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Music of Africa

Music of Africa

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Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

is a vast continent and its regions
Regions of Africa
The continent of Africa can be conceptually subdivided into a number of regions or subregions.-Directional approach:One common approach categorises Africa directionally, e.g., by cardinal direction :...

 and nations have distinct musical traditions. The music of North Africa for the most part has a different history from sub-Saharan African music traditions
Sub-Saharan African music traditions
Sub-Saharan African music traditions exhibit so many common features that they may in some respects be thought of as constituting a single musical system. While some African music is clearly contemporary-popular music and some is art-music, still a great deal is communal and orally transmitted...

.

The music and dance forms of the African diaspora
African diaspora
The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

, includes African-American music and many Caribbean
Caribbean music
The music of the Caribbean is a diverse grouping of musical genres. They are each syntheses of African, European, Indian and native influences, largely created by descendants of African slaves...

 genres like soca
Soca music
Soca is a style of music from Trinidad and Tobago. Soca is a musical development of traditional Trinidadian calypso, through loans from the 1960s onwards from predominantly black popular music....

, calypso
Calypso music
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago from African and European roots. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of enslaved Africans, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song...

 and zouk
Zouk
Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe & Martinique. Zouk means "party" or "festival" in the local Antillean Creole of French, although the word originally referred to, and is still used to refer to, a popular dance, based on the Polish dance, the...

. Latin American music
Latin American music
Latin American music, found within Central and South America, is a series of musical styles and genres that mixes influences from Spanish, African and indigenous sources, that has recently become very famous in the US.-Argentina:...

 genres like the samba
Samba
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival...

, rumba
Rumba
Rumba is a family of percussive rhythms, song and dance that originated in Cuba as a combination of the musical traditions of Africans brought to Cuba as slaves and Spanish colonizers. The name derives from the Cuban Spanish word rumbo which means "party" or "spree". It is secular, with no...

, salsa
Salsa music
Salsa music is a genre of music, generally defined as a modern style of playing Cuban Son, Son Montuno, and Guaracha with touches from other genres of music...

; and other clave (rhythm)
Clave (rhythm)
The clave rhythmic pattern is used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music, such as rumba, conga de comparsa, son, son montuno, mambo, salsa, Latin jazz, songo and timba. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms...

-based genres, were founded to varying degrees on the music of African slaves
African slave trade
Systems of servitude and slavery were common in many parts of Africa, as they were in much of the ancient world. In some African societies, the enslaved people were also indentured servants and fully integrated; in others, they were treated much worse...

, which has in turn influenced African popular music
African popular music
African popular music, like African traditional music, is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on cross-pollination with western popular music. Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, salsa zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees on musical traditions...

.

North African music

  • North Africa
    North Africa
    North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

     (red region on map below) is the seat of the Mediterranean culture, including Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     and Carthage
    Carthage
    Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

     before being ruled successively by Greeks, Romans and Goths and then becoming the Maghreb
    Maghreb
    The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

     of the Arab world
    Arab world
    The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

    . Like the musical genres of the Nile Valley and the Horn of Africa
    Horn of Africa
    The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

     (sky-blue and dark green region on map), its music has close ties with Middle Eastern music
    Middle Eastern music
    The music of Western Asia and North Africa spans across a vast region, from Morocco to Afghanistan, and its influences can be felt even further afield. Middle Eastern music influenced the music of India, as well as Central Asia, Spain, Southern Italy, the Caucasus and the Balkans, as in chalga...

    . The music of North Africa has a considerable range, from the music of ancient Egypt
    Music of Egypt
    The music of Egypt has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians credited one of their Gods Thoth with the invention of music, which Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to civilize the world...

     to the Berber
    Berber music
    The Berber people is the indigenous and major ethnic group inhabiting North Africa and part of West Africa . Berbers call themselves "imazighen"...

     and the Tuareg music of the desert nomads. The region's art music has for centuries followed the outline of Arab and Andalusian classical music
    Andalusian classical music
    Andalusian classical music is a style of Moorish music found across North Africa in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It originates out of the music of Al-Andalus between the 9th and 15th centuries....

    : its popular contemporary genres include the Algerian
    Music of Algeria
    Algerian music is virtually synonymous with raï among foreigners; the musical genre has achieved great popularity in France, Spain and other parts of Europe. For several centuries, Algerian music was dominated by styles inherited from Al-Andalus, eventually forming a unique North African twist on...

     Raï
    Raï
    Raï is a form of folk music that originated in Oran, Algeria from Bedouin shepherds, mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arabic musical forms, which dates back to the 1930s....

    .


With these may be grouped the music of Sudan
Music of Sudan
Sudan has a rich and unique musical culture that has been through chronic instability and repression during the modern history of Sudan.Beginning with the imposition of strict sharia law in 1989, many of the country's most prominent musicians and poets, like poets Mahjoub Sharif, were imprisoned...

 and of the Horn of Africa, including the music of Eritrea
Music of Eritrea
Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa. Perhaps the most famous Eritrean musicians in history are Eng. Asghedom W.Micheal, Bereket Mengisteab, Yemane Baria, Osman Abderrehim, Alamin Abdeletif & Atowe Birhan Segid, some of whose music were banned by the Ethiopian government in the 1970s...

, Ethiopia
Music of Ethiopia
The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia's ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Some forms of traditional music are strongly influenced by folk music from elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia. However, Ethiopian religious music also has an...

, Djibouti
Music of Djibouti
The music of Djibouti refers to the musical styles, techniques and sounds of Djibouti-Overview:Djibouti is made up of two closely related ethnic groups: the Somali and Afar. There are also a number of Arab and French citizens. Traditional Afar music resembles the folk music of other parts of the...

 and Somalia
Music of Somalia
The music of Somalia refers to the musical styles, techniques and sounds of Somalia.-Overview:Somalia has a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali folklore. Most Somali songs are pentatonic; that is, they only use five pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic scale such as the...

.

Sub-Saharan music




The ethnomusicological pioneer Arthur Morris Jones
Arthur Morris Jones
Arthur Morris Jones , was a missionary and musicologist who worked in Zambia during the early 20th century. He was stationed at St Mark's School in Mapanza in the Southern Province of present-day Zambia . He is best known for his ethnomusicological work, particularly his two-volume Studies in...

 (1889–1980) observed that the shared rhythmic principles of Sub-Saharan African music traditions
Sub-Saharan African music traditions
Sub-Saharan African music traditions exhibit so many common features that they may in some respects be thought of as constituting a single musical system. While some African music is clearly contemporary-popular music and some is art-music, still a great deal is communal and orally transmitted...

 constitute one main system. Similarly, master drummer and scholar C.K. Ladzekpo affirms the profound homogeneity of sub-Saharan African rhythmic principles.

African traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

 is frequently functional in nature. Performances may be long and often involve the participation of the audience. There are, for example, little different kinds of work song
Work song
A work song is a piece of music closely connected to a specific form of work, either sung while conducting a task or a song linked to a task or trade which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song....

s, songs accompanying childbirth
Childbirth
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

, marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

, hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 and political activities, music to ward off evil spirits and to pay respects to good spirits, the dead and the ancestors. None of this is performed outside its intended social context and much of it is associated with a particular dance. Some of it, performed by professional musicians, is sacral music
Religious music
Religious music is music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence.A lot of music has been composed to complement religion, and many composers have derived inspiration from their own religion. Many forms of traditional music have been adapted to fit religions'...

 or ceremonial and courtly music performed at royal courts.

Musicologically, Sub-Saharan Africa may be divided into four regions;
  • The eastern region (light green regions on map) includes the music of Uganda
    Music of Uganda
    Ugandan music is as diverse as the ethnicity of its people. The country is home to over 30 different ethnic groups and tribes and they form the basis of all indigenous music. The Baganda, being the most prominent tribe in the country, have dominated the culture and music of Uganda over the last two...

    , Kenya
    Music of Kenya
    Out of all the African countries, Kenya has perhaps one of the most diverse assortment of popular music forms, in addition to multiple types of folk music based on the variety over 40 regional languages....

    , Rwanda
    Music of Rwanda
    The music of Rwanda largely consists of African folk music sung by its people.Traditional music and dance are taught in "amatorero" dance groups, which are to be found across the entire country. The most famous of those is Ballet National Urukerereza, which was created in the early 1970s to...

    , Burundi
    Music of Burundi
    Burundi is a Central African nation that is closely linked with Rwanda, geographically, historically and culturally. The drum such as the karyenda is one of central importance...

    , Tanzania
    Music of Tanzania
    The music of Tanzania stretches from traditional African music to the string-based taarab to a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava.-National anthem:...

    , Malawi
    Music of Malawi
    Malawi music has historically been influenced through its triple cultural heritage . Malawians have long been travelers and migrant workers, and as a result, their music has spread across the African continent and blended with other music forms...

    , Mozambique
    Music of Mozambique
    The native folk music of Mozambique has been highly influenced by Portuguese forms. The most popular style of modern dance music is marrabenta. Mozambican music also influenced another Lusophone music in Brazil, like maxixe , and Cuban music like Mozambique.Culture was an integral part of the...

     and Zimbabwe
    Music of Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwean music includes folk and pop styles, much of it based on the well-known instrument the mbira which is also popular in many other African countries. An annual Zimbabwe Music Festival is held each year in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. People from all over the world attend...

     as well as the islands of Madagascar
    Music of Madagascar
    The highly diverse and distinctive music of Madagascar has been shaped by the musical traditions of Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia, England, France and the United States as successive waves of settlers have made the island their home...

    , the Seychelles, Mauritius
    Music of Mauritius
    The music of Mauritius is known for sega music, alongside the nearby Réunion island, though reggae, zouk, soukous and other genres are also popular. Sega was originally introduced by the African ancestors and originates from East and Southern Africa...

     and Comor. Many of these have been influenced by Arabic music and also by the music of India
    Music of India
    The music of India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, classical music and R&B. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several eras. It remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as...

    , Indonesia
    Music of Indonesia
    The music of Indonesia demonstrates its cultural diversity, the local musical creativity, as well as subsequent foreign musical influences that shaped contemporary music scenes of Indonesia. Nearly thousands of Indonesian islands having its own cultural and artistic history and character. This...

     and Polynesia
    Music of Polynesia
    Polynesia is a group of island chains spread across much of the Pacific Ocean, and includes many countries and territories. Internationally, Polynesian music is mostly associated with twinkling guitars and grass skirts, Hawaiian hula and other tourist-friendly forms of music...

    , though the region's indigenous musical traditions are primarily in the mainstream of the sub-Saharan Niger–Congo-speaking peoples.

  • The southern region (brown region on map) includes the music of South Africa
    Music of South Africa
    The South African music scene includes both popular and folk forms. Pop styles are based on four major sources, Zulu isicathamiya singing and harmonic mbaqanga...

    , Lesotho
    Music of Lesotho
    Lesotho is a Southern African nation surrounded entirely by South Africa. The largest ethnic group is the Basotho. The Basotho culture is immersed in musical traditions.-National Anthem:The national anthem of Lesotho is "Lesotho Fatse La Bontata Rona"...

    , Swaziland
    Music of Swaziland
    The African nation of Swaziland, located in between South Africa and Mozambique, is an ancient land dominated by the Swazi people and ethnic Swazi music. They are known for a variety of folk music, as well as modern rock, pop and hip hop....

    , Botswana
    Music of Botswana
    Botswana is an African country made up of numerous ethnic groups, though the Batswana are the most numerous. Music is an omnipresent part of Botswana culture, and include popular and folk forms. Batswana church choirs are common across the country. Music education is an integral part of the...

    , Namibia
    Music of Namibia
    The music of Namibia has a number of folk styles, as well as pop, rock, reggae, jazz, house and hip hop. The Sanlam-NBC Music Awards and the Namibian Music Awards are two separate institutions that give out annual awards at shows on December 2 and May 6 respectively...

     and Angola
    Music of Angola
    The music of Angola has been shaped both by wider musical trends and by the political history of the country. It has been described a mix of Congolese, Portuguese, and Brazilian music, while and Angolan music also influenced the music of the other Lusophone countries.The capital and largest city of...

    .

  • The central region (dark blue region on map) includes the music of Chad
    Music of Chad
    Chad is an ethnically diverse Central African country. Each of its regions has its own unique varieties of music and dance. The Fulani people, for example, use single-reeded flutes, while the ancient griot tradition uses five-string kinde and various kinds of horns, and the Tibesti region uses...

    , the Central African Republic
    Music of the Central African Republic
    The music of the Central African Republic includes many different forms. Western rock and pop music, as well as Afrobeat, soukous and other genres have become popular nation-wide. The sanza is a popular instrument....

    , the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Describing the music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is difficult, due to vagaries surrounding the meanings of various terms. The country itself was formerly called Zaire and is now sometimes referred to as Congo-Kinshasa to distinguish it from the Republic of the Congo...

     and Zambia
    Music of Zambia
    The music of Zambia has a rich heritage which falls roughly into three categories: traditional, popular and Christian.- Traditional music :Traditional Zambian music is rooted in the beliefs and practices of Zambia's various ethnic groups and has suffered some decline in the last three decades...

    , including Pygmy music
    Pygmy music
    The Pygmies are a broad group of people who live in Central Africa, especially in the Congo, the Central African Republic and Cameroon. Music is an important part of Pygmy life, and casual performances take place during many of the day's events...

    .

  • West African music (yellow region on map) includes the music of Senegal
    Music of Senegal
    Senegal's musical heritage is better known than that of most African countries, due to the popularity of mbalax, which is a form of Wolof percussive music; it has been popularized by Youssou N'Dour. Sabar drumming is especially popular.-Folk music:...

     and the Gambia
    Music of the Gambia
    The Gambia is a West African country closely linked musically with its neighbor, Senegal. Griots, , a kind of hereditary praise-singer, are common throughout the region, a legacy of the ancient Mande Empire...

    , of Guinea
    Music of Guinea
    Guinea is a West African nation, composed of several ethnic groups. Of these, the music of the Mandé has been particularly popular and internationally well-known, even outside of West Africa....

     and Guinea-Bissau
    Music of Guinea-Bissau
    The music of Guinea-Bissau is usually associated with the polyrhythmic gumbe genre, the country's primary musical export. However, civil unrest and a small size have combined over the years to keep gumbe, and other genres, out of mainstream audiences, even in generally syncretist African...

    , Sierra Leone
    Music of Sierra Leone
    Sierra Leone's music is a mixture of native and French, British, and [Pidgin Krio] influences. Palm wine is representative, and is played by an acoustic guitar with percussion in countries throughout coastal West Africa...

     and Liberia
    Music of Liberia
    The music of Liberia involves several different genres. Liberia is a West African country. Its musical heritage includes several important genres of pop derived from neighbors like Ghana and Nigeria. Liberia also boasts an array of indigenous folk music, Christian music and influences from its...

    , of the inland plains of Mali
    Music of Mali
    The Music of Mali is dominated by forms derived from the ancient Mande Empire. The Mande people make up most of the country's population, and their musicians, professional performers called jeliw , have produced a vibrant popular music scene alongside traditional folk music...

    , Niger
    Music of Niger
    The music of Niger has developed from the musical traditions of a mix of ethnic groups.-Traditional musical styles:Hausa, Beriberi, Songhai, Djerma, Dendi, Fula, Wodaabe, and Tuareg traditions, most of which existed quite independently in the colonial period, have begun to form a mixture of styles...

     and Burkina Faso
    Music of Burkina Faso
    Burkina Faso is home to some 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music. The country has produced very little popular music compared to its neighbors, which includes African musical giants like Nigeria and the Ivory Coast...

    , the coastal nations of Cote d'Ivoire
    Music of Côte d'Ivoire
    -Traditional music:Each of the more than sixty ethnic groups of Côte d'Ivoire have their own folk music traditions, most showing strong vocal polyphony , especially the Baoulé. Talking drums are also common, especially among the Appollo, who are also known for their abissa purification dance, part...

    , Ghana
    Music of Ghana
    Ghana has many styles of traditional and modern music, due to its multiplicity of ethnic groups and its cosmopolitan geographic position in West Africa. The best known modern genre that originated in Ghana is Highlife.-Traditional music:...

    , Togo
    Music of Togo
    Togo has produced a number of internationally known popular entertainers including King Mensah, Bella Bellow, and Jimi Hope. The country has a diverse folk tradition with more than forty ethnic groups, each with their own musical styles.- Folk music :...

    , Benin
    Music of Benin
    Benin has played an important role in the African music scene, producing one of the biggest stars to come out of the continent in Angélique Kidjo. Post-independence, the country was home to a vibrant and innovative music scene, where native folk music combined with Ghanaian highlife, French...

    , Nigeria
    Music of Nigeria
    The music of Nigeria includes many kinds of Folk and popular music, some of which are known worldwide. Styles of folk music are related to the multitudes of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments, and songs...

    , Cameroon
    Music of Cameroon
    The best-known Music of the Cameroon is makossa, a popular style that has gained fans across Africa, and its related dance craze bikutsi.The pirogue sailors of Douala are known for a kind of singing called ngoso, which has evolved into a kind of modern music accompanied by zanza, balafon and...

    , Gabon
    Music of Gabon
    Gabon is an African country whose musical output is little-known in comparison with regional giants like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon. The country boasts an array of folk styles, as well as pop stars like Patience Dabany...

     and the Republic of the Congo
    Music of the Republic of the Congo
    The Republic of the Congo is an African nation with close musical ties to its neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

     as well as islands such as Sao Tome and Principe
    Music of São Tomé and Príncipe
    São Tomé and Príncipe is an island country off the coast of Africa. Culturally, the people are African but have been highly influenced by the Portuguese rulers of the islands....

    .


Southern
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

, Central
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

 and West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 are similarly in the broad Sub-Saharan musical tradition, but draw their ancillary influences primarily from Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

.

Musical instruments



Besides using the voice, which has been developed to use various techniques such as complex hard melisma
Melisma
Melisma, in music, is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. Music sung in this style is referred to as melismatic, as opposed to syllabic, where each syllable of text is matched to a single note.-History:Music of ancient cultures used...

 and yodel, a wide array of musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

s are used. African musical instruments include a wide range of drums, slit gongs, rattle
Rattle (percussion)
A rattle is a percussion instrument. It consists of a hollow body filled with small uniform solid objects, like sand or nuts. Rhythmical shaking of this instrument produces repetitive, rather dry timbre noises. In some kinds of music, a rattle assumes the role of the metronome, as an alternative to...

s, double bells as well as melodic instruments like string instrument
String instrument
A string instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones...

s, (musical bow
Musical bow
The musical bow is a simple string musical instrument most archaic cultures as well as in many in the present day. It consisting of a string supported by a flexible stick 1.5 to 10 feet long, and strung end to end with a taut cord. Usually made out of wood...

s, different types of harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

s and harp-like instruments such as the Kora
Kora (instrument)
The kora is a 21-string bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa.-Description:A kora is built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator, and has a notched bridge. It does not fit well into any one category of western instruments and would have to be...

 as well as fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

s), many kinds of xylophone
Xylophone
The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets...

 and lamellophone like the mbira
Mbira
In African music, the mbira is a musical instrument that consists of a wooden board to which staggered metal keys have been attached. It is often fitted into a resonator...

, and different types of wind instrument
Wind instrument
A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator , in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of...

 like flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

s and trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

s.

Drums used in African traditional music include talking drums, bougarabou
Bougarabou
A bougarabou is a set of drums commonly used in West Africa. The drums are single headed , with an elongated goblet or roughly conical shape, usually placed on a single stand, and most commonly played in sets of three to four.Until the last few decades the Bougarabou was played only one at a time,...

 and djembe
Djembe
A djembe also known as jembe, jenbe, djbobimbe, jymbe, yembe, or jimbay, or sanbanyi in Susu; is a skin-covered drum meant played with bare hands....

 in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

, water drum
Water drum
Water drums are a category of membranophone characterized by the filling of the drum chamber with some amount of water to create a unique sound. Water drums are common in Native American music, and in some forms of African and Southeast Asian music....

s in Central
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

 and West Africa, and the different types of ngoma drums (or engoma) in Central and Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

. Other percussion instruments include many rattles and shakers, such as the kosika, rain stick, bells and wood sticks. Also, Africa has lots of other types of drums, and lots of flutes, and lots of stringed and wind instruments.

Relationship to language


Many languages spoken in Africa
Languages of Africa
There are over 2100 and by some counts over 3000 languages spoken natively in Africa in several major language families:*Afro-Asiatic spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel...

 are tonal languages, leading to a close connection between music and language in some local cultures. These particular communities use vocal sounds and movements with their music as well. In singing, the tonal pattern or the text puts some constraints on the melodic patterns. On the other hand, in instrumental music a native speaker of a language can often perceive a text or texts in the music. This effect also forms the basis of drum languages
Drum (communication)
Developed from hollow tree trunks, and used by cultures living in deforested areas, drums served as an early form of long distance communication, and were used during ceremonial and religious functions.-Pressure drum:...

 (talking drums).

Influences on African music


Historically, several factors have influenced the tribal music of Africa. The music has been influenced by language, the environment, a variety of cultures, politics, and population movement, all of which are intermingled. Each African tribe evolved in a different area of the continent, which means that they ate different foods, faced different weather conditions, and came in contact with different tribes than other societies did. Each tribe moved at different rates and to different places than others, and thus each was influenced by different people and circumstances. Furthermore, each society did not necessarily operate under the same government, which also significantly influenced their music styles.

Influence on North American music


African music has been a major factor in the shaping of what we know today as blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

. These styles have all borrowed from African rhythms and sounds, brought over the Atlantic ocean by slaves. On his album Graceland
Graceland (album)
Graceland was Paul Simon's highest charting album in the U.S. in over a decade, reaching #3 in the national Billboard charts, receiving a certification of 5× Platinum by the RIAA and eventually selling over 14 million copies, making it Simon's most commercially successful album...

, the American folk musician Paul Simon
Paul Simon
Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.Simon is best known for his success, beginning in 1965, as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles...

 employs African bands, rhythms and melodies, especially Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a male choral group from South Africa that sings in the vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland and have won multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards...

, as a musical backdrop for his own lyrics. In the early 1970s, Remi Kabaka
Remi Kabaka
Remi Kabaka is a Nigerian drummer who has performed with Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, John Martyn, Hugh Masekela, on Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon, Short Cut Draw Blood by Jim Capaldi and on Band on the Run by Paul McCartney. His London-based son, also called Remi Kabaka, provided the voice of...

, an Afro-rock avant-garde drummer, laid the initial drum patterns that created the Afro-rock sounds in bands such as Ginger Baker
Ginger Baker
Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker is an English drummer, best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith. He is also known for his numerous associations with World music, mainly the use of African influences...

's Airforce
Ginger Baker's Air Force
Ginger Baker's Air Force was a jazz-rock fusion band comprising Ginger Baker on drums, Steve Winwood on organ and vocals, Ric Grech on violin and bass, Jeanette Jacobs on vocals, Denny Laine on guitar and vocals, Phil Seamen on drums, Alan White on drums, Chris Wood on tenor sax and flute, Graham...

, the Rolling Stones, and Steve Winwood
Steve Winwood
Stephen Lawrence "Steve" Winwood is an English international recording artist whose career spans nearly 50 years. He is a songwriter and a musician whose genres include soul music , R&B, rock, blues-rock, pop-rock, and jazz...

's Traffic
Traffic (band)
Traffic were an English rock band whose members came from the West Midlands. The group formed in April 1967 by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason...

. He continued to work with Winwood, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

, and Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones....

 throughout the decade.

As the rise of rock'n'roll music is often credited as having begun with 1940s American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, and with so many genres having branched off from rock - the myriad subgenres of heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

, punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, pop music
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 and many more - it can be argued that African music has been at the root of a very significant portion of all recent popular or vernacular music.

Certain Sub-Saharan African musical traditions also had a significant influence on such well-known works as Disney's The Lion King
The Lion King
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

 and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is a 1998 American direct-to-video animated film released by Walt Disney Home Video on October 27, 1998. The film is the sequel to the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King...

, which blend traditional tribal music with modern culture. Songs such as Circle of Life
Circle of Life
The song was re-recorded in 2003 by the Disney Channel Circle of Stars, a group of actors and actresses who have appeared in Disney Channel television series and original movies...

 and He Lives in You
He Lives in You
"He Lives in You" is a song written and performed by Lebo M and his South African Choir for the CD Rhythm of the Pride Lands. A shorter version of the song was used in the opening of The Lion King II. This song was co-written by Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin...

 blend a combination of Zulu
Zulu language
Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority of whom live in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa as well as being understood by over 50% of the population...

 and English lyrics, as well as traditional African styles of music with more modern western styles. Additionally, the Disney classic incorporates numerous words from the Bantu
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

 Swahili language
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

. The phrase "hakuna matata," for example, is an actual Swahili phrase that does in fact mean "no worries." Characters such as Simba
Simba
Simba is a lion character and the protagonist of Disney's most successful animated feature film, The Lion King. He is the son of Mufasa and Sarabi, nephew of Scar, mate of Nala, and father of Kiara. He has golden fur and when he grows into an adult, he has an auburn mane...

, Kovu, and Zira are also Swahili words which mean "Lion," "scar," and "hate," respectively.

Popular music



African popular music, like African traditional music, is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on cross-pollination with western popular music. Many genres of popular music like blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and rumba derive to varying degrees from musical traditions from Africa, taken to the Americas by African slaves. These rhythms and sounds have subsequently been adapted by newer genres like rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 and rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

. Likewise, African popular music has adopted elements, particularly the musical instruments and recording studio
Recording studio
A recording studio is a facility for sound recording and mixing. Ideally both the recording and monitoring spaces are specially designed by an acoustician to achieve optimum acoustic properties...

 techniques of western music.

The Afro-Euro hybrid style, the Cuban son
Son (music)
The Son cubano is a style of music that originated in Cuba and gained worldwide popularity in the 1930s. Son combines the structure and elements of Spanish canción and the Spanish guitar with African rhythms and percussion instruments of Bantu and Arará origin...

, has had an influence on certain popular music in Africa. Some of the first guitar bands on the continent played covers of Cuban songs. The early guitar-based bands from the Congo
Congo Basin
The Congo Basin is the sedimentary basin that is the drainage of the Congo River of west equatorial Africa. The basin begins in the highlands of the East African Rift system with input from the Chambeshi River, the Uele and Ubangi Rivers in the upper reaches and the Lualaba River draining wetlands...

 called their music rumba (although it was son rather than rumba-based). The Congolese style eventually evolved into what became known as soukous
Soukous
Soukous is a dance music genre that originated in the two neighbouring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s, and which has gained popularity throughout Africa...

.

See also


  • Paul Berliner
  • Gerhard Kubik
    Gerhard Kubik
    Gerhard Kubik is an Austrian music ethnologist from Vienna. Kubik studied ethnology, musicology and African languages at the University of Vienna. He published his doctoral dissertation in 1971 and achieved habilitation in 1980....

  • International Library of African Music
    International Library of African Music
    The International Library of African Music is an organization dedicated to the preservation and study of African music. It is seated in Grahamstown, South Africa and is closely affiliated with Rhodes University....

  • Polyrhythm
    Polyrhythm
    Polyrhythm is the simultaneous sounding of two or more independent rhythms.Polyrhythm in general is a nonspecific term for the simultaneous occurrence of two or more conflicting rhythms, of which cross-rhythm is a specific and definable subset.—Novotney Polyrhythms can be distinguished from...

  • Ashenafi Kebede
    Ashenafi Kebede
    Ashenafi Kebede was an Ethiopian composer, conductor, ethnomusicologist, historical musicologist, music educator, novelist, and poet.Kebede was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and educated in musicology in the United States at the Eastman School of Music , and Wesleyan University...

  • African popular music
    African popular music
    African popular music, like African traditional music, is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on cross-pollination with western popular music. Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, salsa zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees on musical traditions...

  • List of African guitarists
  • Clave (rhythm)
    Clave (rhythm)
    The clave rhythmic pattern is used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music, such as rumba, conga de comparsa, son, son montuno, mambo, salsa, Latin jazz, songo and timba. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms...

  • Victor Kofi Agawu
  • Arthur Morris Jones
    Arthur Morris Jones
    Arthur Morris Jones , was a missionary and musicologist who worked in Zambia during the early 20th century. He was stationed at St Mark's School in Mapanza in the Southern Province of present-day Zambia . He is best known for his ethnomusicological work, particularly his two-volume Studies in...


External links


Department of Music And Musicology