African music


Besides using the voice, a wide array of musical instruments is used. African musical instruments include a wide array of drums, slit gongs, rattles, double bells as well melodic instruments like string instruments (musical bows, different types of harps and harp-liker instruments like the Kora as well as fiddles), many types of xylophones and lamellaphones such as the mbira and different types of wind instrument like flutes and trumpets.

The wide array of drums used in African traditional music include tama talking drums, bougarabou and djembe in West Africa, water drums in Central and West Africa, and different types of drums are often called engoma or ngoma in Central and Southern Africa.



During colonial times, European instruments such as saxophones, trumpets, and guitars were adopted by many African musicians; their sounds were integrated into the traditional patterns and are widely used in African popular music. 





Relationship to dance



The treatment of "music" and "dance" as separate art forms is an European idea. In many African languages there is no concept corresponding exactly to these terms. For example, in many Bantu languages, there is one concept that might be translated as "song" and another that covers both the semantic fields of the European concepts of "music" and "dance". So there is one word for both music and dance (the exact meaning of the concepts may differ from culture to culture).

For example, in Kiswahili, the word "ngoma" may be translated as "drum", "dance", "dance event", "dance celebration" or "music", depending on the context. Each of these translations is incomplete.

Therefore, from an intracultural point of view, African music and African dance must be viewed in very close connection. The classification of the phenomena of this area of culture into "music" and "dance" is foreign to many African cultures.


There is a close connection between the polyrhythmic structure of African music and the polycentric structure of many African dances, in which different parts of the body are moved according to different rhythmical components. 


Traditional music



 A lot of traditional African music is or was performed by professional musicians. Some of it is courtly music or sacral music. Therefore, the term "folk" music is not always appropriate. Nevertheless, both the terms "folk music" and "traditional music" can be found in the literature.

African folk music and traditional music is mostly functional in nature. There are, for example, many different kinds of work songs, ceremonial or religious music and courtly music performed at royal courts, but none of these are performed outside of their intended social context.

Music is highly functional in African ethnic life, accompanying birth, marriage, hunting, and even political activities. Much music exists solely for entertainment, ranging from narrative songs to highly stylized musical theater.

Popular music



Genres of popular African Music include:


With two simple musical instruments like an acoustic guitar and bongo drums you will catch that unique and rare African sound that is African music. 



Celebrating South Africa’s Heritage through arts and culture.”

South Africa has and will always remain one of the most diverse countries when it comes to arts and culture.

With 9 official languages and the rich and poor now living in communion South Africa is setting the pace for the race of how God intends us to live.

I think the most diverse culture must be the one of the Afrikaner “Boer “ and the Zulu’s. When I think of the farmers their way of life and doing things are more practical whereas the Zulu’s are more Cultural with their traditional clothing, dance and food.

South Africa’s arts and culture are as rich and varied as one might expect from such a diverse nation. Local music is characterised by its fusion of a broad spectrum of musical forms, with musicians tapping into the rich musical inheritance of South Africa, while remaining open to the influence of music from other countries.

Township jazz and blues, especially the kwela music of the forties and fifties, are being redefined, while the country has a rich choral tradition and pop and rock musicians have made their mark internationally. Even techno-raves and house music have found their own variations in local culture. Today, musicians from all over Africa perform in nightclubs throughout South Africa.

Traditionally we tend to bring an African feel to our homes to feel a little more at home if you will, the sales of zebra and springbok hides are big in the tourism scene and great for job development. On a serious note the African masks we bring into our homes is a serious problem and many don’t realize that their bringing an idol into their homes where the demons can feed.

It’s amazing to see all the diverse entrepreneur we have, looking at the sculptures and carvings from wood all the way to the beaded crafts our craftsman make.

I know of many people that drive up to Zimbabwe and Botswana with empty trucks and buy loads of crafted local traditional goods and a ridiculous price and resell it at the local markets to the tourist.

It’s always a funny scene to watch when tourists buy goods, their never happy with the price and its always amazing to see that the poor man will pay the asking price and in that way blessing the seller, but for the one who worships money its always a struggle to let go of his treasure for a little piece of Africa.

We really need to focus on developing our local talent and on exporting our rich traditional made products to a world living the fast paced life that knows nothing about our traditional ways.

The national anthem of South Africa is a combined version of two evocative but quite different songs, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa) and The Call of South Africa (Die Stem van Suid-Afrika).

The Call of South Africa was written by CJ Langenhoven in May 1918. The music was composed by the Reverend ML de Villiers in 1921.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist mission schoolteacher. The words of the first stanza were originally written in isiXhosa as a hymn. It became a popular church hymn that was later adopted as an anthem at political meetings

The national flag of the Republic of South Africa was taken into use on Freedom Day, 27 April 1994 and was immediately taken to heart by the people as the most visible symbol of the new South Africa. The design and colours are a synopsis of principal elements of the country’s flag history. The central design of the flag, beginning at the flag-pole in a ‘V’ form and flowing into a single horizontal band to the outer edge of the fly, can be interpreted as the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking on the road ahead in unity.

South Africa’s Coat of Arms was launched on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000. A central image of the Coat of Arms is the secretary bird with its uplifted wings. Above the bird is the rising sun, a force that gives life while representing the flight of darkness and the triumph of discovery, knowledge, the understanding of things that have been hidden, illuminating also the new life that is coming into being. Below the bird is the protea, an indigenous flower of South Africa.

The ears of wheat are emblems of the fertility of the land while the tusks of the African elephant, reproduced in pairs to represent men and women, symbolise wisdom, steadfastness and strength. At the centre stands a shield. Above it repose a spear and a knobkierie. These symbolise the defence of peace rather than a posture of war. Contained within the shield are some of the earliest representations of humanity in the world. Those depicted were the very first inhabitants of the land, namely the Khoisan people.

The motto of the Coat of Arms, !Ke e:/xarra//ke, written in the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, means diverse people unite or people who are different join together.

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