero: Improvisation Masterclass

Gabriela Montero, the exhilarating Venezuelan pianist, is playing in Miami. She is renowned for her live improvisations, a form of classical music that is rarely heard in concert halls today. Her spontaneous compositions on stage are inspired by musical motifs, sung or hummed to her by a member of the audience, often drawn from the classical repertoire, but also from the local folk traditions of any given audience.

49 min2017 APR 29
Comments
Gabriela Montero: Improvisation Masterclass

Get Up, Stand Up: Reggae in Poland

What makes the sweet rhythmical music of a Caribbean island so appealing to young people in the eastern European country of Poland? How did a reggae singer with dreadlocks come to win the TV show Poland's Got Talent? And why is Poland one of the biggest markets for reggae music in the world? Bob Marley's biographer Chris Salewicz reports from the annual Ostroda Reggae Festival where ten thousand Poles gather for three days at a former communist army camp to hear artists and bands like Bednarek, Jah9, Damian Syjonfam and Nattali Rize celebrate the music of Jamaica. Pioneers of Polish Reggae including Robert Brylewski from Poland's first reggae band Izrael and Tomasz Lipinski from the influential punk/reggae outfit Brygada Kryzys explain how the music took root during the 1980s as a vehicle for protest against martial law. London-based Jamaican Norman Grant describes his visits to Poland at that time to collaborate and make records with the traditional Polish mountain musicians Trebun...

47 min2017 APR 1
Comments
Get Up, Stand Up: Reggae in Poland

Van Morrison and me

John McCarthy explores how Van Morrison’s music has influenced people’s lives and Brian Keenan takes John on a tour of Van’s home city of Belfast.

49 min2017 FEB 2
Comments
Van Morrison and me

Latest Episodes

Our Love for Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music is an art form that’s been in the making for thousands of years and has exponentially grown in popularity, seeing a 70% increase in people taking exams in the UK alone. First mentioned in its simplest form in the Hindu scriptures known as the vedas, some 3,500 years ago, we tell the story of how the music has educated and liberated people across the globe, and why it’s more popular now than ever before.

48 min2019 JAN 5
Comments
Our Love for Indian Classical Music

It Jus' Keeps Rolling: The Story of Ol' Man River

In 1927 Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein created Ol’ Man River to bind their breakthrough Broadway musical Show Boat. Giving it an almighty showstopper. Audiences were carried away as ‘Joe’, the ordinary black labourer, took centre stage to sing of toil and suffering in the land of cotton along the banks of the Mississippi. From the beginning it thrilled with powerful contradictions. A song of black suffering by white artists in Jim Crow America where its mixed cast couldn’t even dine together. Its lyrics were racially charged and contested from the get go and before becoming a song of revolution and protest across three continents. Kern and Hammerstein wrote it specifically with rising superstar Paul Robeson in mind. The son of a slave, the singer of new Negro spirituals and, later, the voice of working class solidarity. But Robeson would not be the first to perform it. That would come a year later in London, beginning a complex personal relationship with the song including hi...

50 min2018 DEC 29
Comments
It Jus' Keeps Rolling: The Story of Ol' Man River

Aretha Franklin: Queen Of Soul

Aretha Franklin, for fifty years the Queen of Soul, with a voice of unique quality and who suffered a difficult and troubled life, has died at the age of 76. Jumoke Fashola hears from musicians, fans and producers from different parts of the world about what made Aretha Franklin’s music special. It Includes contributions from South African singer Lira, American musician Valerie June, record company mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden, singer Sarah Dash and music journalist David Nathan.

26 min2018 AUG 19
Comments
Aretha Franklin: Queen Of Soul

Martin Morales’s Peruvian Roadtrip

Peruvian-born chef and record producer Martin Morales heads back to his homeland to explore the inherent link between food and music in Andean culture. Martin starts his journey at the famous La Chomba restaurant in Cusco, where musicians queue to serenade the diners, and then heads to the tiny village of Lamay where the local delicacy is guinea pig on a stick. He then visits the Centre for Native Arts in Cusco where food and music come together with a dance about the Oca potato. Providing the soundtrack to the dance is the legendary violinist Reynaldo Pillco. Martin also meets singer Sylvia Falcon who enchants with a song that highlights the importance of the Coca leaf in Peruvian cuisine and culture. And, he talks to Peruvian music legend Manuelcha Prado aka the “Saqra” of the guitar – or the devil of the guitar. Plus, talented travelling musician Carlos – whose lack of teeth does not affect his ability to connect the with his appreciative audience. (Photo: Martin Morales. Cre...

49 min2018 APR 9
Comments
Martin Morales’s Peruvian Roadtrip

Yevgeny Murzin: Master of the Synthesiser

Due to the political climate in Soviet Russia of the day, Yevgeny Murzin was forced to build his synthesizer in secret with little access to electronic parts. Over next two decades (pre and post war), the ANS as it was known, was a self-financed, largely secret labour of love; Murzin had to work on it in his spare time over two decades with help from a like-minded, tight-knit circle of composers and technicians. Murzin finally completed construction of the ANS in 1958 and it was subsequently used by a number of pioneering 20th Century Russian composers such as Stanislav Kreichi, Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina and Edward Artemiev. The unearthly tones of the ANS were perfectly suited to the era of Soviet space exploration, and became the soundtrack instrument of choice for a series of classic Russian sci-fi films, the most famous being Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris released in 1972. Meet those who knew Murzin and saved his instrument from obscurity: Eduard Artemiev ...

49 min2018 MAR 31
Comments
Yevgeny Murzin: Master of the Synthesiser

Aretha at 75

Known as the Queen of Soul, voice artists have been in awe of Aretha Franklin for 50 years. In Aretha at 75 Mark Coles talks to musicians, fans and producers from different parts of the world about what makes her so special. Including contributions from South African singer Lira, American musician Valerie June, record company mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden, singer Sarah Dash and music journalist David Nathan. Producer: Bob Howard Photo: Aretha Franklin, Credit: Getty Images

26 min2018 JAN 3
Comments
Aretha at 75

Symphony of the Stones

Ancient history was not silent, so why is our study of it? The oldest-known musical instruments – bone flutes found in southern Germany – date back a little over 40,000 years. But how long humans have been making music in one form or another is a matter of great speculation. What did ‘music’ mean in the context of our Palaeolithic and Neolithic forebears? And, how did the human voice, archaeological artefacts and ancient sites themselves affect the sounds of their world. Travelling from Stonehenge and West Kennet in the United Kingdom to Cueva de la Pileta in Spain and on to Little Black Mountain in the United States, archaeologist and musician Miriam Cooke, witnesses how the techniques of archaeoacoustics – the study of sound in archaeological contexts – can help connect us to the past. She attempts to recover the soundtrack of our ancestors and then write a song about it. Contributors include professor Rupert Till from the University of Huddersfield, sound artist Oliver Beer...

49 min2017 DEC 4
Comments
Symphony of the Stones

Gabriela Montero: Improvisation Masterclass

Gabriela Montero, the exhilarating Venezuelan pianist, is playing in Miami. She is renowned for her live improvisations, a form of classical music that is rarely heard in concert halls today. Her spontaneous compositions on stage are inspired by musical motifs, sung or hummed to her by a member of the audience, often drawn from the classical repertoire, but also from the local folk traditions of any given audience.

49 min2017 APR 29
Comments
Gabriela Montero: Improvisation Masterclass

Get Up, Stand Up: Reggae in Poland

What makes the sweet rhythmical music of a Caribbean island so appealing to young people in the eastern European country of Poland? How did a reggae singer with dreadlocks come to win the TV show Poland's Got Talent? And why is Poland one of the biggest markets for reggae music in the world? Bob Marley's biographer Chris Salewicz reports from the annual Ostroda Reggae Festival where ten thousand Poles gather for three days at a former communist army camp to hear artists and bands like Bednarek, Jah9, Damian Syjonfam and Nattali Rize celebrate the music of Jamaica. Pioneers of Polish Reggae including Robert Brylewski from Poland's first reggae band Izrael and Tomasz Lipinski from the influential punk/reggae outfit Brygada Kryzys explain how the music took root during the 1980s as a vehicle for protest against martial law. London-based Jamaican Norman Grant describes his visits to Poland at that time to collaborate and make records with the traditional Polish mountain musicians Trebun...

47 min2017 APR 1
Comments
Get Up, Stand Up: Reggae in Poland

Van Morrison and me

John McCarthy explores how Van Morrison’s music has influenced people’s lives and Brian Keenan takes John on a tour of Van’s home city of Belfast.

49 min2017 FEB 2
Comments
Van Morrison and me
success toast
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