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Music from the Silk Road from Smithsonian Folkways

At the end of the 13th Century C.E., Marco Polo set out on a legendary journey from Europe to eastern Asia. Looking at rich musical traditions present along the Silk Road (the epic trade routes of Central Asia), music scholars beg the question, “What if Marco Polo had carried a tape recorder?” The central and westeran Asian music played here offers a glimpse of the rich musical life that an intrepid and curious traveler like Marco Polo might find in the lands of the Silk Road today. These tracks span from Xi’an (formerly Chang’an), the capital of ancient China, through central Asia to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and include sounds of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and other Central Eurasian nations and peoples.

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