The Ultimate World Music Playlist

Friday, June 28, 2019
By Azamara

Music needs no translation to be understood and appreciated. It’s a cultural expression that transcends boundaries and borders, and offers an authentic connection to local life. Our 2018 World Journey visits 60 ports in 29 countries, offering ample opportunity to discover not only the sights, but also the sounds of some of the world’s most amazing destinations.

To prepare for this epic 102-day voyage we’ve compiled a playlist that highlights musical genres and styles of some destinations we’ll be calling on. Take a look—and a listen!  

New Zealand: Maori War Chants and Folk Songs

Our World Journey voyage embarks from Sydney, Australia, but guests also have the option to add to the fun by boarding early for a New Zealand adventure.

Descended from the Hawaiki people of Eastern Polynesia, the Maori arrived in New Zealand around a thousand years ago. Warfare among tribes was common, and became a central aspect of their culture. Before a battle, the haka was chanted to frighten the enemy and make the performer feel fearless. It’s characterized by monotonic chants, slapping of the chest and legs, and protruding eyes and tongues. Today it’s often performed by Kiwi sports teams before a match. See this moving display for yourself during a performance of traditional Maori song and dance on a Cruise Global, Connect Local shore excursion in Tauranga.

Indonesia: Gamelan

Pronounced gah-meh-lan, this traditional Indonesian music is unlike anything most Western ears have ever heard. Complex rhythms played mainly on percussion instruments made from metal give this music a whimsical and transporting quality. Gamelan ensembles also include flutes, string instruments and vocals, and often accompany dances and ceremonies. With stops in Bali and Celukan Bawang on the World Journey, you’ll have ample opportunity to take in this truly enchanting music that is central to Indonesian culture.

Italy: Opera

It’s grand, dramatic, and the ideal Italian experience. Based on performance genres including Greek Drama, monody (poems sung by a soloist with a single instrument accompanying) and madrigals (a capella singing with harmonizing vocalists), opera explores themes of both comedy and drama. Whether it’s your first or fifth visit to Italy, a night at the opera is always an exceptional way to spend an evening. Enjoy a night listening to the works of Rossini, Verdi, Puccini and more Italian operatic masters with our AzAmazing Evenings event at Teatro Goldoni in Venice.

England: Rock Music and the British Invasion

In December 1963 The Beatles had the world under the spell of Beatlemania as they ushered in a new era of rock music. Acts like The Who and The Rolling Stones continued the “British Invasion” with a harder-driving, blues-based sound that drew inspiration from black American artists of the 1950s and offered an outlet for the ‘outsider’ youth not drawn to candy-coated pop music also popular at the time. With an overnight stay in London during the World Journey, there’s lots of time to seek out iconic rock music landmarks like the Rolling Stone’s recording studio in Tin Pan Alley or the Marquee Club. On Abbey Road, do your best John, Paul, George, or Ringo impression and recreate the iconic album cover on the world-famous zebra street crossing. Need a little more inspiration? Check out our blog How to Spend 36 Hours in London.

Russia: Classical Composers

Though the 2018 World Journey concludes in London, guests have the option to extend their voyage with an incredible Baltic cruise. The itinerary includes three full days in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Russia has produced some of the most popular and prolific composers of classical music. From Glinka to Tchaikovsky to The Mighty Five, Russian classical music draws on traditional folk tales and nationalistic themes to create monumental and moving pieces of music. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture opens with a Russian hymn and goes on to chronicle the defense of the motherland against Napoleon’s invading army, complete with a climactic volley of cannon fire. In St. Petersburg, you’ll be treated to an AzAmazing Evening of Russian culture with a private performance by the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra at an opulent concert hall.

Are you ready to experience even more of the world’s diverse musical styles? Take a look at our 2018 World Journey itinerary and start curating your very own playlist to put you in the mood for an immersive global adventure. 

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