The History of Tanzania's Music Economy
In the '70s and '80s, the East African nation of Tanzania was home to one of the continent's greatest music scenes. But you wouldn't know from the recorded evidence. Join us for this Hip Deep edition of Afropop Worldwide, as we explore how Tanzania developed a booming music economy without any music industry (and yes--we'll explain what that means) and then how, in the course of a single decade, it developed one of the premier recording industries on the continent. Featuring Bryant University professor Alex Perullo and veteran guitarist John Kitime. Produced by Sam Backer.
The Tanzanian national anthem is Mungu Ibariki Africa (God Bless Africa), composed by South African composer Enoch Sontonga in 1897. The tune is the ANC's official song and later became the national anthem of South Africa. The melody is also the national anthem of Zambia. In Tanzania, Swahili lyrics were written for this anthem. - Another patriotic song, going back to colonial times, is Tanzania, Tanzania. (source wikipedia)
Gospel Music/Choral Music
Modern Gospel, in Swahili Muziki wa Injili.
Bongo Flava/Pop Music
Bongo Flava is one of the newer Tanzanian genres, developed in the 1990s, and is a fusion genre. At its inception, Bongo flava was more heavily influenced by US Hip-Hop and Reggae, fused with traditional Tanzanian music styles. Today however, the sound has somewhat changed, oscillating from its central point -music sung in Swahili- to include a variety of music cultures and styles, and can be described as a fusion of Afrobeats, R&B, Reggaeton and Taraab. Its name denotes the Swahilisation of global music forms by incorporating Tanzanian musical and linguistic elements. By adding the 'Flava' (= flavour) of Bongo, the name was born. (source wikipedia)
The current trend among Tanzanian music consumers has started changing from international popular music towards favouring products from their local artists who sing in Swahili, the national language. Popular artists include Bill Nass, Vanessa Mdee, Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize, Mbosso, Jux, Alikiba, Navy Kenzo, Shetta, Ben Pol, Lava Lava , Dully Sykes, Rich Mavoko, Rayvanny, Whozu , Marioo , Darassa , Jay Melody , Nandy. (source wikipedia)
Taarab Music (Zanzibar)
Taarab is a music genre popular. It is influenced by the musical traditions of the African Great Lakes, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Taarab rose to prominence in 1928 with the advent of the genre's first star, Siti binti Saad. (source wikipedia)
A mtindo (pl. mitindo) is simply a rhythm, dance or style identified with a particular band. Sikinde, for example, is associated with Mlimani Park Orchestra, and is derived from the ngoma (musical events held by the Zaramo). Some bands maintain the same mtindo throughout their career, while others change with new personnel or popular preference. (source: wikipedia)
The more than 120 ethnic groups of Tanzania have developed a large number of specific traditional musical and dance styles with corresponding instruments. The Zaramo people, for instance, perform traditional dance, such as "Mitamba Yalagala Kumchuzi" on tuned goblet drums, tuned cylindrical drums, and tin rattles. (source: wikipedia)
Saida Karoli is a famous traditionalist Tanzanian female singer and performer, who sings in Haya. Karoli's music is described as natural with mellow vocals and hypnotically rhythmicism. Her songs Ndombolo Ya Solo or Maria Salome were huge hits in Tanzania and the countries around; she was nominated at the 2005 and 2006 Tanzania Music Awards in the Best Folk Album category and for the Best Female Vocalist category. (source: wikipedia)
History of Dance Music
The first popular music craze in Tanzania was in the early 1930s, when Cuban Rumba was widespread. Young Tanzanians organized themselves into dance clubs and their bands, like the Dar es Salaam Jazz Band, which was founded in 1932. Local bands at the time used brass and percussion instruments, later adding strings. Bands like Morogoro Jazz and Tabora Jazz were formed (despite the name, these bands did not play American style jazz). Competitions were commonplace, a legacy of native ngoma societies and colonial beni brass bands. (source: wikipedia)
Tanzania was influenced heavily after the 1960s with the influence of African and Latin music. Tanzanian soldiers brought back with them the music of these cultures, as well as Cuban and European music, when returning from World War II. These musical influences fused and brought together the Tanzanian people. Eventually the country and its people created its own style of music. This style, called "Swahili Jazz" is a mix of beats and styles of Cuban, European, Latin and African music. Swahili jazz gave Tanzania a sense of independence and togetherness as a country. (source: wikipedia)
Want to experience Vibrant Sounds of Tanzania?
Travel with us to Sauti za Busara (in Swahili: "Sounds of Wisdom") is an African music festival, held every year in February in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Sauti za Busara has become one of the largest music festivals in East Africa, with several hundreds of artists participating each year. It showcases a diverse and dynamic programme of exclusively African music and has over the years provided a stage for local Swahili talent, from Taarab legends like Bi Kidude and Culture Musical Club, to homegrown Tanzanian pop and hip-hop.
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