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date: 21 September 2019

Chad (Fr. République du Tchad)locked

  • Monique Brandily


(Fr. République du Tchad)

Country in Central Africa. A former French colony, it has been independent since 1960. Its territory extends over 1,284,000 km², from the Tropic of Cancer in the north to beyond the 10th parallel in the south, i.e. from the desert zone to that of the forest. The population of 7·27 million (2000 estimate) thus lives in areas of great climatic and geographical contrast. Since in addition the inhabitants are descended from different ethnic groups, it is not surprising that their ways of life and socio-religious traditions vary considerably, as do their musical traditions. Knowledge of the music is superficial since there have been few specialized studies. The only information available is dispersed in general ethnological and anthropological studies and in the printed commentaries accompanying musical recordings, so that the discussion below focusses especially on the organological aspect of the traditional musics of Chad. The various peoples north of the 15th parallel are Saharan and mostly semi-nomadic livestock breeders who have been converted to Islam. In contrast, the southern inhabitants are principally sedentary cultivators, largely animist, some of whom have been converted to Christianity or Islam only comparatively recently....

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