World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the globe, which includes many genres including some forms of Western music represented by folk music, as well as selected forms of ethnic music, folk music, indigenous music, neotraditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition, such as when ethnic music and Western popular music intermingle.
World music’s inclusive nature and elasticity as a musical category may pose for some obstacles to a universal definition, but its ethic of interest in the culturally exotic is encapsulated in fRoots magazine’s description of the genre as “local music from out there”.
The term was popularized in the 1980s as a marketing category for non-Western traditional music. Globalization has facilitated the expansion of world music’s audiences and scope. It has grown to include hybrid subgenres such as world fusion, global fusion, ethnic fusion, and worldbeat.