Posts Tagged ‘My Music World’
Any discussion of African Music must include the various influences of other countries on the African Continent.
Northern Africa is dominated by Arabic culture. South Africa is affected by Western styles. So the most authentic African music is widely accepted to come from the central, or sub-Saharan part of the continent.
Most ancient societies use music as a means of communication and Africa is no exception. In fact, the very language itself is musical, as the tone of delivery changes the meaning and context. For this reason, African languages are considered “tone languages”.
Modern life has crept into sub-Saharan Africa. Traditional music is getting harder and harder to find. Today it is common to see blends of cultures in the music. The Caribbean is present in songs which incorporate African and Western sounds. Latin America makes its way into music of the Congo. The United States’ history of swing is apparent in the music of South Africa.
Traditional dance and music of Africa are threatened with extinction so it’s vital that artists spread the importance of this cultural art form throughout the world.
One way this can be accomplished is with the unique sounding musical instruments used in African music. In sub-Saharan Africa artists use resonant devices such as bells, the thumb piano or mbira, the xylophone and stamping tubes.
Drums are available in many varieties such as kettledrums, membranophones made from parchment, and drums of different shapes such as cylindrical, semicylindrical and barrel-shaped. There are even drums in the shape of an hour-glass.
The indigenous animals of the continent are represented in other instruments. Animal horns make up wind instruments like horns made of elephant tusks. Other natural materials like wood and gourd, and millet stalks and reeds make flute-like wonders similar to the western flute.
It’s no wonder that African Music of yesterday and today is finding an appreciative audience worldwide. It is with pleasure that we recommend Samite’s latest CD album, “My Music World” to bring you the type of music that Samite Mulondo appreciates and loves to share.
Click this link for a previous article about African Music.
Here is a message from Samite and a free sample of music from his recent concert where he released his latest CD, “My Music World”.
“I just had a wonderful experience performing with six very talented musicians! We played songs from my new CD and a few old favorites as well.
When I listen to the mix, I hear my dream band! This music will be released in a live DVD coming soon, but right now, I would like to share a taste of it with you.
This song, “Nawe Okiwulira,” from Embalasasa; in it the kalimba leads the other instruments. You will hear the banjo, which originates from Africa, talking back to the kalimba.
You may order the CD by clicking on Samite’s album cover photo at the bottom right of this blog.
Announcing Samite and his band at the Corning Museum of Glass, Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
This is a special CD Release concert for Samite’s newest CD “My Music World” that is sponsored by 171 Cedar Arts and with complimentary Ithaca Beer for refreshments. This concert will be part of the Live DVD celebrating “My Music World”.
Come dance with Samite and his band. Joining Samite will be Jeff Haynes, Richie Stearns, Charlie Shew, Nate Silas Richardson, David Cullen and Kate Knosia.
$10 General Admission with a discount for members, seniors and students with ID. Tickets are available at:
171 Cedar Arts Center – Corning
Ithaca Guitar Works – Ithaca
Toko Imports – Ithaca
Come enjoy, celebrate!
To understand music from Uganda it is necessary to know about the history of this strong and turbulent country. Samite’s music comes from deep within his soul, a soul that was assaulted by a brutal regime, but which was overcome with pure human spirit. That is what you hear in Samite’s music.
Uganda is a country in East Africa, landlocked with savanna plateau and combined with lakes and mountains. The most famous body of water is Lake Victoria, named while under British protection. Lake Victoria is the source of the Nile River and lead British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to refer to Uganda as “The Pearl of Africa”. The Ruwenzori Mountains are native to the mountain gorilla, a species on the endangered list.
Uganda achieved independence from Britain in 1962 and that vacuum gave birth to the brutal regime of Idi Amin. An estimated 800,000 Ugandans were murdered. The National Resistance Army had some success at restoring stability and in 1996 leader Yoweri Museveni became the first Ugandan elected by popular vote.
As peace returned to the people of Uganda, its army sent troops to the Civil War raging in Congo. When it withdrew forces thousands of Congolese people flooded Uganda seeking asylum and straining the fragile resources of that emerging economy.
To this day a people’s militia stands organized in Northern Uganda and it brings terror to the people there. Many people have been forced to fight with the Lord’s Resistance Army, including an estimated 20,000 children who have been kidnapped and made soldiers.
In spite of the challenging political history Uganda remains a fertile jewel of the planet, holding successful farms and coffee plantations. The AIDS epidemic is particularly virulent in Uganda, making this dreaded disease the biggest threat to that beautiful country, but also providing the inspiration for a unique and beautiful style in the music from Uganda texture.
As you listen to the music of Samite think of some of these things that influence the stories told and the emotions felt. You will find yourself wanting more and like those of us who bring you this blog, will become fans. Please be sure to order Samite’s latest CD, “My Music World.”
Traditional African music is as old as the human race, 150,000 years old. As such, it is not a kind of music with a written history. The intonations and melodies are difficult to note with the western staff.
One of the true legends in American folk music, Pete Seeger, supports Samite’s African Music and wants you to do so also. Here is Mr. Seeger talking about “My Music World” and the revolutionary aspect of the way Samite brings his music direct to you.
The closest western patterns that mimic African music are pentatonic, teratonic, hexatonic and heptatonic arrangements. Drums are the most popular musical instruments in Africa and these drums include almost anything such as hand clappers, sticks, bells, pots and friction sticks. Musicians in Africa also use wind instruments and like the percussion devices these instruments are made of gourds, wood, conch shells, horns and tusks.
The purpose of African music can be recreational, but it can also be ceremonial and ritualistic too. Closely intertwined with music is dance which amplifies the tonal quality of the sounds. Like the Asian languages, African dialects often hold different meaning when a particular word is “sung” with different tones. Dance is integral to the music as a way of enhancing its meaning.
Like music in the west, sub-Saharan African music is used for religion, battle, lullabies and work. Both cultures share instruments like wind instruments, strings and percussion.
The purpose of African music is to express the full extent of life through the sound. It’s an integral part of African culture and society. Children are taught the value of music and musical instruments at a very early age. By the age of three or four, African children are taught how to make their own instruments.
In this way art and Africa are intimately enmeshed, so much so, that some dialects lack a specific word for “music”. Music is so integral; there needn’t be a word for it, showing just how important African music is to its people.
You will help Samite immensely by ordering his new CD, “My Music World” and we thank Pete Seeger for his support.
The African music instrument, like the human race, originated in the cradle of humanity; Africa. It is from here that all the musical instruments we use around the world today originated.
This is especially true of the instruments of Northern Africa which have a decidedly Islamic flair. Nearly all the Western instruments used in Europe and the Americas started here from wind instruments to the strings like guitar and violin.
Drums are quite unique to the sub-Saharan. They are not used much in Islamic music, but they are an integral part of musical expression in all other African cultures and societies.
To understand African music today we must first explore its roots. The first Africans to leave the continent settled in the Caribbean in the 16th century. By the early 17th century they arrived in the Colony of Virginia.
Unfortunately the African experience was not welcomed in the New World. Artistic expression was tightly controlled or suppressed altogether. Fortunately, African influences endured and today they are a driving presence in the American music scene.
African music especially that of the sub-Sahara, has strong rhythmic components. Percussive instruments like drums, horns, rattles and even bells create an experience of many layers. In addition, dance is an integral part of music and the body forms an instrument of its own with handclapping and bells jingling on costume to add to the musical texture.
The earliest music was intended as a communication form that was not intended to be pleasant or lyrical. A particular drumbeat could signal the approach of an enemy tribe or even the King. This is why ante-bellum plantation owners in America sought to thwart African slave expression.
The plantation owners feared there was a revolt underway that would catch the “owners” by surprise. The slaves adapted their sounds to more Western sensibilities, one of many ways the African music instrument survives today.
To hear absolutley pure African music you will want to order Samite’s latest CD: “My Music World“.
The bond between Africa music and its people is so tight that it is enjoyed by all senses including touch and sight and it spans lifestyles and cultures too.
Cattle are the central theme of music originating in East Africa. In the South the predominant subject is food because societies are nomadic and in constant search of sustenance. North-western Africa has very little cattle so the music there is reflective of the politics involving European domination.
The West coast of Africa, between the Khoi-San region and the northwest, combines East African and Northwest characteristics. There remain various Pygmy tribes in that area which gives rise to ancient rhythmic drumming music and dance. Lastly, the far north is influenced by Islamic culture and there is little diversity within the north versus the style of music to neighboring areas.
For its European characteristics, the west coast of Africa has “hot rhythm” and metronome timing. There are many meters and a form of singing that overlaps with a leader and chorus.
Vast numbers of instruments and styles are what typify the music of central Africa. And in the east, Islamic textures bleed in, but they are not as dominant as in the north. The music in the east includes vertical fifths with an uncomplicated rhythmic build. Drums and other percussion instruments are less apparent.
The music of the center of Africa, or the Khoi-San, is much like that of the east, however it more simple in form and in instrument. It includes the hocket structure, like the Pygmy region which incorporates a vocal quality that sounds a bit like yodeling.
For all its diversity African music has spread around the world and is currently enjoying a renaissance right at home again. Assaulted by colonialism and slavery Africa music has remained true, an authentic art form finding popularity across the globe.
Click this link to read a more recent article on African Music and “My Music World”