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Today, African music has become a revolution globally. However, the many music cultures of Africa can be broadly divided into North African and Sub-Saharan. The traditional music is however, the choice of dominant population in South Sahara.


In addition, the western hourglass drum, slit drum made from the contact of two hollowed logs are marvelous. The myriad rattle types are also enormous. Xylophone is basically of two types, FANG of Cameroon and chops of Mozambique. However, the simplest form of the music is BOW; in eastern and central Africa ZITERS and HARPS and LYRE is widely played in Ethiopia and Uganda. Flute is also very popular in African music.

Thus with the presence of wide musical instruments in Africa, it is very essential to lighten up the glossary of the styles being used in the African music which have become very popular worldwide.

Aftobeat ? it is a unique combination of American Jazzy funk and Nigerian beat. This dance was created in 1970?s by Africa?s most popular artist, the late Fela Ransome Anikulapo, a Nigerian based. This was the period when American soul music and British rock dominated most of the Africa?s world of music.

Afropop ? it is considered to be the new popular music of Africa. Spiced with different elements of various African and western rhythms. At 70?s and 80?s many African artists and musicians migrated to Europe and America to pursue their professional career and thus this compelled the influence of African music and thus an effective measure for western countries to recognize African music in new perspective.

Bikutsi ? is the popular dance music. It is actually the late addition to the popular Cameroon dance music. This different style of music was created by five musicians from West African country to react to a novel style of zouk dance music from Martinique which was considered to be monopolized Cameroon in early nineties.

Benga Beat ? it is the high level sound of electric guitar from Kenya; the east Africa which is highly identified by its heavy drum cadence and the harmonized vocal instrument.

Chimurenga ? this is primarily the liberation war music of the Zimbabwe. It is the mixture of the traditional mbira music and an electric guitar used as a perfect tool of liberation struggle by this country?s artist. Thomas Mapfumo is the internationally popular artist in this type of music.

Fuji Garbage ? this is music essentially coming from Nigeria. It is drum based Yoruba music plus the great combination of guitars, accordions and talking drums.

Jit Jive ? Jit Jive and True Jit are both different music styles of Zimbabwe. It was being popularized by a group of young musicians? right after independence of this country in early eighties. The Bhundu Boys also known as Bush Boys were considered early ambassadors of this style. This music was created after the war liberation when many young artists migrated from villages to the capital city of Harare and formed many bands across the city with positive intention of forming a recreational activity for people.

Highlife ? this is the blend of Ghanaian and Nigeria ball room music especially from West Africa. It is indeed different style of African dance music. This popular music was first introduced by Africa to other countries like Europe and America. King Bruce and his black feat, E. T. Mensah and his Ramblers dance band, Roy Chicago and many others are considered to be amongst the early pioneers.

Makossa ? it is other type of Cameroonian popular dance music. It is popularly said to be `dance till you drop?. This music was brought into limelight as the theme of African music in America and Europe in 70?s. This music was brought on the map by the great saxophonist Manu Dibango with his legendary jazzy sound `soul makossa?. However, there are many Cameroonian artists like Prince Eyango, Guy Lobe, Eppe & Koum and many others.

Mbalax- is the unique Senegalese contemporary music. It is having a high percussive sound dominated mainly by goat-skinned Sabar drum. The best performers in this type of music are Yousoou Nodour, Baaba Mal and others.

Mapouka ? this is the latest craze dance and music style of Cote d?Ivoire in West Africa. This is performed by elite women of high society particularly in the south west region of the country. Though banned by government, but Mapouka still persists to be the extremely popular music item of Africa.

Mbaquanga ? as the name suggests it is South African black music and dance especially from Soweto. This style was named after a soup popular amongst the people of Black Township. It is serving as liberation struggle music. Some of the pop artists in this category are Soul Brothers? Malatini, Juluka and others.

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  • Date Added:01/21/10 
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