What is World Music?

World music is, most generally, all the music in the world. More specifically, the term is currently used to classify the many genres of non-Western music which were previously described as "folk music" or "ethnic music". However, "world music" does not have to mean traditional folk music, it may refer to the indigenous classical forms of various regions of the world, and to modern, cutting edge pop music styles as well. Succinctly, it can be described as "local music from out there", or "someone else's local music". Music from around the world exerts wide cross-cultural influence as styles naturally influence one another, and in recent years "world music" has also been marketed as a successful genre in itself. Academic study of world music, as well as the musical genres and individual artists with which it has been associated, can be found in such disciplines as anthropology, Folkloristics, Performance Studies and ethnomusicology. In essence, the term "world music" refers to any form of music that is not part of modernmainstream Western commercial popular music or classical music traditions, and which typically originates from outside the cultural sphere of Western Europe and the English-speaking nations. The term became current in the 1980s as a marketing/classificatory device in the media and the music industry, and it is generally used to classify any kind of "foreign" (i.e. non-Western) music. In musical terms, "world music" can be roughly defined as music which uses distinctive ethnic scales, modes and musical inflections, and which is usually (though not always) performed on or accompanied by distinctive traditional ethnic instruments, such as the kora (African lute), the steel drum, the sitar or the digeridoo. Most typically, the term "world music" has now replaced "folk music" as a shorthand description for the very broad range of recordings of traditional indigenous music and song from the so-called Third World countries. Although it primarily describes traditional music, the world music genre also includes popular music from non-Western urban communities (e.g. South African "township" music) and non-European music forms that have been influenced by other "third world" musics (e.g. Afro-Cuban music), although Western-style popular song sourced from non- English- speaking countries in Western Europe (e.g. French pop music) would not generally  be considered world music. Examples of popular forms of world music include the various forms of non-European classical music (e.g. Japanese koto music, Hindustani raga music, Tibetan chants), eastern European folk music (e.g. the village music of Bulgaria) and the many forms of folk and tribal music of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Central and South America. Read more Wikipedia >>

About us



“The traditional authentic music of every nation in the world has a global character and belongs to the global legacy of the entire mankind. It is the only thing that reflects and manages to preserve the authentic relation between a man and a man, and not just history, geography, economy, etc. And whenever the need for the new music style imposed on the global plan, it has always started from the traditional music.“ (Dragan Dautovski, Macedonian musician and composer). 

A new understanding of sound culture took place at the beginning of the eighties in the twentieth century by a spontaneous compromise between ancient (traditional) musical cultures and contemporary musical trends. Such a union produced a cultural trend called simply World Music. World Music obtained very quickly a great significance in the modern society due to its artistic scope. It largely overgows the literal understanding of the notion of music, for, with its conception, it approaches the sociological / philosophical ideas of the New age. World Music sharing the vision that the world is a patchwork of millions of local traditions and music, each different in contents yet equal in value.

Seeing that the Festival Etnomus has succeded to educate for a short time the public and to induce the artists of World Music orientation to go on in the same direction, a group of festival enthusiasts decided to found World Music Association of Serbia (WMAS). WMAS was registered at the Justice Ministry of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 4th January 2001. (No 1729) as non-governmental and non-profit making organization. The main duty of WMAS is the affirmation of the national World Music culture, education of the society and co-operation with organizations and individuals of the same orientation throughout the world.

Activites of World Music Association of Serbia


In order to achieve their aims, the activists of WMAS are starting a series of campaigns:

-Organization of World Music Festival Etnomus (1997- 2006),

-Organization of the scientific gatherings and publication of the works which examine questions related to World Music (since 2001),

-Publication of the Serbian World Music Magazine ETNOUMLJE (since 2007),

-Informative service with Register which contains a database about Serbian bands, musicians and organizations of World Music orientation  (since 2007),

-World Music archives of audio, video, photo and written documentation (since 2007),

-Promotional CD “World Music from Serbia” with a selection of orchestras and individuals, which is published 4 times a year as a supplement to journal Etnoumlje

-Serbian World Music SWM Internet Radio (since 2010).

-Organization Festival of rare ethnic music of Balkans „Retnik” (since 2015)

WMAS is open to all amateurs of World Music culture in Serbia and elsewhere. That is why we invite all organizations and individuals to join us for co-operation and an exchange of experiences in our common noble desire to affirm World Music culture. 


World Music Association of Serbia Activity Report 2015-2016

World Music Association of Serbia is non-profit organization established in 2000 and it gathers admirers of traditional and world music. The association has initiated various actions so far, in order to affirm, popularize world/ethno music in Serbia and presentations of the local traditional and world music abroad.
The most significant activities and projects over the last 2 years of this association are:
- Publishing world music magazine „Etnoumlje”. We have just published number 30.
- We are releasing CDs of traditional and world music from Serbia, as part of our label WMAS Records. In last two years we have released traditional music CDs of Olga Krasojevic with Svetlana Spajic Group, Obrad Milic, Smilja Kotur and world music albums of Dragomir Milenkovic, Vladimir Nikic, Vrelo, debut album of highly talented teenagers Veljko & Neda... We also produced and released our research projects about ancient singing „izvika” on two compilations: „Pesma izvika – terenski zapisi” and „Belenzuka Pala s Neba” as well as one with bagpipes from region of Vojvodina, named „Vojvodjanski gajdasi”.
- For the purpose of presenting Serbia on WOMEX in 2015 and 2016 we compiled and produced two compilation albums: „Guide to the World Music of Serbia” and „Living Tradition – Guide to Roots and Folk Music in Serbia”.
- Organizing annual World Music summits every December.
- Since 2013 we are also assigning the award „Vojin Mališa Draškoci” to the most prominent world music and jazz musicians in the region.
- Forming Serbian World Music archives of audio, video, photo and written documentation and Informative service with Register which contains a database about Serbian bands, musicians and organizations of world music.
- Organizing Festival of rare ethnic music of Balkans „Retnik” (since 2015).
- We are organizers and producers of the participation of Serbia on the main World Music Expo WOMEX, which is happening each October in Europe. Our team went to Budapest in 2015 and Santiago de Compostela in 2016, participated at the Expo and officially promoted traditional and world music from Serbia.

The First Serbian World Music Summit was held in Belgrade on 30th April 2010.


World Music Association of Serbia, which gathers all interested in “world music” since 2001, presented its plans for the period from 2010 till 2013 on Friday at the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade. The president of Board of Directors of the association and editor-in-chief of World music magazine “Etnoumlje”,which this association has published since 2007, Oliver Djordjevic, said that among the first priorities of the association was that it got the status of representative association under the new Law on Culture. That would enable co-financing of the project of the association by the Ministry of Culture. As the main goal of the association, Djordjevic stressed the recognition of “world music” in Serbia and the presentation of domestic artists in the world. This association would help the work of recognized and unrecognized bands and artists by co-financing their performance on domestic and foreign festivals, and also by giving the part of the funds for making an album. He said they were preparing Serbian World music internet radio, which already had equipment, but unfortunately, the association didn’t have enough material which would be broadcast at the moment. The construction of the new music studio where world music performers would be enabled to record on favourable terms was among priorities. Other priorities are the foundation of “World music reward” and edition of audio publications known as “World music from Serbia”. Then the production of special publication where would be presented the whole “world music” work in Serbia, and also organization of educational gatherings. Representatives of the association- composer and harpsichordist professor Milos Petrovic, guitar player of the band “Hazari” Dragomir Milenkovic, singer Biljana Krstic and ethnomusicologist Marija Vitas- once again drew attention to bad situation of world music in Serbia and to the impossibility of its presentation in the world. They stated that only a few artists had a chance to perform at the festivals in the world and only thanks to their personal engagement and eagerness. Ethno-jazz bands Popecitelji, SM & A Priori and Misterija Carpatica appeared on the stage at the summit.

Photos of The First Serbian World Music Summit 2010.
Photographer: Tomislav Jović
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Daniel Pearl World Music Days 2009.


Daniel Pearl World Music Days u Srbiji, utorak, 27. oktobar 2009, Jagodina, Kulturni centar, 21 čas
U organizaciji World music asocijacije Srbije, po prvi put u Srbiji, organizovan je
Daniel Pearl World Music Days.  Manifestacija je posvećena Danijelu Perlu, novinaru iz SAD koji je tragično nastradao u Pakistanu i održava se u preko 80 zemalja sveta od 2002. godine. 
Nastupio je sve poznatiji sastav SM & A Priori. U pratećem programu predstavljeni su novi brojevi magazina Etnoumlje. Magazin su predstavili Bilja Krstić,  Milan Ignjatović, Dragomir Milenković, Bojana Nikolić, Slaviša Malenović i Oliver Đorđević.  Ulaz je bio slobodan.
Za više informacija o ovoj međunarodnoj humanitarnoj manifestaciji posetite:

Fotografije sa manifestacije Daniel Pearl World Music Days, Jagodina, 27. oktobar 2009.
Foto: Tomislav Jović
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World Music Festival „Etnomus” (Jagodina, Serbia) 1997-2006.



International World Music Festival ETNOMUS present music in the area of world, ethnic, traditional, folk and roots music. Festival sharing the vision that the world is a patchwork of millions of local traditions and music, each different in contents yet equal in value.

Festival ETNOMUS is the originator of a new musical expression in Serbia. It originated in 1997. with the financial support of the Fund for an Open Society in Belgrade, Serbian Ministry of Culture, Pro Helvetia Fund, SO Jagodina etc. Modestly, yet significantly, Festival ETNOMUS has presented so far nearly 200 musicians of World Music orientation in twelve program evenings in Jagodina town. Its conception is based on presenting of the primordial music of the Balkans and of new artistic forms created by the union of the traditional and contemporary music.

We are persuaded that the Balkans can present to the rest of the world their high musical achievements thus bringing together different cultures and different nations globally. World Music is the right way to mutual understanding and peace among the peoples of the Balkans. 

Since 2006. the festival ETNOMUS is not taking place. The festival is replaced by World Music concerts together with conferring of World Music Magazine ETNOUMLJE in Jagodina during the whole year.

Photo: Aleksandar Dobrosavljević

Serbian World Music Magazine „Etnoumlje”


Etnoumlje: Serbian world music magazine (ISSN 1452-9920) has been published quarterly by the World Music Association of Serbia since the summer of 2007. The magazine provides insight into the Serbian world music scene through interviews and profiles of members of Serbian bands and reviews of recordings, events, and publications, as well as regular features on Serbian traditional music. Its editor, Oliver Djordjevic, defines it as a periodical for “theory, history, aesthetics, and criticism of world music, with the aim of promoting and advancing Serbian world music.” Etnoumlje also collects information for a future Web-based register of Serbian world music bands and artists.  More >>

SWM Internet Radio


Početak emitovanja Serbian World Music SWM Internet Radija planiran je za jun 2010. godine. Pripreme su u toku a one podrazumevaju formiranje Arhiva (Fonoteke) srpske World Music kao i organizaciju finansijske podrške za ovaj projekat. SWM Internet Radio predstavljaće isključivo srpsko World Music stvaralaštvo. Pokušaćemo da na ovaj način afirmišemo srpsku World Music i predstavimo je svim zaljubljenicima World Music u svetu.


Damar of Istanbul live 2005 (3.1 Mb)
2. ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Dokonanje (1.2 Mb)
3. SHIRA U'TFILA: Estas Casas Tan Ermosas (2Mb)
Bilja Krstić & Bistrik - foto: Srdjan Ralic (2.1 Mb)