"African music" is a term that encompasses a wide range of musical traditions and styles that originate from the continent of Africa. The diverse cultures and communities that make up the continent have developed their own unique forms of music, influenced by a variety of factors such as geography, history, and religion.
One of the defining characteristics of African music is its use of complex rhythms. Many African music traditions feature intricate drum patterns and percussive elements that drive the music forward. African music also often incorporates polyphony, with multiple melodies played at the same time. This can be heard in the use of multiple vocal parts or the layering of different instruments.
Another feature of African music is the use of call-and-response patterns, where a lead singer or instrument is answered by a chorus or ensemble. This creates a sense of interaction and participation between the performers and the audience.
African music also incorporates elements of local instruments such as the kora, xylophone, and mbira. These instruments are often unique to specific regions or communities and have been passed down through generations.
Singing in local languages is also a common feature of African music. This gives the music a sense of cultural identity and allows for the expression of specific stories, ideas, and emotions.
Overall, African music is incredibly diverse and rich in tradition. It reflects the many cultures, languages and history of the continent, with influences from different regions, cultures and time.