Things to know about African Music and Dance

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Everything to know about African Music and Dance

Welcome to this post about the Vibrant World of African Music and Dance, via Afrokonnect. Africa is a vibrant and fascinating continent which is known for its rich and diverse traditions.

Africa has captured the attention of audiences around the world with fascinating music and traditional dances. The African continent contains amazing cultures and traditions which are absolutely mesmerizing.

Music and Dances are one of the integrated aspects of the African cultures but can’t function without the influence of drums. The drumbeats are the lifeblood of everything called “African Music & Dances” as they add the much needed rhythms to the activities.

African Continent is overwhelmed with various traditional instruments such as the djembe (W/Africa), Talking Drum (Nigeria), Mbira (Zimbabwe), Etc. The African Music is very unique as it has various genres and styles. In Nigeria, the late and legendary musician Fela Kuti singlehandedly spread the gospel of Afrobeats on the global scene.

The African continent has other musicians such as Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), Miriam Makeba (South Africa), and Salif Keita (Mali) that represented the African Continent well on the global stage. African Dance is also very unique as the African Music and it is used as a very strong means of communication.

The African dance is used to propagate various agenda and also used for storytelling. The African continent is so rich in culture that each country and tribe have their unique dance celebrations with different and intriguing characteristics. So, get ready as I transport you into the fascinating and vibrant world of African Music and Dance.

African Music

African Music is one which is very deep-rooted in both culture, interpretations, history and traditions of the African Community. The type of music being sung has revolved with the world but its uniqueness has been put aside as it is very different from that of foreigners.

African Music has moved beyond the shores of Africa as it can be heard on various continents across the world. This new trend has prompted the African Music to evolve with these climes hence the brand is on its way to becoming a global phenomenon.

The popularity of the African Music is very fascinating as countries on the other side of the planet such as Brazil and Cuba have taken up the genre a lot. According to recent history, African Music was first recorded on the continent in the 3rd millennium BC in Egypt, but the introduction of Islam in the 7th Century AD added a lot to its influence and growth.

The African music has advanced beyond its shores as various musicians from the planet has made significant contributions to the growth of music on a global stage. Artists such as Wizkid, Davido, Libianca, and Burna Boy has helped promote the African continent on the global stage.

What is the traditional instrument of Africa?

The African continent is also home to various traditional instruments such as Drums, Xylophones, Horns and Flutes.

1) Drums:

The African drums is very significant in the African culture and they come in different shapes and sizes. They are used for different purposes but commonly used to generate excitement and communicate various messages.

2) Xylophone:

It is also one of the most commonly used instrument in the African culture. The instrument consists of wooden bars which are joined by mallets. Xylophone instrument originated in Africa but is now being used frequently worldwide; they are also used in western orchestra.

3) Horns and Flutes:

The Horns and Flutes are different instruments but are very similar. Horns are used mostly in solo performances while Flutes can be used to pass a message or accompany a singer.

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Glossary of African Music

  • Afrobeats: A term created by Fela Anikulapo Kuti to describe his brand of music.
  • Apala: Yoruba style of song used by the talking drum.
  • Benga: Type of music originated from the Luo people in Western Kenya.
  • Chimurenga: A style of music taken from the Shona people in Zimbabwe.
  • Fuji: A type of African music created by the Yoruba people in Nigeria.
  • Gnawa: Originated from slaves from Mali brought to Morocco in the 16th Century.
  • Highlife: Gotten from the Eastern part of the continent especially Ghana.
  • Isicathamiya: Originated from men in South Africa.
  • Jit: Gotten from Zimbabwe.
  • Juju: Originated from I.K. Dairo in Nigeria.

African Dances

Dances are very critical to the African culture as it is an integral part of the exciting culture that Africa possesses. The continent possesses several unique dances such as Indlamu (South Africa), Kpanlogo (Ghana), Moribayassa (Guinea), and Eskista (Ethiopia).

African continent is full of unique dances and styles which has made the planet a force to reckon with when it comes to dance moves. The African dance is very complementary with the drums they work hand in hand.

Clapping is also very complementary with various African dances. African dances weren’t accepted when they the missionaries landed in the continent but you can’t kill the passion and tradition associated with our vibrant culture.

Types of dance in Africa

We have stated how important our dances are so permit me to list and expatiate on some of the top dances on the African continent (No particular order):

1) Adumu Dance:

It is one of the most popular dances on the African continent and it involves a lot of jumping. The dance originated from the Maasai tribe that resides in both Tanzania and Kenya.

The dance isn’t performed by any gender but only able-bodied men especially warriors. Adumu dance moves is only performed during weddings, initiations and special rites of passage. The dance has its significance as it represents the strength, agility and stamina of the warriors.

2) Agbadza Dance:

This dance is performed in Ghana by the Ewe tribe and it is a very popular dance move. It has a very deep meaning as it is originated from an ancient war dance named “Atrikpui”.

The dance is mostly executed by the Anlo Ewe tribe during the Hogbetsotso festival. Agbadza dance is accompanied by various instruments such as Sogo, Atoke Kagan and Gankogui.

3) Atilogwu Dance:

This is an African dance which has its origins from Nigeria by the Igbo tribe. The dance is usually described as “Acrobatic dance” once you step out of the shores of Nigeria. Foreigners have described it as “Acrobatic dance” due to the amount of extreme acrobats required to perform it. The dance is only performed by able-bodied men due to the tremendous body movement required.

The name Atilogwu means “it is magic” hence explaining the tremendous acrobats that accompanies the dance move. Atilogwu dance is usually performed with rhythms and drums.

Conclusion 

Everything to know about African Music and Dance

African continent is full of amazing trills and adventures but the world of music and dances is the strongest aspect of our culture. The African music is beginning to take shape on the world stage as a force to reckon with.

African dance isn’t left out as various countries have started to adopt aspects of the African culture in several of their festivals. The African message is starting to go global rapidly and it is up to us to ensure that we keep that way.

African community must also detest activities that will stain the continent on the global stage. Thanks for reading this post about the Vibrant World of African Music and Dance and I hope to see you again on another time on Afrokonnect.ng.

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