African Music and Culture Creative Exploration

African music is developed largely by the civilizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Their traditions give emphasis to singing. This is because songs are used as means of communication.

Many languages in Africa are “tone languages”.  Pitch level identifies meanings. Meanwhile, melodies and tempo of their songs go after the intonation and rhythms of the text of the songs. In general, African songs are in form of call-and-response, as if they are really talking. This shows the relationship between the music and linguistic in sub-Saharan Africa. (Genesis 1996-2006)

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One major effect of the Arab conquest in North Africa is in religious aspect. Islam proliferated immediately in that part of the continent. They were calling Muhammed, along with their god’s name Allah, five times in a day from thousands of towers near the mosque, which are called minarets. These minarets were spread in North Africa, South-Western Europe, and Western and Central Asia. But in other parts of Africa, Islamization was quite a slow process. (Doi 1998)
Africa is the birthplace of our habit of making music. The continent can be divided in five regions musically. North Africa has musical connection with the Arab and Islamic world. European colonization influenced music in West Africa.
This region is known for classical and court music in sub-Saharan Africa. With their traditions, they preserved splendid musical heritage. (Africa 1996-2006)
In Madagascar, generally, more metrical songs can be found on the coastline. Songs that are more soothing and slower are from the interior part of the place. In linguistics, it is quite mysterious.
Their spoken language, Malagasy, is widely used in the country despite of the island’s large size and cultural diversity. In additional, Malagasy originated in Indonesia.  (WildMadagascar.org 2004-2006)
After the resettlement of former African slaves, they got educational and job opportunities in urban areas. They engaged in cultural and scholarly activities.
They had published some newspapers and journals. They excelled in this field later. Examples of these successful Africans are Paul Laurence Dunbar, a poet-novelist, and Claude McKay, a black poet and novelist who first attracted a large number of white audience. (AFRICANS-AMERICANS 2006)
REFERENCES:
Africa 2006. National Geographic Society 1996-2006 [cited September 9 2006]. Available from http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/worldmusic/view/page.basic/region/content.region/africa_1
AFRICANS-AMERICANS 2006. The History Channel website 2006 [cited September 9 2006]. Available from http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=200351.
Doi, Prof. A. Rahman I. 2006. Islam and Africa. Dr. A. Zahoor 1998 [cited September 8 2006]. Available from http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/islafrica.htm
Genesis, African. 2006. African People & Culture africaguide.com 1996-2006 [cited September 8 2006]. Available from http://www.africaguide.com/culture/music.htm.
WildMadagascar.org. 2006. Malagasy, the language of Madagascar Rhett Butler 2004-2006 [cited September 9 2006]. Available from http://www.wildmadagascar.org/people/malagasy.html
 

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