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Nonwestern music encompasses a wide variety of styles of music derived from sources other than western Europe. This music may be  different from the type of music those accustomed to the music of western cultures, such as northern Europe and North America, in rhythmic patterns, instrumentation, and/or tonality.

Gnawa music comes from Africa, influenced by the Berbers and Sufis originally from sub-Saharan and now most predominant in north Africa. The vocalization is a long series of repeated chants. Instrumental accompaniment features percussion through use of castanets and stringed lute-like instruments.

Traditional Chinese music uses a whole orchestra of stringed instruments that may be plucked, struck, or bowed. Traditional Chinese vocal music is sung with a single melody line rather than with harmonizing parts, usually with a nasal falsetto tonal quality.

There are many other musical traditions in other parts of the world, stemming from the materials available for constructing instruments and the developments of patterns for creating sound to share emotions and stories among groups of people.

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