What's the stereotypically Asian music called?
March 24, 2004 8:25 PM   Subscribe

What's the stereotypically Asian music called? You know, the music you hear in the background of Asian stores in movies? I'd like to buy some. Even better, is there a streaming station of it somewhere?
posted by crawl to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
crawl, you have to be more specific than "Asian" because (without sounding too condescending) there are many different cultures in Asia making many different kinds of music.
posted by gen at 8:58 PM on March 24, 2004

maybe 9 or 17 here? (i'm thinking it may be taiwanese or chinese pop--highpitched vocals, and kinda traditional?)
posted by amberglow at 9:11 PM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: I'm sorry about the vagueness, but that's what happens when you don't know what you're talking about.

I'm thinking "classical" Japenese music. Like on the Simpsons just now, Marge served the family a Dim Sum dinner, complete with everyone wearing Japenese gowns, and in the background they played the exact type of music that I'm thinking of.

I'm specifically not looking for anything modern or poppy, no vocals.
posted by crawl at 9:19 PM on March 24, 2004

Some stereotypically Japanese pop music is termed "j-pop."
posted by The Michael The at 9:19 PM on March 24, 2004

I'm fairly certain that what you're talking about is music played on a koto... the deliberate plucking music that was played throughout the SHOGUN mini-series, and is featured in just about every American reference to "traditional" Japanese culture.

To hear what modern masters are doing with similar instruments, check out this thread on Agatsuma Hiromitsu over at Jeremy Hedley's blog, Antipixel... and if you like the sample, the Agatsuma CD is available at Amazon.
posted by silusGROK at 9:35 PM on March 24, 2004

Have a poke around the classical Japanese section at Amazon. Some key instruments in the genre are shamisen, koto, and shakuhachi.

Also see traditional Chinese music.
posted by dydecker at 9:40 PM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: Awesome, thanks. I suspected that what I was looking for was played by plucking some instrument, but I wasn't sure, so I didn't mention it -- lest I lead you astray.

Thanks again.
posted by crawl at 9:42 PM on March 24, 2004

Decker, did you realize that one of the albums from your link was in the blimp scene in Blade Runner. (also, this info helps with my distantly related question, thanks)
posted by milovoo at 9:52 PM on March 24, 2004

You can find some streaming West Asian music at Radio Darvish, which plays traditional Persian music. (Not quite what was originally asked, but good stuff nonetheless.)

On preview, #3 from amberglow's link.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:10 PM on March 24, 2004

decker - oops, sorry dydecker - weird mental transposition.
(blade runner on the brain, deckard, ya know?)
posted by milovoo at 10:23 PM on March 24, 2004

Simpsons, eh? That would be a joke on two levels, seeing that dim sum is chinese.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:27 PM on March 24, 2004

More likely, either the food wasn't dim sum, or the music wasn't Japanese.
posted by jjg at 11:32 PM on March 24, 2004

You would be pleased to hear the music of Osamu Kitajima. Fascinating ambient blend of western and Japanese music. His album "Passages" remains a favorite of mine, 15 years after purchase.
posted by Goofyy at 3:23 AM on March 25, 2004

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