African Music I INTRODUCTION Sacred Christian Music of Nigeria Among the Igede people of Nigeria, Christianity has been syncretized with the existing religious belief system.



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African Music I INTRODUCTION Sacred Christian Music of Nigeria Among the Igede people of Nigeria, Christianity has been syncretized with the existing religious belief system.

Publié le : 12/5/2013 Format: Document en format PDF protégé

African Music


Sacred Christian Music of Nigeria
Among the Igede people of Nigeria, Christianity has been syncretized with the existing religious belief system.

ProblematiqueAfrican Music


Sacred Christian Music of Nigeria
Among the Igede people of Nigeria, Christianity has been syncretized with the existing religious belief system. In Christian
hymns, God is still referred to as Ohe, and for Igede villagers, many of whom are unable to read the Bible, the songs
illustrate parables and moral messages. For the most part, traditional drumming and dancing are not allowed in religious
gatherings, therefore hymns such as this "Hallelujah" chorus are accompanied by polyrhythmic handclaps and an otaubah, a clay pot percussion instrument.
"Hallelujah" from The Igede of Nigeria (Cat.# Music of the World CDT-117) (p)1991 Music of the World, Ltd. All rights reserved./Dr. Robert Nicholls/© 1991 Music of the World, Ltd.

African Music, music of Africans who live south of the Sahara. A rich network of musical traditions has developed in Africa, a vast region of more than 50 nations, each
with its own history and mixture of cultures and languages. For information about the music of North Africa, See Arab Music.



Although diverse, African music has certain distinctive traits. One is the use of repetition as an organizing principle. For example, in the mbira music of the Shona people
of Zimbabwe, a repeated pattern is established by the interaction of various parts, and the musician develops an improvisation out of this core pattern. Another
common characteristic is polyphony (the simultaneous combination of several distinct musical parts). African music also has a conversational quality, in which different
voices, instrumental parts, or even the parts of a single player are brought into lively exchange. One of the most common types of music making is call-and-response
singing, in which a chorus repeats a fixed refrain in alternation with a lead singer, who has more freedom to improvise.

Traditional Mbira of Zimbabwe
The mbira, a thumb piano made of forged iron keys bound to a wooden box, is the most important instrument in
Zimbabwe's music and culture. Traditionally associated with the Shona people, the mbira is played at religious ceremonies
and at social celebrations. The intricate melody is based on a series of separate instrumental lines played simultaneously.
In addition, the player sings a vocal line that blends improvised lyrics with vowel sounds that are melodically and
rhythmically linked both to one another and to the mbira.
"Chaminuka" (Dumisani Maraire) Owl's Head Publishing Co. (BMI) from Dumisani Maraire: Chaminuka: Music of Zimbabwe (Cat.# Music of the World CDC-208) (p)1989 Music of the
World, Ltd. All rights
reserved./Doug Plummer/© 1989
Music of the World Ltd.

There are many different modes of expression in African music. In West Africa, drum ensembles consisting of three to five musicians who play interlocking patterns are
common. In the ensemble, each drummer uses a special method of striking the drumhead to produce varying pitches and timbres--distinctive sounds also known as
tone colors--to distinguish the drum from all the others. Such ensembles often include rattles and an iron bell, which is struck with a stick to produce a repeated pattern
called a timeline. This pattern penetrates the dense texture of the ensemble and helps the drummers to play their patterns at the correct time. See also Musical
Rhythm: Non-Western Systems.
In the akadinda xylophone music of the Ganda, two groups of three players each face one another across one xylophone. The first group plays a repeated pattern in
octaves, and the second group fills in the missing beats with an interlocking pattern. The resulting tempo may approach 600 beats per minute. In eastern, central, and
southern Africa, groups of musicians play sets of stopped flutes or trumpets, each person contributing a single note in strict rotations with the others. The alternation of
the parts creates a rich polyphonic texture. This kind of ensemble technique, sometimes called hocketting, was described by European observers as early as the 15th
century. Hocketting also plays an important role in the music of the San people of the Kalahari Desert and the pygmies of the central African rain forests.
Among the southern African peoples, polyphony is most highly developed in vocal music. In traditional Zulu choral music, individual voices enter at different points in a
continuous cycle, overlapping in a complex and constantly shifting texture. The same technique may be used in solo vocal performances, during which a singer will jump
from one entrance point to another to create a polyphonic texture. A wide variety of vocal qualities are used in African music, and it is common for sound-producing
objects, such as jingles, rattles, and membranes made of spiderweb, to be attached to instruments to produce a "sizzling" effect.



Traditional Timbila of Mozambique
Among the Chopi, who have lived for centuries along the coast of Mozambique, there is a highly developed tradition of
songwriting and composing for timbila (xylophone) orchestras. Elaborate migodo (dance suites), interspersed with poetic
songs pertaining to village life, are often performed to these compositions. Timbila music is now recognized as the national
music of Mozambique.
"Eduardo Durao Mauaia" from Eduardo Durao and Orquestra Durao: Timbila (Cat.# Globestyle CDORBD 065) (p)1991 Globestyle ACE Records, Ltd. All Rights Reserved./Roger
Armstrong/ACE Records

A wide variety of instruments are used in African music. Drums are among the more popular instruments and are made in a variety of shapes and sizes (see Musical
Instruments: Membranophones). Materials such as wood, gourds, and clay are used to construct drum bodies. Drum membranes are made from the skins of reptiles,
cows, goats, and other animals. Important types of drums include drum-chimes, in which a set of drums tuned to a scale is mounted in a frame and played by a team of
drummers; friction drums, in which sound is produced by rubbing the membrane; and the West African hourglass-shaped tension drum, which is sometimes called a
talking drum because it can be used to imitate the tonal contours of spoken language.
Other important percussion instruments in African music include clap-sticks, bells, rattles, slit gongs, struck gourds and clay pots, stamping tubes, and xylophones (see
Musical Instruments: Idiophones). The lamellaphone, an instrument unique to Africa, consists of a series of metal or bamboo strips mounted on a board or box. The
instrument is held in the hands or on the player's lap, and the free ends of the strips are plucked with thumbs or forefingers. Lamellaphones are used throughout Africa
and are also referred to as mbira, kalimba, or likembe.

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African stringed instruments include the musical bow, lute, lyre, harp, and zither. Professional musicians among the Mandinka (also known as Mandingo or Malinke)
people of Gambia play the kora, a 21-string harp-lute. The xalam, a plucked lute, is a close relative of the African American banjo. It is used in Senegal by Wolof praise
singers, whose songs revere important people. The musical bow, which consists of a string stretched between two ends of a flexible stave, plays a particularly important
role in the traditional music of southern African peoples, such as the San, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Traditional Valiha of Madagascar

Although music featuring the 22-string valiha (tube zither) is performed today in Madagascar discos along with electric
guitars and drums, the traditional instrument is also heard in social and religious events. The valiha is the instrument
heard at circumcision parties, religious exhumations, and trance and possession ceremonies. Today it is the national
instrument of Madagascar and is often made from a wooden oblong box and bicycle-brake cable.
"Feam Baliha" from Madagasikara 1: Current Traditional Music of Madagascar (Cat.# Globestyle CDORB 012) (p)1986 Globestyle-ACE Records, Ltd. All rights reserved./Roger
Armstrong/ACE Records

The flute, whistle, oboe, and trumpet are among the African wind instruments. Transverse and end-blown flutes made from bamboo, reeds, wood, clay, bones, and
other materials are used throughout the sub-Saharan region. Trumpets, often associated with royalty, are made from animal horns or wood and are also widely used.
Clarinets from the savanna region of West Africa are made from guinea corn or sorghum stems, with a reed cut from the surface of the stem at one end. Double-reed
instruments, such as the Hausa algaita, originated from the shawms of North Africa (see Musical Instruments: Single and Double Reeds).



Professional musicians played a crucial role as historians in the kingdoms that developed from the 10th to the 20th century in various parts of Africa. Among the Mande
people of western Africa, professional bards, or griots, still recount the histories of powerful lineages and offer counsel to contemporary rulers. Among the Yoruba of
Nigeria, an incompetent or evil king often first heard the public's command to abdicate from his "talking drummers." When Ugandan government troops invaded the
palace of the kabaka (king) of Buganda in the 1960s, they made sure that the royal musical instruments were destroyed first. In his memoirs, the kabaka described the
royal drums as the "heart" of his kingdom.
Music continues to play an important role in African societies. It is a medium for the transmission of knowledge and values and for celebrating important communal and
personal events. Music is often combined with speech, dance, and the visual arts to create multimedia performances. Even in societies with well-developed traditions of
professional musicianship, the ability of all individuals to participate in a musical event by adding a voice to the chorus or by adding an appropriate clap pattern is
assumed to be part of normal cultural competence.
Important stages of an African person's life are often marked with music. There are lullabies, children's game songs, and music for adolescent initiation rites, weddings,
title-taking ceremonies, funerals, and ceremonies for the ancestors. Among the Yoruba of Nigeria, the mother of twins must perform a special repertoire of songs, and
in Ghana there are songs for teasing bedwetters and for celebrating the loss of a child's first tooth.
In many African religions, sound is thought to be one of the primary means by which deities and humans impose order on the universe. In West Africa, drummers play
a crucial role in possession-trance ceremonies, in which the gods enter or "ride" the bodies of devotees. A competent drummer must know scores of specific rhythms for
particular gods and be responsible throughout the performance for regulating the flow of supernatural power in ritual contexts. In Zimbabwe, Shona mbira musicians
create an environment that encourages the ancestral-spirit possession that is considered a necessary part of healing.
Music is also used to organize work activities. Kpelle men in Liberia use a form of vocal hocketting to coordinate their machete blows while clearing dense brush for rice
fields. In pygmy societies of the central rain forest, singing and vocal cries are used to coordinate the movements of hunters through the brush. In southern Africa,
herders use flutes and other instruments to help control the movement of cattle.



Popular Juju Music of Nigeria
Since the mid-1960s, juju has established itself as the most popular contemporary music form in Nigeria. It also has
developed a strong following in Europe and North America. Juju blends Western instruments with elements of traditional
religious and secular music culture. This example is by juju pioneer I. K. Dairo.
"F'eso J'aiye" (I. K. Dairo) Owl's Head Publishing Co. (BMI) from I Remember: I. K. Dairo (Cat.# Music of the World C-212) (p)1991 Music of the World, Ltd. All rights reserved./Photo
Ter beschikking gesteld door artist/© 1991 Music of the
World Ltd.

African popular music is a hybrid of the music of Africa's towns and cities. It has most often maintained the core principles of African music while incorporating diverse
stylistic influences, including European, African American, Latin American, and Middle Eastern traditions. The pioneers of African popular music were often migrant
workers such as sailors, clerks, miners, and railway men drawn into the expanding colonial economies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. European record
companies made commercial recordings of African popular music as early as the 1920s, and the subsequent development of popular music styles has been strongly
influenced by the electronic mass media. The international popularity of African music increased in the 1980s, in part because of the participation of African musicians on
albums by popular Western music stars such as Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, and David Byrne.

The most influential style of popular music within Africa is Congolese guitar band music, also known as soukous. Influenced by Afro-Cuban music, soukous features belllike electric guitar parts, multisection forms ultimately derived from the rumba, and lively stage shows featuring performers called animateurs (animators). Soukous
developed in the towns of central Africa and has influenced musicians as far away as Senegal and South Africa. Political and economic upheavals in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) have led many soukous musicians to relocate to other parts of Africa, and to Paris, France, arguably the capital of
contemporary soukous. Proponents of soukous have included Dr. Franco and O.K. Jazz, Rochereau, Mbilia Bel, Papa Wemba, Loketo, Kanda Bongo Man, and the
virtuoso guitarist Diblo Dibala.
In the late 19th century, a style called highlife began to develop in Ghana. There are two types of highlife groups: dance bands, in which musicians play an Africanized
version of Western ballroom-dance music, complete with trumpets and saxophones; and guitar bands, which usually include several electric guitars and a set of
percussion instruments. In Nigeria, the Afro-Beat style of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, formerly a highlife musician, was strongly influenced by the predominantly African
American music of jazz. Yoruba musicians such as Tunde King, Ayinde Bakare, and I. K. Dairo developed a variant of guitar-band highlife called juju, which uses
traditional proverbs and praise poetry and features the talking drum. Popular stars of juju music include King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. In
Zimbabwe, Thomas Mapfumo and guitarist Joshua Sithole helped to develop a style called jiti (also called jit), transferring Shona mbira patterns to the electric guitar.
This style played an important role in the songs of resistance disseminated during the struggle for independence (1957-1980) against the white-controlled Rhodesian
The tradition of professional griots in the savanna region of West Africa is carried on by musicians such as Youssou N'Dour of Senegal and Salif Keita of Mali. These
musicians make use of traditional instruments such as the xylophone and the kora (a harp-lute) in addition to using electric guitars and synthesizers (see Electronic
Music). Their vocal styles often reflect the influence of Islam on the music of the savanna region.

Youssou N'Dour
Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour blends the traditional styles and rhythms of the Wolof people of Senegal with Western
instrumentation. He has released numerous albums of his own and has performed on albums with artists Peter Gabriel of
the United Kingdom and Paul Simon of the United States.
Andrea Comas/Reuters/Landov

In East Africa, taarab music grew out of a long history of interaction between Swahili-speaking peoples of the Indian Ocean coast and the Arabic-speaking world. Taarab
features long melodic lines, a style of singing influenced by Arabic traditions to the north, dance rhythms influenced by traditional African drumming (ngoma), and
Swahili poetry dealing with romance and marriage. Taarab orchestras play for weddings and other important social occasions and feature instruments such as electric
guitar, the 'ud (lute), Indian tabla drums, violin, accordion, and electronic keyboards.
South Africa is home to some of the best-known styles of African popular music. Since the late 19th century South African popular music has drawn upon African
traditions (such as Zulu, Xhosa, and Sotho); the hybrid musical traditions of the Cape Coloured, a people of mixed ancestry who live in the Cape Province of South
Africa; American popular music ranging from ragtime and big band jazz to soul music and hip-hop; and European traditions, including church hymns and Afrikaner folk
music. The first South African genre to attract international attention was "pennywhistle jive" or kwela music, popularized in the 1950s by Spokes Mashiyane. South
African jazz has featured such performers as the trumpeter Hugh Maskela, the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), and the vocalist Miriam Makeba.
Mbaqanga, which was developed in the segregated black townships created under apartheid, remains the most popular form of South African dance music. Mbaqanga
groups, such as the Soul Brothers and Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, employ a lead singer and chorus, electric guitar and bass, drum set, and some combination
of saxophone, accordion, and organ (see Organ: Electronic Organs). The Zulu male choral style isicathamiya ("a stalking approach") draws upon traditional wedding
songs, African American choral styles, and Wesleyan church hymns. This style was introduced to international audiences in an indirect form by the recording "Wimoweh"
(1951) by the folk group the Weavers (later a hit pop song for the Tokens under the title, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"). This song was based on "Mbube," a 1939
recording by Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds, a group of Zulu mineworkers. Isicathamiya was popularized worldwide in the 1980s by the group Ladysmith Black
While popular music is associated with the cultural ferment of Africa's cities, its influence can now be felt in even the most remote rural regions of the continent as a
result of the spread of mass media and portable cassette players. Every nation in Africa boasts its own distinctive and constantly evolving array of popular music genres
supported by local audiences. In this sense, African popular music provides a rough map of the cultural diversity, commonalities, and challenges of contemporary Africa.



Traditional Dance, Zambia
Dance in Africa is considered an important method of communication, and the art is practiced in various styles throughout
the continent. Many African dancers express traditions and cultural and historical influences through their dress and
different patterns of movement. This Zambian dancer wearing ceremonial attire performs to drum music.
Marc and Evelyne Bernheim/Woodfin Camp and Associates, Inc.

African dance is as varied in style and function as African music. Dancing is associated with both sacred and secular events, and it plays a crucial role in education, work,
entertainment, politics, and ritual. Common African dance patterns include team dances using formalized patterns, such as straight lines or circular formations; group
dances that allow individuals to emerge and display their skills; and solo dances, often performed by a powerful individual or professional entertainer. Bodily postures
vary from the upright stance widely associated with political and ritual authority to the earth-oriented movements common in many West African societies, in which the
performer bends the knees and inclines the torso forward from the hips. The variety of African dance can be illustrated by comparing Yoruba dancers of Nigeria, who
often perform intricate foot movements close to the ground, to Zulu military dancers of South Africa, who maintain an upright posture and perform high stamping
As with African music, African dance has been affected by social change. Popular-music genres are usually associated with specific dances that combine aspects of
African, European, Latin American, and African American styles. Popular dances can sometimes assume heightened political significance, as in the late 1990s when a
dance called mapouka, which originated in Côte d'Ivoire, was banned by the governments of several neighboring West African nations for being too sexually suggestive.

Contributed By:
Chris Waterman
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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