AFRICA SINGS!

BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS

I have been in love with the beauty, joy, sorrow, and enchantment that is African music.

From the ethereal lyrics of Eneida Marta, the power and upbeat of Angelique Kidjo, to the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti that describes his fusion of West African music with Black American music, to benga, chimuringa, gnawa, the iscathamiya made by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, griot, the mbalax Senegalese (Wolof) percussion music modernized by Youssou N’Dour, marabi, mbaqanga popularized by Johnny Clegg and the Mahatolla Queens, and the wassoulo, to name just a few—–African music, songwriting and singing is as varied as the continent itself.

Instruments played by African singers include instruments indigenous to Africa before European invasion and instruments incorporated into their singing and playing styles after the colonization of Africa. Those instruments are the kalimba or mbira (thumb piano); the balafon (marimba), and the xylophone (considered to have ancient African origins by Roger Blench); the…

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