How did words in seductive rhythm and sounds emerging from man-made instruments come to be a uniting force known as “music” among all humans in our world today?
When we ask about the origin of music, we are indirectly asking about the human origin. According to the theory of evolution coupled with evidence of historical data through the study of fossils, humans originated from Africa.
Before music went round the globe growing into different genres, it started with baby steps from Africa. The sounds of Africa echo in popular music today. Taking a time-travel machine to the past, you’d find music in every known society.
It is a global culture with wide opened arms for all humans irrespective of our species and race. Hence, it is a fundamental constituent uniting human life with creative instruments made from animals and plants.
As humans evolved to speak, they long for more to keep the body and soul together.
What influenced African music?
African music is influenced by all aspects of her rich cultural traditions including religion, personal experience, socio-economic organization, technology, and nature. In centuries past, nights echo with the sounds of the African traditions with people in different communities sitting round a fireplace. And in our contemporary world, the culture is still preserved on special occasions.
Some of the songs are performed during rituals, religious ceremonies, or for cultural display expressed with dancing, and to pass down the culture itself to the younger generation for continuity.
In Sub-Saharan regions, African music predominantly relies on percussion instruments such as drums, xylophones, mbira (the thumb piano), and many more.
Africa is the home of music that greatly influenced popular music in the world as a result of slave trade. Its influence cut across the American music, Latin American genres (salsa, conga, bomba, rumba, son, samba, and cumbia), as well as the Caribbean music (calypso, zouk, and soca).
One of the popular music genres, the blues, is most likely created through the fusion of European sounds (the 12 tone musical instruments) with the African blue-note. Though there’s a significant difference between Western and African music.
Generally, music is a powerful tool which puts all humans in one disco room. It triggers our hormones releasing oxytocin and serotonin as we play our favorite joint which makes us bond, create intimacy, and trust 🙂
Since it remains a powerful tool, many have used it to promote ill practices in the society as well. Today, Africa continues to export her culture through Afrobeats telling her story and unveiling her giant form.
So, Wander Africa today and enjoy beautiful music!
Watch This Video About The Music Of Africa:
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.