Music of Guinea

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drummers of Guinea's national dance company Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F014137-0002, Bonn, Afrikawoche, Nationalballett Guinea.jpg
drummers of Guinea's national dance company

Guinea is a West African nation, composed of several ethnic groups. Among its most widely known musicians is Mory Kanté - 10 Cola Nuts saw major mainstream success in both Guinea and Mali while "Yeke Yeke", a single from Mory Kanté à Paris, was a European success in 1988.

Guinea country in Africa

Guinea, officially the Republic of Guinea, is a west-coastal country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea, the modern country is sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry in order to distinguish it from other countries with "Guinea" in the name and the eponymous region, such as Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Guinea has a population of 12.4 million and an area of 245,860 square kilometres (94,927 sq mi).

West Africa Westernmost region of the African continent

West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as well as the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016, and at 381,981,000 as of 2017, to which 189,672,000 are female, and 192,309,000 male.

Ethnic group Socially defined category of people who identify with each other

An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.

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National music

French is the official language of Guinea and is the main language of communication in schools, government administration, the media, and the country's security forces. Independence for Guinea came in 1958. Guinea's President, Sekou Toure, disbanded all private dance orchestras and created a network of state-sponsored groups. [1] The government soon formed the Syli Orchestre National, a dance orchestra that featured some of the best musicians in the land.

Security Forces is an umbrella term frequently used to describe statutory organisations with internal security mandates. In the legal context of several nations, the term has variously denoted police and military units working in concert, or the role of military and paramilitary forces tasked with the internal provision of public security.

" Liberté " (Liberty) has been the national anthem of Guinea since independence in 1958. It was arranged by Fodéba Keïta, based on the melody "Alfa yaya".

Liberté (anthem) Guinea national anthem

"Liberté" (Liberty) has been the national anthem of Guinea since independence in 1958. It was arranged by Fodéba Keïta and was based on the melody of "Alfa yaya". The author of the lyrics is unknown.

National anthem Song that represents a country or sovereign state

A national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. The majority of national anthems are marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America, Central Asia, and Europe tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, and the Caribbean use a more simplistic fanfare. Some countries that are devolved into multiple constituent states have their own official musical compositions for them ; their constituencies' songs are sometimes referred to as national anthems even though they are not sovereign states.

Fodéba Keïta Guinean entertainer and politician

Fodéba Keïta was a Guinean dancer, musician, writer, playwright, composer and politician. Founder of the first professional African theatrical troupe, Theatre Africain, he also arranged Liberté, the national anthem of Guinea.

Traditional music

Guinea's 10 million people belong to at least twenty-four ethnic and racial groups. The most prominent are the Fula (40%), the Mandinka (30%) and the Susu (20%). Fula is widely used in the central Fouta Djallon, Maninka in the east and Susu in the northwestern coastal region. [2] It is a predominantly Islamic country, with Muslims representing about 85 percent of the population. [3] Christians, mostly Roman Catholic, about 10 percent [4] of the population, are mainly found in the southern region of Guinée forestière .

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Guinea, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Fula people A large ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa

The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe, numbering between 38 and 40 million people in total, are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. Inhabiting many countries, they live mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa but also in, South Sudan, Sudan and regions near the Red Sea coast.

Mandinka people West African ethnic group

The Mandinka or Malinke are a West African ethnic group with an estimated global population of 32 million. The Mandinka are one ethnic group within the larger linguistic family of the Mandé peoples, who account for more than 87 million people.

Mandé music is dominated by the djelis, travelling singer-historians who sing praises to noble patrons. Traditionally, popular instruments include the ngoni, a distant relative of the banjo, and the balafon. Famous balafon players include El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyaté and, early in his career, superstar Mory Kanté. The kora, a cross between a harp and a lute, is also widespread. Other popular folk music utilizes the cylindrical Dunun paired with the goblet shaped Djembe.

Ngoni (instrument) West African string instrument

The ngoni or "n'goni" is a string instrument originating in West Africa. Its body is made of wood or calabash with dried animal skin head stretched over it. The ngoni, which can produce fast melodies, appears to be closely related to the akonting and the xalam. This is called a jeli ngoni as it is played by griots at celebrations and special occasions in traditional songs called fasas in Mandingo. Another larger type, believed to have originated among the donso is called the donso ngoni. This is still largely reserved for ceremonial purposes. The donso ngoni, or "hunter's harp" has six strings. It is often accompanies singing along with the karagnan, a serrated metal tube scraped with a metal stick. The Donso Ngoni was mentioned by Richard Jobson in the 1620s, describing it as the most commonly used instrument in the Gambra(Gambia). He described it as an instrument with a great gourd for a belly at the bottom of a long neck with six strings. The smaller kamale ngoni has entered popular musical styles such as Wassoulou music.

Banjo musical instrument

The banjo is a four-, five-, or six-stringed instrument with a thin membrane stretched over a frame or cavity as a resonator, called the head, which is typically circular. The membrane is typically made of plastic, although animal skin is still occasionally used. Early forms of the instrument were fashioned by Africans in the United States, adapted from African instruments of similar design. The banjo is frequently associated with folk, Irish traditional, and country music. Banjo can also be used in some rock songs. Many rock bands, such as The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and The Allman Brothers, have used the five-string banjo in some of their songs. Historically, the banjo occupied a central place in African-American traditional music and the folk culture of rural whites before entering the mainstream via the minstrel shows of the 19th century. The banjo, along with the fiddle, is a mainstay of American old-time music. It is also very frequently used in traditional ("trad") jazz.

Balafon type of wooden xylophone originating in Mali

The balafon is a kind of xylophone or percussion idiophone which plays melodic tunes, and usually has between 16 and 27 keys. It has been played in Africa since the 12th century according to oral stories; it originated in Mali, according to the Manding history narrated by the griots.

As in Mali, a roots revival occurred in the 1960s and 1970s with state support from Sekou Touré. He introduced a radical cultural policy called authenticite, whereby musicians and artists were instructed to "look at the past" for inspiration and to incorporate traditional practices in their arts. Authenticite ended with the death of Sekou Toure in 1984.

Mali republic in West Africa

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 18 million. 67% of its population was estimated to be under the age of 25 in 2017. Its capital is Bamako. The sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on agriculture and mining. Some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt.

A roots revival is a trend which includes young performers popularizing the traditional musical styles of their ancestors. Often, roots revivals include an addition of newly composed songs with socially and politically aware lyrics, as well as a general modernization of the folk sound.

After World War 2, the guitar was imported to Guinea and players like Kanté Facelli and his cousin Kanté Manfila developed their own style of playing. In modern times, the guitar plays a very important role.

Some of the early dance bands included popular groups like Keletigui Et Ses Tambourinis, Balla et ses Balladins, and Kebendo Jazz (also known as Orchestre de Danse de Guéckédou). Many of these bands recorded on Syliphone records. Bembeya Jazz National further enriched Guinea's musical melting pot after visiting Cuba in 1965.

See also

Related Research Articles

Music of Mali

The Music of Mali is, like that of most African nations, ethnically diverse, but one influence predominates; that of the ancient Mali Empire of the Mandinka. Mande people make up 50% of the country's population, other ethnic groups include the Fula (17%), Gur-speakers 12%, Songhai people (6%), Tuareg and Moors (10%) and another 5%, including Europeans. Mali is divided into eight regions; Gao, Kayes, Koulikoro, Mopti, Ségou, Sikasso, Tombouctou and Bamako.

Djembe rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa

A djembe or jembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose. In the Bambara language, "djé" is the verb for "gather" and "bé" translates as "peace."

Music of Burkina Faso

The music of Burkina Faso includes the folk music of 60 different ethnic groups. The Mossi people, centrally located around the capital, Ouagadougou, account for 40% of the population while, to the south, Gurunsi, Gurma, Dagaaba and Lobi populations, speaking Gur languages closely related to the Mossi language, extend into the coastal states. In the north and east the Fulani of the Sahel preponderate, while in the south and west the Mande languages are common; Samo, Bissa, Bobo, Senufo and Marka. Burkinabé traditional music has continued to thrive and musical output remains quite diverse. Popular music is mostly in French: Burkina Faso has yet to produce a major pan-African success.

Griot storyteller of oral tradition in West Africa

A griot, jali, or jeli is a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet, or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition and is often seen as a leader due to his or her position as an advisor to royal personages. As a result of the former of these two functions, they are sometimes called a bard.

The Rail Band is a Malian band formed in 1970; it was later known as Super Rail Band, Bamako Rail Band or, most comprehensively and formally, Super Rail Band of the Buffet Hotel de la Gare, Bamako. Its fame was built upon the mid-20th century craze for Latin — especially Cuban — jazz music which came out of Congo in the 1940s. The Rail Band was one of the first West African acts to combine this mature Afro-Latin sound with traditional instruments and styles. In their case, this was built upon the Mande Griot praise singer tradition, along with Bambara and other Malian and Guinean musical traditions. Their distinctive sound came from combining electric guitar and jazz horns with soaring Mandinka and Bamabara lyrical lines, African and western drums, and local instruments such as the kora and the Balafon. At their height of fame in the 1970s, the Rail Band played to sold out venues and even stadia across West Africa, and launched solo careers for many of its members, including the legendary vocalist Salif Keita.

Dunun generic name for a family of West African drums that have developed alongside the djembe in the Mande drum ensemble

Dunun is the generic name for a family of West African drums that have developed alongside the djembe in the Mande drum ensemble.

Toumani Diabaté Malian musician

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Soumaoro Kanté King of the Sosso people

Soumaoro Kanté was a 13th-century king of the Sosso people. Seizing Koumbi Saleh, the capital of the recently defunct Ghana Empire, Soumaoro Kanté proceeded to conquer several neighboring states, including the Mandinka people in what is now Mali. However, the Mandinka prince Sundiata Keita built a coalition of smaller kingdoms to oppose him at the Battle of Kirina, defeating the Sosso and leaving Sundiata's new Mali Empire dominant in the region.

Bembeya Jazz National is a Guinean jazz group that gained fame in the 1960s for their Afropop rhythms. They are considered one of the most significant bands in Guinean music. Many of their recordings are based on traditional folk music in the country and have been fused with jazz and Afropop style. Featuring guitarist Sekou "Diamond Fingers" Diabaté, who grew up in a traditional griot musical family, the band won over fans in Conakry, Guinea's capital city, during the heady days of that country's newfound independence. Bembeya Jazz fell onto harder times in the 1980s and disbanded for a number of years, but reformed in the late 1990s and toured Europe and North America in the early 2000s.

Mory Kanté is a Guinean vocalist and player of the kora harp. He is best known internationally for his 1987 hit song "Yé ké yé ké", which reached number-one in Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, and Spain. The album it came from, Akwaba Beach, was the best-selling African record of its time.

<i>In the Heart of the Moon</i> 2005 studio album by Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté

In the Heart of the Moon is a 2005 record by Malian musicians Ali Farka Touré on the guitar and providing vocals and Toumani Diabaté on the kora. The album was recorded in the "Toit de Bamako" conference room on the top floor of the Hotel Mandé overlooking the Niger River in Bamako, Mali. It is the first in a three-part series released on World Circuit Records entitled "The Hotel Mandé Sessions" followed by Savane and Boulevard de l'Independence. The album's title is derived from Touré's own more lengthy descriptive title for the recording session; "A very important meeting in the realm at the heart of the moon."

Abdoulaye Diabaté Singer, guitarist

Abdoulaye Diabaté is a singer and guitarist who was born to a griot family in Kela, Mali in 1956. He has at least twenty years of experience in contemporary and popular music.

Balla et ses Balladins were a dance-music orchestra formed in Conakry, Guinea in 1962 following the break-up of the Syli Orchestre National, Guinea's first state-sponsored group. Also called the Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, after the "bar dancing" music venue in Conakry that still exists today, the group made a number of recordings for the state-owned Syliphone label and become one of the first modern dance musical groups in Guinea to use traditional musical instruments and fuse together traditional Guinean folk music with more modern influences.

Keletigui et ses Tambourinis were a dance music orchestra founded by the government of the newly independent state of Guinea-Conakry. They were one of the most prominent national orchestras of the new country.

Djeli Moussa Diawara, born 1962 in Kankan, Guinea is a Kora player (Korafola), composer and singer.

<i>Yasimika</i> 1983 studio album by Djeli Moussa Diawara

Yasimika is the first studio album by Djeli Moussa Diawara, Guinean Kora player (Korafola), released in 1983.

Momo Wandel Soumah was a singer, composer, and saxophonist from Guinea, recognisable by his characteristic gravelly voice.

Mamadou Sidiki Diabaté is a prominent Mandé kora player and jeli from Bamako, Mali. He is the 71st generation of kora players in his family and a son to Sidiki Diabaté.

References

  1. Counsel, Graeme. "Mande popular music and cultural policies in West Africa".
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-11.

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