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Ghana Music


South Africa Music


Tanzania Music


Gospel Music


Foreign Music


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Music history, sometimes called historical musicology, is a highly diverse subfield of the broader discipline of musicology that studies music from a historical point of view. In theory, “music history” could refer to the study of the history of any type or genre of music (e.g., the history of Indian music or the history of rock).


In practice, these research topics are often categorized as part of ethnomusicology or cultural studies, whether or not they are ethnographically based.


The terms “music history” and “historical musicology” usually refer to the history of the notated music of Western elites, sometimes called “art music” (by analogy to art history, which tends to focus on elite art).


The methods of music history include source studies (esp. manuscript studies), paleography, philology (especially textual criticism), style criticism, historiography (the choice of historical method), musical analysis, and iconography.


The application of musical analysis to further these goals is often a part of music history, though pure analysis or the development of new tools of music analysis is more likely to be seen in the field of music theory.

Some of the intellectual products of music historians include peer-reviewed articles in journals, university press-published music history books, university textbooks, new editions of musical works, biographies of composers and other musicians, studies of the relationship between words and music, and reflections upon the role of music in society.


Naija Music ( Music of Nigeria)

The music of Nigeria includes many kinds of folk and popular music, styles of folk music are related to the multitudes of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments, and songs.


Little is known about the country’s music history prior to European contact, although bronze carvings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries have been found depicting musicians and their instruments.

The largest ethnic groups are the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Traditional music from Nigeria and throughout Africa is almost always functional; in other words, it is performed to mark a ritual such as a wedding or funeral and not to achieve artistic goals.

Although some Nigerians, especially children and the elderly, play instruments for their own amusement, solo performance is otherwise rare.

Music is closely linked to agriculture, and there are restrictions on, for example, which instruments can be played during different parts of the growing season.


Work songs are a common type of traditional Nigerian music. They help to keep the rhythm of workers in fields, river canoes and other fields. Women use complex rhythms in housekeeping tasks, such as pounding yams to highly ornamented music. In the northern regions, farmers work together on each other’s farms and the host is expected to supply musicians for his neighbours.


The issue of musical composition is also highly variable. The Hwana, for example, believe that all songs are taught by the peoples’ ancestors, while the Tiv give credit to named composers for almost all songs, and the Efik name individual composers only for secular songs. In many parts of Nigeria, musicians are allowed to say things in their lyrics that would otherwise be perceived as offensive.


The most common format for music in Nigeria is the call-and-response choir, in which a lead singer and a chorus interchange verses, sometimes accompanied by instruments that either shadow the lead text or repeat and ostinato vocal phrase.


The southern area features complex rhythms and solo players using melody instruments, while the north more typically features polyphonic wind ensembles. The extreme north region is associated with monodic (i.e., single-line) music with an emphasis on drums, and tends to be more influenced by Islamic Music.


Ghana Music (Music f Ghana)


The traditional musicology of Ghana may be divided geographically between the open and vast savanna country of northern Ghana inhabited by Ghanaians of Gur and Mande speaking groups; and the fertile, forested southern coastal areas, inhabited by Ghanaians speaking Kwa languages such as Akan.


The northern musical traditions belong to the wider Sahelian musical traditions. It features a mix of melodic composition on stringed instruments such as the kologo lute and the gonjey fiddle, wind instruments such as flutes and horns, and voice; with polyrhythms clapped or played on the talking drum, gourd drums or brekete bass drums. The tradition of gyil music (balafon) is also common, especially in northwestern Ghana around Wa and Lawra.


Music in the northern styles is mostly set to a minor pentatonic or chromatic scale and melisma plays an important part in melodic and vocal styles. There is a long history of either griot or praise-singing traditions.
The music of the coast is associated with social functions, and relies on complex polyrhythmic patterns played by drums and bells as well as harmonized song.

Drums and dance are often linked, and the tradition of royal talking drums fontomfrom (distinct from the northern talking drum) means music is widely used for communication of both tangible and esoteric topics.


The most well known of southern Ghanaian drum traditions is the kete and adowa drum and bell ensembles.

Music can also be linked to traditional religions. An exception to this rule is the Akan tradition of singing with the Seperewa harp-lute which had its origins in the stringed harps of the north and west.


South Africa Music (Music of South Africa)


Classical and art music in South Africa reached its zenith of popularity in the mid-20th century and was primarily composed by a triumvirate of Afrikaner composers known as the “fathers of South African art music.”


Thesecomposers were Arnold van Wyk, Hubert du Plessis, and Stefans Grové. All three composers were White South Africans, yet harbored very different views on Apartheid, which was state policy at the time. Stefans Grové was one of the first white composers to incorporate Black African music into his compositions, and openly rejected apartheid ideals in an effort to fuse his “Western art and his physical, African space.”


Arnold Van Wyk became known for his government-endorsed nationalistic compositions, though he himself was reluctant to support the apartheid administration.

Hubert Du Plessis, on the other hand, was a very strong Afrikaner nationalist, and experienced a “growing consciousness” of his heritage which made him proud to compose such pieces. Du Plessis’ works included chamber music, orchestral pieces, and many pieces for the piano.



Afrikaans music was primarily influenced by Dutch folk styles, along with French and German influences, in the early twentieth century.

Zydeco-type string bands led by a concertina were popular, as were elements of American country music, especially Jim Reeves.


The most prolific composers of “tiekie draai” Afrikaans music were lyricist Anton De Waal who wrote many hit songs with songwriters, pianist Charles Segal (“Hey Babariebab Se Ding Is Vim”, “Kalkoenjie”, “Sy Kom Van Kommetjie” and many others) and accordionist, Nico Carstens.

Bushveld music based on the Zulu were reinterpreted by such singers as Marais and Miranda. Melodramatic and sentimental songs called trane trekkers (tearjerkers) were especially common. In 1973, a country music song won the coveted SARI Award (South African Music Industry) for the Song of the Year – “My Children, My Wife” was written by renowned South African composer Charles Segal and lyricist Arthur Roos.


In 1979 the South African Music scene changed from the Tranetrekkers to more lively sounds and the introduction of new names in the market with the likes of Anton Goosen, David Kramer (singer), Koos du Plessis, Fanie de Jager, Flaming Victory and Laurika Rauch. Afrikaans music is currently one of the most popular and best selling industries on the South African music scene. Waptrendz is a big collection of the Afrikaans music.


After World War I, Afrikaner nationalism spread and such musicians as Jewish pianist and composer Charles Segal and accordionist Nico Carstens were popular.


Fakaza Gospel ( South Africa Gospel Music)

In the early twentieth century, Zionist Christian churches spread across South Africa. They incorporated African musical elements into their worship, thus inventing South African gospel music which remains one of the most popular forms of music in the country today.


Fuji Music


Fújì is a popular Nigerian musical genre. It arose from the improvisational wéré music, also known as ajísari (meaning “waking up for sari”), a genre of music performed to wake Muslims before dawn during the Ramadan fasting season.

Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister popularized wéré music during the 1950s and 60s and conceived the term “fújì” in an unusual way.


Accordingto Barrister, “I came up with it when I saw a poster at an airport, advertising the Mount Fuji, which is the highest peak in Japan.” Fújì should not be mistaken for the Yorùbá words “fuja” or “faaji,” which mean leisure or enjoyment.


History of Fuji Music


Wéré music is an Islamic-influenced Yorùbá genre of music invented by Muslim singers and musicians in Yorùbá towns and cities in southwestern Nigeria to wake Muslims fasting during Ramadan.


Toward the end of the colonial period during the 1950s, Alhaji Dauda Epo-Akara and Ganiyu Kuti (Gani Irefin) founded and popularized wéré in Ibadan.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, numerous wéré performance groups emerged within Muslim communities in and around the cities of Ibadan, Lagos, and Ìlọrin. These early performers drew great inspiration from Yoruba sákárà music, featuring the sákárà drum (without the violin-like goje often played with an accompanying fiddle). Notable Lagos-based wéré performers during the early independence years include Sikiru Omo Abiba, Ajadi Ganiyu, Ayinde Muniru Mayegun (General Captain), Ajadi Bashiru, Sikiru Onishemo, Kawu Aminu, Jibowu Barrister, Ayinde Fatayi, Kasali Alani, Saka Olayigbade, Ayinla Yekinni, and Bashiru Abinuwaye.


As various styles evolved, some performers played mouth organs (harmonicas) between wéré interludes within their compositions. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was the lead singer and composer of the popular wéré group, Jibowu Barrister, under the leadership of Alhaji Jibowu Barrister. During the 1960s, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and other young wéré groups rocked Lagos and its environs.


In one of his early albums, chiding and educating critics who dubbed fújì a “local music,” Sikiru Ayinde Barrister described fújì music as a combination of music consisting of sákárà, Apala, jùjú, Aro, Afrobeat, gudugudu, and some elements of highlife. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister did a tremendous job popularizing fújì by taking it all over the world. He started touring the European continent, especially England, during the 1970s and later the United States throughout the 1980s. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister toured internationally before any subsequent fújì bands toured outside of Nigeria.


Between 1970 and throughout the 1980s, other fújì musicians included Fatai Adio, Saura Alhaji, Student Fuji, Rahimi Ayinde (Bokote), Ramoni Akanni, Love Azeez, Waidi Akangbe, Sikiru Olawoyin, Agbada Owo, Iyanda Sawaba, Ejire Shadua, Wahabi Ilori, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, Suleiman Adigun, Sakaniyau Ejire, and Wasiu Ayinla. As each artist became prolific, each invented and introduced his unique style of fújì music.


While male musicians have dominated fuji, reflecting fuji’s origins in wéré music, women artists have developed fújì-related styles called Islamic and wákà. Islamic is a popular name for this genre of women’s fújì-related music, particularly in and around the city of Ìlọrin, while wákà is a more general pan-Yoruba term for this Muslim women’s genre. These styles emerged in the late 1950s and were originally performed by women vocalists for Islamic events such as weddings and celebrations for pilgrims returning from Mecca.


Since the 1980s, professional Muslim women vocalists have fronted their own bands which are identical to fújì bands in their instrumentation. While the themes and aesthetics of Islamic are more closely related to Muslim morality than fújì, there is significant overlap between women’s genres and fújì. The majority of Islamic and waka bandleaders and back-up vocalists are women, while the rest of their bands are typically men.


Women performers of Islamic and wákà have a dominant presence on stage and in videos


During the early 1970s, Alhaji Kolington Ayinla (Baba Alatika or Kebe-n-Kwara) became a prolific fújì performer and Barrister’s long-term musical rival. Wasiu Ayinde Marshall Barrister (K1 De Ultimate) gradually emerged (with hits such as “Talazo Fuji”) after tutelage under Sikiru Ayinde Barrister.


For 15 years, Wasiu Ayinde served under Sikiru Ayinde Barrister in various roles, including as his instrument packer and notably as his road manager. Wasiu Ayinde’s style evolved through the early 1990s as he added youthful vigor to a genre dominated by aging frontmen.


By the end of the 1990s, Wasiu Ayinde’s brand of fújì had become one of the most popular dance genres in Nigeria. Another artist, Adewale Ayuba, took the nation by storm in the early 1990s with his unique brand of fújì, “Bonsue Fújì,” which appealed to young and old alike.


Abass Akande Obesere (Omo rapala) also became popular in the 1990s, known for bringing street slang, “asakasa,” into the fújì scene. Since fújì’s origin and presently, most lyrics of fújì songs are in the Yorùbá language. Notably, fújì fusions with other genres often include lyrics in the English or Nigerian Pidgin languages in addition to the Yorùbá language. Due to its popularity with young Nigerians, fújì hook lines often become the main hook lines of Nigerian hip-hop music.


Gospel Music


Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace.


Gospel music usually has dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) with Christian lyrics. Gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century.


Hymns and sacred songs were often repeated in a call and response fashion. Most of the churches relied on hand clapping and foot stomping as rhythmic accompaniment. Most of the singing was done a cappella.[2] The first published use of the term “gospel song” probably appeared in 1874.


The original gospel songs were written and composed by authors such as George F. Root, Philip Bliss, Charles H. Gabriel, William Howard Doane, and Fanny Crosby.

Gospel music publishing houses emerged. The advent of radio in the 1920s greatly increased the audience for gospel music. Following World War II, gospel music moved into major auditoriums, and gospel music concerts became quite elaborate.


Black gospel, by far the most well-known variant, emerged out of the African-American music tradition and has evolved in various ways over the years, continuing to form the basis of Black church worship even today.

It has also come to be used in churches of various other cultural traditions (especially within Pentecostalism) and, via the gospel choir phenomenon spearheaded by Thomas Dorsey, has become a form of musical devotion worldwide.


Southern gospel used all male, tenor-lead-baritone-bass quartet make-up. Progressive Southern gospel is an American music genre that has grown out of Southern gospel over the past couple of decades.


Christian country music, sometimes referred to as country gospel music, is a subgenre of gospel music with a country flair. It peaked in popularity in the mid-1990s. Bluegrass gospel music is rooted in American mountain music.


Celtic gospel music infuses gospel music with a Celtic flair, and is quite popular in countries such as Ireland. British black gospel refers to Gospel music of the African diaspora produced in the UK.


Some proponents[who?] of “standard” hymns generally dislike gospel music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, with historical distance, there is a greater acceptance of such gospel songs into official denominational hymnals.


History of Gospel Music


According to Yale University music professor Willie Ruff, the singing of psalms in Gaelic by Presbyterians of the Scottish Hebrides evolved from “lining out”—where one person sang a solo and others followed—into the call and response of gospel music of the American South.[5] Another theory notes foundations in the works of Dr. Isaac Watts and others.

Moreover, the genre arose during a time when literacy was not a guarantee, utilizing a great deal of repetition (which, unlike more traditional hymns, allowed those who could not read the opportunity to participate).

18th century

Perhaps the most famous gospel-based hymns were composed in the 1760s and 1770s by English writers John Newton (“Amazing Grace”) and Augustus Toplady (“Rock of Ages”), members of the Anglican Church.


Starting out as lyrics only, it took decades for standardized tunes to be added to them. Although not directly connected with African-American gospel music, they were adopted by African-Americans as well as white Americans, and Newton’s connection with the abolition movement provided cross-fertilization.


Holiness-Pentecostal era (19th century)


All Music & History


The first published use of the term “Gospel song” probably appeared in 1874 when Philip Bliss released a songbook entitled Gospel Songs. A Choice Collection of Hymns and Tunes.


It was used to describe a new style of church music, songs that were easy to grasp and more easily singable than the traditional church hymns, which came out of the mass revival movement starting with Dwight L. Moody, whose musician was Ira D.


Sankey, as well as the Holiness-Pentecostal movement.[3] Prior to the meeting of Moody and Sankey in 1870, there was an American rural/frontier history of revival and camp meeting songs, but the gospel hymn was of a different character, and it served the needs of mass revivals in the great cities.


The revival movement employed popular singers and song leaders, the most famous of them being Ira D.

Sankey. The original “gospel” songs were written and composed by authors such as George F. Root, Philip Bliss, Charles H. Gabriel, William Howard Doane, and Fanny Crosby.

As an extension to his initial publication Gospel Songs, Philip Bliss, in collaboration with Ira D. Sankey issued no’s. 1 to 6 of Gospel Hymns in 1875.

Sankey and Bliss’s collection can be found in many libraries today.

The popularity of revival singers and the openness of rural churches to this type of music (in spite of its initial use in city revivals) led to the late 19th and early 20th century establishment of gospel music publishing houses such as those of Homer Rodeheaver, E. O. Excell, Charlie Tillman, and Charles Tindley. These publishers were in the market for large quantities of new music, providing an outlet for the creative work of many songwriters and composers.

The advent of radio in the 1920s greatly increased the audience for gospel music, and James D. Vaughan used radio as an integral part of his business model, which also included traveling quartets to publicize the gospel music books he published several times a year.

Virgil O. Stamps and Jesse R. Baxter studied Vaughan’s business model and by the late 1920s were running heavy competition for Vaughan.

The 1920s also saw the marketing of gospel records by groups such as the Carter Family.


Emergence of Black gospel (1920s-1970s)


The Pentecostal movement quickly made inroads with churches not attuned to the Europeanized Black church music that had become popular over the years since Emancipation.


These congregations readily adopted and contributed to the gospel music publications of the early 20th century. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, pioneer of rock and roll, soon emerged from this tradition as the first great gospel recording artist.

The first person to introduce ragtime to gospel (and the first to play piano on a gospel recording) was Arizona Dranes.


The 1930s saw the rise of Black gospel quartets such as the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama.

In addition to these high-profile quartets, there were many Black gospel musicians performing in the 1920s and 30s, usually playing the guitar and singing in the streets of Southern cities.

In the 1930s, in Chicago, Thomas A. Dorsey turned to gospel music, establishing a publishing house.

It has been said that 1930 was the year traditional black gospel music began, as the National Baptist Convention first publicly endorsed the music at its 1930 meeting.[15] Dorsey was responsible for developing the musical careers of many African-American artists, such as Mahalia Jackson (best-known for her rendition of his “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”).



Meanwhile, radio continued to develop an audience for gospel music, a fact that was commemorated in Albert E. Brumley’s 1937 song, “Turn Your Radio On” (which is still being published in gospel song books). (In 1972, a recording of “Turn Your Radio On” by the Lewis Family was nominated for Gospel Song of the Year.)[16]

In 1964, the Gospel Music Association was established, which in turn began the Dove Awards (in 1969) and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (in 1972). Both of the latter two groups began primarily for Southern gospel performers, but in the late-1970s, began including artists of other sub-genres, which brought in many Black artists.

Also in 1969, James Cleveland established the Gospel Music Workshop of America, a Black gospel outlet.

Late 20th-century musicians such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Blackwood Brothers were also known for their gospel influences and recordings.

Contemporary Black gospel and gospel rap (1970s-present) Edit

Urban contemporary gospel emerged in the late 70s, with artists such as the Clark Sisters and Andrae Crouch crossing over musically and gaining notoriety, and this pattern would repeat itself in subsequent decades, with new artists like Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin making increasingly more bold forays into the secular world with their musical stylings. The current sphere of Black gospel recording artists is almost exclusively of the urban contemporary bent.

Also of note is the rise of Christian (or gospel) rap/hip-hop, which has gained increasing popularity since the days of the Gospel Gangstaz and The Cross Movement. Often considered a subgenre of urban contemporary gospel, Christian rap has become dominated in present times by artists from Reach Records, who have seen perhaps the most commercial success of any artists in the gospel genre; Lecrae (the label’s founder and preeminent artist) has charted in the top 10 of on the Billboard 200 three times, with his 2014 album “Anomaly” debuting at #1.


Foreign Music (Hip hop Music)


Hip hop music, also known as rap music, is a genre of popular music developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s.


It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing.

Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records (or synthesized beats and sounds), and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, “hip hop” more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture.

The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.


Hip hop as both a musical genre and a culture was formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx.


At block parties DJs played percussive breaks of popular songs using two turntables and a DJ mixer to be able to play breaks from two copies of the same record, alternating from one to the other and extending the “break”.

Hip hop’s early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum machines became widely available and affordable. Turntablist techniques such as scratching and beatmatching developed along with the breaks and Jamaican toasting, a chanting vocal style, was used over the beats. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat.

Hip hop music was not officially recorded for play on radio or television until 1979, largely due to poverty during the genre’s birth and lack of acceptance outside ghetto neighborhoods.

Old school hip hop was the first mainstream wave of the genre, marked by its disco influence and party-oriented lyrics. The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop as the genre developed more complex styles and spread around the world.


New school hip hop was the genre’s second wave, marked by its electro sound, and led into Golden age hip hop, an innovative period between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. The gangsta rap subgenre, focused on the violent lifestyles and impoverished conditions of inner-city African-American youth, gained popularity at this time. West Coast hip hop was dominated by G-funk in the early-mid 1990s, while East Coast hip hop was dominated by jazz rap, alternative hip hop, and hardcore rap.


Hip hop continued to diversify at this time with other regional styles emerging, such as Southern rap and Atlanta hip hop. Hip hop became a best-selling genre in the mid-1990s and the top-selling music genre by 1999.

The popularity of hip hop music continued through the late 1990s to mid-2000s “bling era” with hip hop influences increasingly finding their way into other genres of popular music, such as neo soul, nu metal, and R&B.


The United States also saw the success of regional styles such as crunk, a Southern genre that emphasized the beats and music more than the lyrics, and alternative hip hop began to secure a place in the mainstream, due in part to the crossover success of its artists. During the late 2000s and early 2010s “blog era”, rappers were able to build up a following through online methods of music distribution, such as social media and blogs, and mainstream hip hop took on a more melodic, sensitive direction following the commercial decline of gangsta rap. The trap and mumble rap subgenres have become the most popular form of hip hop during the mid-late 2010s and early 2020s. In 2017, rock music was usurped by hip hop as the most popular genre in the United States.


Islamic Music


Islamic music may refer to religious music, as performed in Islamic public services or private devotions, or more generally to musical traditions of the Muslim world.


The classic heartland of Islam is the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia. Due to Islam being a multi-ethnic religion, the musical expression of its adherents is vastly diverse. Indigenous traditions of various part have influenced the musical styles popular among Muslims today.

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