The African continent is the second largest continent in the world, and its people constitute a 10th of the world’s population with about one thousand indigenous languages spoken throughout the continent (Stone, 1998, p.2). In this context, it is important that a brief history of African music cannot be conclusive and is more complex than we realize. No scholar managed to offer a perspective about African culture that has not been contested. Given this history, we can only provide a bird’s eye view of African music. African music has a long history that has been orally transmitted from one generation to the other and captured in written form in excerpts found in journals of western explorers.
Writings on African music are largely based on western theoretical frameworks, and literature available under categories such as African music; world music, global music and ethnomusicology influences the discussion of African music. Most of the African music history has been surrounded by controversy on representation of African cultural heritage by non-native observers. Modern scholars of African music such as Hugh Tracy of South Africa, Nketia of Ghana, Mngoma of South Africa, Maraire of Zimbabwe and Makabuya of Uganda and others have expressed their reservation about misrepresentation of African culture by people who did not understand the people and the functions of the arts in those people’s lives. These discussions have highlighted a need to introduce context-based approach in the study of music and dance in Africa.
Mother AFRICA! There is no other continent on the planet that music and culture has not been derived from it. From chants, drumming, acapella, and tribal dance, join 3 ChicsPolitico as we explore the beauty, wonder, richness and SOUL of African music and dance.