Posts Tagged ‘Madagascar’
Linking traditional African music with the United States, there are generous grants being offered to preserve the history and culture of traditional African songs, dances and musical instruments.
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation has been quietly assembling samples of African music. Most people think of the State Department efforts as a fund to save historic buildings, museums and historical sites, however some of the monies have gone toward saving the music that is in danger of being replaced by modern sounds.
A project funded by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation dispatched archivists throughout Africa with recording equipment. In Burundi alone, the historians returned with 230 recordings of traditional music.
In an effort to make this music accessible to future generations, the field recordings of questionable quality were enhanced with Burundian musicians who ‘’filled the gaps” with traditional instrument. The famous Burundian drums are now highlighted in 176 songs on CDs.
African youth are being exposed to new kinds of instruments and village elders are concerned the indigenous sounds will disappear. An Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation grant also went toward a research project for young Africans to explore their musical history and to learn from the elders how to make the instruments themselves. The young people recorded the music on these instruments to have an audible record.
In the process, the youth are learning entrepreneurial skills to market and sell the instruments to a new generation who would otherwise not be exposed to this cultural treasure.
Lastly, in Madagascar, the AFCP funded an attempt to preserve the unusual Malagasy dances, music and instruments. The various districts there have distinct sounds and costumes. All of it was recorded and shared in the classrooms of school children, insuring that future generations will be comfortable and knowledgeable with the sounds of their ancestors.