world music


Definition of world music

: popular music originating from or influenced by non-Western musical traditions and often having a danceable rhythm usually hyphenated when used attributively

Examples of world music in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On tap are four contemporary pieces that are influenced by pop, jazz, game and world music. oregonlive, "12 classical music performances to stir and soothe winter of our discontent," 11 Jan. 2021 The group, formed in 1975 in New York City, helped to pioneer new wave by blending elements of punk, rock, art pop, funk, and world music with an avant-garde aesthetic. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Selena, Salt-N-Pepa Among Recording Academy’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients," 22 Dec. 2020 Besides jazz favorites, the show (tickets start at $18) will feature klezmer, world music and songs that evoke the cry for social justice. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: For Steve Poltz, positivity is the only option," 19 Nov. 2020 The center promotes peace through the celebration of world music, dance, visual arts and cultural education. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "WorldBeat founder Makeda ‘Dread’ honored with East Village mural," 16 Nov. 2020 The Recording Academy has tweaked the name of the best world music album category less than a month before this year's Grammy nominees are set to be announced. Gary Dinges, USA TODAY, "Grammys rename awards category after citing colonialism connotation," 3 Nov. 2020 For the awards presented in February 2012, the two categories were merged back to best world music album. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Grammys Change Name of World Music Album Category Due to Connotations of 'Colonialism'," 2 Nov. 2020 Jarre, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing his compositions, uses world music and thunderous drums to beat home the monumental nature of the film. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "40 greatest film scores of all time," 6 Sep. 2020 Williams injects elements of Afrobeat and world music in his makeover of the track, Wonder's upbeat celebration of the pageantry of race and ethnicity in American history. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "New remix puts a timely spin on a Stevie Wonder's classic 'Black Man'," 30 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'world music.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of world music

1982, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about world music

Time Traveler for world music

Time Traveler

The first known use of world music was in 1982

See more words from the same year

Statistics for world music

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“World music.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for world music

world music


English Language Learners Definition of world music

: popular music that is based on musical traditions from different parts of the world and that often has a rhythm that you can dance to

More from Merriam-Webster on world music Encyclopedia article about world music

Comments on world music

What made you want to look up world music? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!