U n*P o p u l a r
M  U  S  I  C
The
Best Music
Ever Made
An Old World Music Ranking is completely ridiculous. In fact, I've
found scoring and ranking this music very illuminating.

ten recordings. In the case of most countries, all recordings are
lumped together, which often reflects both patchy coverage and my
ignorance of stylistic and regional variation. Each country/tradition is
shown with an average score out of four. Scores reflect my perception
of relative musical quality from a non-technical, contemporary
perspective. The ranking is updated on a regular basis, and is the
foundation for each U-PM show.

If you're thinking "What's this guy talking about?! He clearly knows
nothing!", please
get in touch to point out how misguided my ranking
of country x, y or z appears to you. I'd very much welcome your
suggestions for tracks I've not come across that would improve a
particular score, or your perspective on tracks I dislike. Moreover, why
does a particular country/tradition rank where it does? Does the
ranking reflect purely my perspective, or something broader? In what
ways do the performers, cultural insiders and the contemporary
listener hear things differently?

Why am I treating this music as if it was Taylor Swift or Led Zeppelin?
Because it's all popular music, and ranking makes the music more
accessible, even if the starting point is that you disagree with the
ranking. Old world music is a vast treasury of diversity and innovation,
and we have access like never before. Let's embrace this gift, not just
preserve it without anyone noticing. Let's not end up with just Taylor
Swift and Led Zeppelin (and Mozart).

As the shows build, the ranking will gradually be filled in. Which
countries will rank in the top 10? Where will Turkey rank? France?
China? Madagascar? Why?
The U-PM Old World Music Ranking
U*PM
© Copyright U-PM 2010-14
The Ranking
By Country/Tradition
(added by show)
33) Norway
43) Ireland  
50) Scotland       
56) Switzerland
79) Wales
84) Sweden
85) England       
94)
France   
100) Austria
120) Germany      
1.934
1.884
1.863
1.842
1.765
1.743
1.743
1.717
1.685
1.551
Average scores and positions change over
time, and may have moved since a particular
U-PM show