World music is sometimes defined as “roots music,” meaning that it is perceived as explicitly connecting with or continuing a people’s tradition or heritage.Thus, while Nena and the German band Kraftwerk are not classified as world music, German Heimatmusik (music associated with the countryside) is categorized as world music.
At least since the 1960s, ethnomusicologists have used the term world music to denote all music (e.g., folk, art, popular) of all the world’s peoples.
The “world” qualifier stresses the inclusion of non-Western music.
With the Internet, the term world music is perhaps less crucial to marketing because consumers can also search online by country of origin, musician, or instrument. The world music category is prominently used in Web sites and sold in the cosmopolitan cities of Europe, North America, Australia, and elsewhere.
Also, chain coffee shops increasingly sell recordings of world music, such as the Hear Music CDs in Starbucks.
Filipina singer Banig sings in a Western pop style with English lyrics, and as Timothy Taylor observes in Global Pop, she is classified as a world music artist.
Swedish band Ace of Base, French Canadian Celine Dion, and German singer Nena are all categorized as pop music rather than world music, regardless of which language they use.
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The term entered the music press and spread internationally.
In 1990 Billboard magazine created a world music chart, and in the 1990s catalogues and guidebooks to world music appeared, such as World Music: The Rough Guide.