Music is important in the life of African people. The music of Africa is as vast and varied as the continent’s many regions, nations, and ethnic groups. African music is as diverse as its cultures and peoples and has flowered in many indigenous forms as well as been shaped by foreign influences. Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, salsa, zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees on musical traditions from Africa.
African Musical Instruments
When it comes to music instruments, the African continent is well-known for its vast instruments. African musical instruments include a wide range of drums, slit gongs, rattles and double bells, different types of harps, many kinds of xylophone and lamellophone such as the mbira, and different types of wind instrument like flutes and trumpets. Materials for the instruments are usually from nature, like wood, gourds, turtle shells, animal horns or skin.
In Africa, dance is a means of marking life experiences, encouraging abundant crops, honoring kings and queens, celebrating weddings, marking rites of passage, and other ceremonial occasions. African traditions also greatly emphasize dance, for movement is regarded as an important mode of communication. For this purpose the dance utilizes symbolic gestures, mime, props, masks, costumes, body painting, and other visual devices.