Traditional Folk from around the world?


I'm trying to gather up a nice selection of both albums and drum exercises, showcasing traditional 'folk' musics from various cultures and nations from all over. Dances, marches, totally drumless, whatever they are, I'm just looking for some good music I can listen to for enjoyment as well as inspiration for my drumming. I have a book which has a a lot of different beats for various types of traditional rhythms for marches and dances etc, but because it covers so much, its not in depth by nature (Drummers Bible, actually a fun resource).

So...Beyond 'Americana' and traditional american type 'folk', please recommend some excellent albums/artists. Baltic, Gypsy, Indian, African, Parisian, American aboriginal, Mexican, Italian etc...


Gold Member
I would start with the biggies and work down.

First there was Chinese and then there was more types of Chinese. They pretty much invented everything and composed every tune like 2000 years ago then forgot most of it. I'd look into dome GuQin music, absolutely beautiful bluesy sounding frettess bass. Maybe look into some erhu, it's what the Europeans learned by getting run over by a horde of millions of horsemen then infected with the plague. At least they learned to play some strings with horse hair bows. Maybe look into some gong and drum music, check out lion dance music. There is literally no end to folk music in China.

Then their is India tabla and sitar are just the start. I am personal fan of the udu like tuned clay percussion.

Indonesia... is out of this world. The vibe is amazing check out some of the Gamelan, gong orchestra. My daughter plays with an Indonesian at the park, and her mother was explaining to me that each of the Indonesian islands has a completely different culture, some are more middle eastern others are flutes and marimba, Jakarta has the gongs.

Working down the list by relative populations, Brazil samba is like a sport they have stadiums dedicated to these marched. Brazil hosts many other styles, I like batucada and choro.

Not to be forgotten Africa... Africa! Djembe is just the start.


Senior Member
One of my suggestions from is to look at the late Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. A person from the Gumatj Aboriginal people here in Australia. He sings mostly in language - outstanding. A real loss to music when he passed away.


Senior Member
Another I thought of from my neck of the woods - Yothu Yindi. Aboriginal band that sing in language mostly - probably heard of them. Warumpi Band - look at their 80's music. More traditional than their 90's music.Rock with a some vocals in language. A lot of other Aboriginal bands/musicians from Oz as well that I haven't mentioned. But these are some of my fav's.