African music and art have played an important part in the history of African communities as we have seen today. African music and art have similarities but may vary from country to country or communities, its not just the sound that is different but the content of the songs. Different songs, tunes may be used depending on the event like ceremonies, stories, death, happiness. African songs are now also used to express discontent with leadership or as activism. Playing African songs with the use of African made musical instruments during occasions when people sing and dance especially during happy moments, has played a vital role in shaping African music and art, because it has bring vibrant rhythms and feelings to our body and have captivate almost every traveler. Experiencing the African culture through music and dance is beautiful especially with the involvement of the audience.
There are different musical instruments depending on the countries the music is played as they have change from time to time. There is so much belief with instruments as the carvers hold important class in their respective societies. Visiting Africa for the first time make you feel the true African music and the art displayed in these communities. Despite the introduction of western music there is still traditional music been played and practice and some combine the traditional and western as we have seen in South Africa, sabasaba and kwela that’s is the Akin and USA. As traditional music has experience a decline because of the introduction of western music but some have still preserve the culture and the drums as we have seen in Senegal. African musical instruments reveal art with the different patterns and decorations which show the meaning of the true African tradition which have left legacies in some part of Africa.
The moral guidance, entertainment, that the musicians send to the public, the most important in societies was not just the sound or beauty as we have seen in recent times, but the most important is shown in movement. The musical instruments used underwent a phase were as some started to borrow Arabic musical instruments during the precolonial period as we have seen today the integration of Arabic music in sub Saharan Africa. Thus have make African music different almost in all countries today.
African music was considered primitive by some westerners, today African music has played a vital role in jazz rock and roll, blues, salsa and many other because of the rhythm and sophisticated message and entertainment it gives. Music played an important legacy as mothers sing lullabies to their young ones especially when their babies are crying and this has been past from generations to generations and is still been practice in Africa today. Today African music rhythms and lyrics express a new Africa as its adored and dance by people from all works of life as the history, culture and ancestry value is shown in most of their songs.
African music has shown and plays a key role in speaking out for the public response to their rights and have been one of the tools use to send messages to the target peoples especially those in authority, an example is Aziza Brahim of sawrawi in western Sahara. The use of the "kora" a musical instrument used in Africa or the" djembe" with lyrics has been supported in many countries with contemporary musicians. The Congolese "wenge" give its people some relaxations especially when they close from work.
African music plays an important role in the way people celebrate and interact, as music is a form of communication, as songs have accompany marriage, birth, hunting and political activities. In other countries music is use to send evil spirits and pay respect to good ones. Musical instruments may vary in some part of Africa but the African drum is one with a popular importance as it expresses the way people feel that’s why it is considered the heartbeat of the community as it unite dancers and bring people together.
Dance also play a vital role is African music and art as they use gestures, costumes and masks to communicate. As every body movement means and shows expressions of happiness or sorrow, in some cases the spectators join to make it more entertaining. Some of the masks and patterns use by dancers in some part of Africa has some spiritual means attached and if one have to carve it he or she has to undergo some purifications before starting it. As each dancer wearing the mask is possessed by a spirit when wearing the mask as they send messages to the spectators.
In Africa there are societies or clubs built that perform in their communities for entertainment as their services are hired to perform during social and political occasions like marriage and victories.Today African music and art has played a vital role in Africa because it has unite communities and nations through the use of voice and musical instruments.
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