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Cultures Around the World: Nepal, Syria, Portugal, and America

Nepalese Music
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Nepalese music is, like its food, varied. Pop, religious, classical, and folk music is popular. Nepal's music has been greatly influenced my China and India.

In Nepal, women are not musicians, except in specific situations like traditional all-women parties. (Male) Nepalese musicians are separated by caste. Each one has its own repertoire of songs. The Damai, who are traditionally musicians and tailors, and the Gaine, who are traveling minstrels, are the main music makers. Gaine play the sarangi, a four-stringed hand carved instrument, in exchange for food and shelter. The Damai are best known for playing the panchai baja, which is a wedding band with drums, horns, symbols, and shawms, the ancient predecessor to the oboe often used by the military for its loud shrill tone. The Newar people are known for their masked dances telling stories of gods and heroes, accompanied by drums and an occasional flute or shawm.

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