A Platform for Ethnically and Culturally Inspired Music

Music from Africa

Feb 20, 2023
1010 views
Africa is a vast and diverse continent with a rich musical heritage. African music has had a profound impact on many musical genres, including jazz, blues, and rock, and has become increasingly popular worldwide in recent years. Here is an overview of some of the different styles of music from Africa:

1. Afrobeat: Afrobeat is a fusion of West African music, jazz, and funk that emerged in the 1970s. The music is characterized by complex rhythms, heavy use of percussion, and politically charged lyrics. The genre was popularized by Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, who was known for his social and political activism.

2. Highlife: Highlife is a genre that originated in Ghana in the early 20th century. It is characterized by its use of Western instruments, such as the guitar, and its incorporation of African rhythms and melodies. Highlife music is often associated with social gatherings and dance parties.

3. Soukous: Soukous is a style of dance music that originated in Congo in the 1930s. It is characterized by its use of African rhythms and Cuban rumba, as well as its distinctive guitar and vocal style. Soukous has been popular throughout Africa since the 1950s and has influenced many other styles of African music.

4. Mbalax: Mbalax is a genre of music that originated in Senegal in the 1970s. It is characterized by its use of complex rhythms and percussion, as well as its incorporation of Western instruments such as the guitar and keyboard. Mbalax is often associated with social and political commentary, and has become popular throughout West Africa.

5. Juju: Juju is a style of music that originated in Nigeria in the 1920s. It is characterized by its use of the talking drum, a traditional West African instrument, as well as its incorporation of Western instruments such as the guitar and accordion. Juju music is often associated with spiritual or religious themes, and is popular throughout Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.

6. Ghanian Highlife: Highlife music from Ghana evolved from traditional Akan music and European influences. The genre features lively rhythms, call-and-response vocals, and jazzy horns.

7. Ethio-jazz: Ethio-jazz is a fusion of jazz and traditional Ethiopian music. The genre emerged in the 1960s and 1970s and was popularized by musicians such as Mulatu Astatke. Ethio-jazz features complex rhythms, a pentatonic scale, and use of traditional instruments such as the krar and masenqo.

8. Malian Blues: Malian blues is a fusion of West African traditional music, American blues, and rock music. The genre features intricate guitar work, pentatonic scales, and call-and-response vocals. Musicians such as Ali Farka Touré and Tinariwen have popularized this style.

9. Taarab: Taarab is a style of music from East Africa that originated in Zanzibar. The genre features Arabic, Indian, and African influences and is characterized by the use of the oud, qanun, and accordion. Taarab music often features poetic lyrics and is associated with social and political commentary.

10. Afro-Cuban music: Afro-Cuban music emerged in Cuba in the early 20th century and features a fusion of African and Cuban music. The genre features complex rhythms, polyrhythms, and the use of traditional African instruments such as the bata and conga drums.

These are just a few examples of the many world music styles from Africa. Each region of Africa has its own unique musical heritage, and there are countless other genres and sub-genres to explore.

---
Some famous world artists musicians from Africa
---

There are many other world music styles from Africa beyond the ones I mentioned earlier. Here are some more examples:

1. Ghanian Highlife: Highlife music from Ghana evolved from traditional Akan music and European influences. The genre features lively rhythms, call-and-response vocals, and jazzy horns.

2. Ethio-jazz: Ethio-jazz is a fusion of jazz and traditional Ethiopian music. The genre emerged in the 1960s and 1970s and was popularized by musicians such as Mulatu Astatke. Ethio-jazz features complex rhythms, a pentatonic scale, and use of traditional instruments such as the krar and masenqo.

3. Malian Blues: Malian blues is a fusion of West African traditional music, American blues, and rock music. The genre features intricate guitar work, pentatonic scales, and call-and-response vocals. Musicians such as Ali Farka Touré and Tinariwen have popularized this style.

4. Taarab: Taarab is a style of music from East Africa that originated in Zanzibar. The genre features Arabic, Indian, and African influences and is characterized by the use of the oud, qanun, and accordion. Taarab music often features poetic lyrics and is associated with social and political commentary.

5. Afro-Cuban music: Afro-Cuban music emerged in Cuba in the early 20th century and features a fusion of African and Cuban music. The genre features complex rhythms, polyrhythms, and the use of traditional African instruments such as the bata and conga drums.

6. Fela Kuti: Fela Kuti, from Nigeria, was a pioneer of Afrobeat music. He was known for his socially and politically conscious lyrics and for his energetic and mesmerizing performances. Kuti's music has influenced countless musicians around the world.

7. Youssou N'Dour: Youssou N'Dour, from Senegal, is one of the most popular African musicians of all time. He has been a major force in popularizing Mbalax music, and has collaborated with many musicians from around the world. N'Dour has won multiple Grammy Awards for his music.

8. Miriam Makeba: Miriam Makeba, from South Africa, was a singer and activist who became known as "Mama Africa." She was a powerful voice against apartheid in South Africa, and her music combined traditional South African music with jazz and other genres. Makeba became a symbol of the struggle against racism and injustice.

9. Ali Farka Touré: Ali Farka Touré, from Mali, was a guitarist and singer who helped popularize Malian Blues music. His music was characterized by his intricate guitar playing and powerful vocals, and he was known for blending traditional West African music with American blues.

10. Salif Keita: Salif Keita, from Mali, is a singer and songwriter who has been called the "golden voice of Africa." He is known for his powerful vocals and his ability to blend different musical styles, including traditional West African music, jazz, and pop. Keita's music often addresses social and political issues in Africa.

These are just a few examples of the many famous world music musicians from Africa. There are countless other artists who have made significant contributions to world music and have helped to popularize African musical traditions around the world.