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African music is arguably the most influential music in all of mankind

African music is arguably the most influential music in all of mankind. Because music from Sub-Saharan Africa focused on communal singing, it was one of the earliest to emphasize the use of harmony and structured singing. Though stringed instruments, bells, flutes and even xylophones were all used in traditional African music, there is nothing more important than the basic African hand drum.


Sub-Saharan Music, no music is more purely African than music that originated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Though many regions were influenced by other nations, Sub-Saharan music remains quintessentially African. Because writing and reading came late to parts of Africa, this music was created as a form of communication. In time, it became an interesting and exciting, communal way to celebrate and mark several major milestones in a person's life. For example, there are literally hundreds of African songs and music that celebrate marriage, childbirth or even hunting parties.

Music is also played to scare off evil spirits and to pay homage to deceased ancestors. African music of this type is almost always accompanied by a specific dance or ceremony. It is often performed by professional musicians who have knowledge and experience with ceremonial music.

Because music from Sub-Saharan Africa focused on communal singing, it was one of the earliest to emphasize the use of harmony and structured singing. These singing methods ranged from simple rhythmic structures to incredibly complex and elaborate structures based on improvisation and several variations.


Though stringed instruments, bells, flutes and even xylophones were all used in traditional African music, there is nothing more important than the basic African hand drum. In fact, there are literally dozens of drums that are played on different occasions. A few of the most popular drums that are used in a traditional African musical include: bougarabou, tama talking drums, djembe, water drums and a many different kinds of ngoma drum that are played in parts of Central and Southern Africa. These drums are almost always accompanied by singers or choruses who often keep time with rattles, shakers, woodsticks, bells or by simply clapping their hands' or stumping their feet.



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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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