Showing posts with label African Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label African Music. Show all posts

Monday, December 4, 2017


English: A local boy with an improptu cora ins...
A local boy with an improptu cora instrument. Photographed near Banjul in The Gambia.
(Photo credit: 
The music of Africa is arguably the most influential music in the history of the world. But it did not originate in a vacuum. The truth is that different regions of Africa were influenced by a number of foreign musical traditions. For example, many nations in North Africa can trace their musical lineage back to the Greeks and Romans who once ruled the area. Later there was also a substantial Middle Eastern influence on their music.

Other parts of the African continent were similarly affected by foreign music. Parts of East Africa and the offshore islands were influenced by Arabic music and Indian music. While Southern, Central and West Africa had been influenced by the music of North America and Western Europe. Other African music can be attributed to specific dance forms such as the rumba and salsa, which were founded by African slaves who settled in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this article, we will be exploring the different kinds of African music and where it originated.

North Africa
The music of North Africa was strongly influenced by the music of ancient Egypt and the early Arabs. Although it is one of the least popular forms of contemporary African music, it is historically significant and merits examination by all those interested in traditional music.

Sub-Saharan Music
No music is more purely African than music that originated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Though many regions were influenced by other nations, Sub-Saharan music remains quintessentially African. Because writing and reading came late to parts of Africa, this music was developed as a form of communication. In time, it became an exciting, communal way to celebrate and mark the major milestones in a person's life. For example, there are literally hundreds of African songs that celebrate marriage, childbirth or even hunting parties.

Music is also played to ward off noxious spirits and to pay homage to deceased ancestors. African music of this type is almost always accompanied by a specific dance or ceremony. It is often performed by professional musicians who have experience with ceremonial music.

Because music from Sub-Saharan Africa focused on communal singing, it was one of the earliest to emphasize the use of harmony and structured singing. These singing methods ranged from simple rhythmic structures to incredibly complex and elaborate structures based on improvisation and variation.

Though stringed instruments, bells, flutes and even xylophones were all used in traditional African music, there is nothing more important than the basic African hand drum. In fact, there are literally dozens of drums that are played on different occasions. A few of the most popular drums that are used in a traditional African musical include bougarabou, Tama talking drums, djembe, water drums and many different kinds of Ngoma drum that are played in parts of Central and Southern Africa.

These drums are almost always accompanied by singers or choruses who often keep time with rattles, shakers, wood sticks, bells or by simply clapping their hands' or stumping their feet.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


jali buba
Photo  by electricnerve 
Music is closely integrated into everyday activities in Africa. Whether daily or festive, almost all African music plays a strong socializing role. It is a country with a history full of different cultures and traditions. Indeed music has played a vital role in their lives from their history up to the present that made them innovatively and artistically produce their own musical instruments.

Africans uses dance and songs along with their instruments during particular occasions, rituals, and ceremonies. It also serves as their musical communication towards each other. Africans are rich in values and customs. Most of the African instruments that they have are fundamentally used as a symbol of admiration and a medium of worshipping their divine being. These kinds of instruments show imagination, creativeness, and power that Africans put into functional objects.

In general, the sound of African music is characterized as polyphonic. Vocal-instrumental combinations are as common as instrumental music. Nearly all African instruments have a device that provides a percussive rhythmic accompaniment. All these instruments may differ in sizes and forms but all are created to create music.

Africa probably has the largest variety of drums to be found on any continent, but practically every other type of musical instrument is also represented throughout Africa. Of all the drums, the most characteristically African are the talking drum, hourglass drum, and the slit drum. Of the myriad types of rattles, the Western African net rattle, made of a handle gourd encased in a beaded net is unique. Xylophones, widespread in Africa, are two basic types; the frame xylophone and the loose key xylophone.

As widespread as the xylophone is the mbira which is consists of flat iron strips mounted on a board or box with one end of each strip free to be plucked with the fingers. The simplest of any kind of stringed instruments found throughout Africa is the musical bow. Zithers and harps are also common and the lyre, which has a hemispherical and rectangular body with two arms extending to a crossbar. The three-stringed instruments unique to Africa are the harp lute, harp zither, and the bowed lute.

You can get hold of these African instruments and learn it yourself. It cam undeniably produces beats, rhythms, and melody that are pleasurable to the ears. Feel the beat of African music and let its music fill the air to make you express your emotions and personality.

These instruments can be purchased in many musical stores which you can check the instruments yourself and try it. But if it is not available in your place or you are just too busy with your time you can conveniently search it on the internet and you can encounter various kinds of these instruments which you can possibly own.