The world is the planet Earth and all life on it, including human civilization. In a philosophical context, the “world” is the whole of the physical Universe, or an ontological world (the “world” of an individual). In a theological context, the world is the material or the profane sphere, as opposed to the celestial, spiritual, transcendent or sacred spheres. “End of the world” scenarios refer to the end of human history, often in religious contexts.
The history of the world is commonly understood as spanning the major geopolitical developments of about five millennia, from the first civilizations to the present. In terms such as world religion, world language, world government, and world war, the term world suggests an international or intercontinental scope without necessarily implying participation of every part of the world.
The world population is the sum of all human populations at any time; similarly, the world economy is the sum of the economies of all societies or countries, especially in the context of globalization. Terms such as “world championship”, “gross world product”, and “world flags” imply the sum or combination of all sovereign states.
World music (also called global music or international music) is a Western musical category encompassing many different styles of music from other parts of the globe. It includes many forms of music that Westerners consider ethnic, indigenous music, folk music, neotraditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition, such as non-Western 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. It has grown to include subgenres such as ethnic fusion (Clannad, Ry Cooder, Enya, etc.)and worldbeat.