Offers downloads, videos.

National Geographic has expanded its representation of global cultures by creating a music exploration and purchasing site.

National Geographic World Music blends a music store, powered by Calabash Music, with extensive context provided by videos, maps, photos and features from National Geographic magazines, the National Geographic Channel and other editorial activities of the National Geographic Society.

Musician, composer and musicologist David Beal, who was president at Palm Pictures, has been key to the project now at http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com.

"National Geographic felt that music was a great bridge to culture and geography, and at its core National Geographic is inspiring people to care about the planet and who's on it and their cultures," he said.

Among the artists featured at launch are Tinariwen, former Tuareg rebels who exchanged their guns for guitars; Sidestepper, a collaboration of British and Colombian talent that meshes salsa, cumbia, vallenato and drum 'n' bass; and Seu Jorge, a unique voice in Brazilian samba who has appeared in such films as "City of God" and who produced the music for films like "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou."