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Article

Lara Allen

South African urban popular music style. During the late 1960s the vocal stream of the South African township style Mbaqanga , characterized by female close-harmony vocals, became known as mqashiyo. Later, all-male variants were called vocal mbaqanga. Mqashiyo evolved from the 1950s vocal jive of Dorothy Masuka and close-harmony groups such as the Skylarks led by Miriam Makeba. The pioneers of the new style in the early 1960s were the Dark City Sisters, who established the use of five- rather than four-part harmonies. By 1965, with driving straight rhythms and electric backing, mqashiyo was exhibiting the same musical characteristics as instrumental mbaqanga. Particularly characteristic of mature mqashiyo is the contrast between close harmony female vocals and the deep, hoarse ‘groaning’ style popularized by Simon ‘Mahlathini’ Nkabinde. This was best exemplified by Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens accompanied by the Makhona Tsohle Band. Other top vocal mbaqanga groups included the female Amatshitshi and Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje and the male Abafana Baseqhudeni and Boyoyo Boys....

Article

Darius Brubeck

(b Cape Town, June 1, 1959). South African saxophonist and flutist. He began as a professional musician at the age of 18 and received his jazz education by working with Ezra Ngcukana and his brother, the trumpeter Duke Ngcukana (1979–85). Later he played in a succession of innovative pop acts, first as a member of Louis and the Jive, then on a tour of Africa with the multi-instrumentalist Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse (1987), a tour of the USA with the rock singer P. J. Powers and Hotline (1988), and another tour, of the UK and France, with the group Stimela (1989). In the interim he recorded his first album, Firebird (Zomba 9002, 1989). After forming his own short-lived group, McCoy’s Brotherhood (1991), he made another tour of the USA with Hugh Masekela (1992), in whose groups he remains. He also toured and recorded with the reggae star Lucky Dube and the pop singer Sibongile Khumalo. In ...

Article

Mark Gilbert

[Bhekumuzi Hycinth ]

(b Durban, South Africa, March 3, 1955; d London, Sept 9, 2008). South African pianist and saxophonist. Entirely self-taught, he began playing piano at the age of 17, influenced in particular by McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane. In 1977 he played with Philip Tabane's band Malombo in the USA and Europe. Despite reports to the contrary in other sources, he did not return to South Africa. From 1980 to 1983 he lived as a political refugee in Stockholm, working with Johnny Dyani, Don Cherry, and Okay Temiz, among others. During the same period he visited England and played with Louis Moholo. In 1985 he moved to London, where he was associated with Chris McGregor, Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Steve Argüelles, and others. After making his début recording as a leader on the independent label World Circuit in 1992, he signed a contract with Verve and went on to record with such sidemen as Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, Ravi Coltrane, and Elvin Jones. He enjoyed wide acclaim for his spiritually charged brand of post-Coltrane jazz, in which he often played piano and saxophone simultaneously....

Article

(b Igara, western Uganda, March 21, 1926; d Kampala, June 21, 1995). Ugandan composer, poet, writer and folklorist . Largely self-taught, he took positions as a teacher of music and literature at several teachers’ colleges in western Uganda and at St Kalemba’s Catechetical Centre, retiring in his 50s to concentrate on creative writing. His most valued musical work consisted of providing a new musical liturgy for the Catholic church in western Uganda. The hymnbook Mweshongorere Mukama (‘Let us Praise the Lord’, Kampala, 1961, 6/1987), adopted for use throughout the diocese and further afield, contains 79 of his compositions. A second unpublished collection of the same title contains a further 65 settings, including arrangements of Latin, French and English hymns. Despite ill-health and poverty his prolific output included 6 masses, partsongs, liturgical settings (in Latin, French, English and his native tongue Runyankore), novels, folktales, poetry, plays and other historical and linguistic contributions. All but 12 titles remain unpublished and in the care of the Omuhanda gy’Okumanya Publishing Association, Mbarara....

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Mukoko  

J. Gansemans

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Small wooden slit drum of the Yaka, Suku, Pende, Ngongo, and Mbala peoples of the Lower Congo and Kwango areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It belongs to local doctors and diviners who attempt to contact spirits with it and request answers to the questions of their clients. As a two-toned instrument, the aspect of ‘talking’ and ‘giving a message’ is predominant. It usually has a cylindrical soundbox from 45 to 55 cm long with a carved anthropomorphic head as the handle; this head symbolizes the spirit. Other names reported by Laurenty for this instrument among other peoples of the DRC are mukok, mukokk or kokk (Holo), mukoko dia ngombo (Pende), mikoko mi ngombe and konko (Kongo), and mukokok (Suku). The Bwende have a larger cylindrical slit drum (about 90 to 100 cm long) one end of which has a carved human figure.

O. Boone: Les tambours du Congo belge et due Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Mulimba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Trapezoidal slit drum of the Holoholo people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of sycamore wood up to 90 cm long. The Songye of the Shaba region call their similar slit drum modimba.

Article

Mungiri  

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[musenkele]

Single-headed drum of the Sanga and Yeke peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head is nailed to the almost cylindrical body, which is about 40 to 45 cm long including a foot shaped like an upside-down bowl.

O. Boone: Les tambours du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[musémb, muséng, mushyémm]

Conical wooden whistle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. About 12 to 28 cm long, it has a long handle and the upper part is ovoid with a carved side-projection in which a fingerhole is made. It is found among many peoples of the Kwango area. For the Dzing and Mbagani, ...

Article

Mushiba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

(pl. mishiba)

Panpipe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Sampwe people have a mishiba with four pipes, the Luba with four to eight pipes. The Kanyoka use another prefix for the word: lushibb. This denotes a panpipe with wooden pipes; for instruments with bamboo pipes they use the term chitebb...

Article

Jeannie Gayle Pool

[Jennifer]

(b Johannesburg, South Africa, Jan 6, 1965). South African film and television composer, active in Great Britain and the USA. Trained at the Royal College of Music in London, she began her career as a cellist, performing with UK orchestras, and is self-taught in composition. Since 1982, she has composed more than 80 projects for Miramax, Paramount, Disney, Discovery, National Geographic, IMAX, and the BBC, including three feature films with American director Martha Coolidge. Passionate about environmental concerns, Muskett’s documentary scores incorporate a wide variety of world music elements. Muskett has won two Emmy awards (including one for Best Outstanding Original score for her score for Discovery Channel’s Spirits of the Forest and another for Jewels of the Carribean) and five Emmy nominations. She won a Peabody Award for People of the Forest (National Geographic). Credited with the theme for the popular British television series Spooks, she also writes the underscoring. Her music is heartfelt and eloquent, reflecting a wide range of emotion. Muskett has also written incidental music for two Royal Shakespeare Company productions: ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[mutumbi]

Single-headed drum of the Luba and Sanga peoples in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head of the Sanga drum is coated with a rubbery paste to mute the sound. Also called musenkele, it was adopted from the Sanga by the Yeke, and is used during funeral rites....

Article

Ulrich Wegner

(b Nabbale, Kyaggwe, Buganda, June 2, 1916; d Oct 11, 1993). Ugandan instrumentalist and teacher . At the age of nine, Muyinda learnt to play the amadinda and akadinda log xylophones. In 1939, when Muteesa II became Kabaka of Buganda, Muyinda was appointed court musician in the akadinda ensemble. Beyond his remarkable expertise as a musical performer, Muyinda was a tireless promoter of the traditional musical culture of the Buganda region. In 1948, Klaus Wachsmann, then curator at the Uganda Museum, gave him a post as musical demonstrator. Muyinda taught instrumental music at schools, and he gave musical demonstrations at the Makerere University College in Kampala. Between 1957 and 1959 he was responsible for the founding of a multi-ethnic akadinda ensemble at the Salama Rural Training Centre of the Blind. The development of a simple number notation for xylophone compositions can also be attributed to Muyinda, a notational system that in a more developed form is often used in ethnomusicological studies. Over the years, Muyinda became a multi-instrumentalist who covered a wide spectrum of Kiganda music with his performances on the harp, lyre, tube fiddle and notched flute among others. He is considered to be the inventor of the Kiganda orchestra, an ensemble format in which instruments from various Kiganda musical traditions are joined, leading to a mixture of timbres that is unusual in traditional music. The Kiganda orchestra became an integral part of the Uganda National Ensemble called the ‘Heartbeat of Africa’, a group whose profile can also be largely attributed to Muyinda. He participated in several concert tours to many countries in Africa and overseas with this ensemble as well as with several other ensembles of his own. As a research assistant of Klaus Wachsmann and instrumental teacher of Joseph Kyagambiddwa, Gerhard Kubik and other music researchers, Muyinda exerted a considerable influence on the scientific studies of the traditional music of Buganda. His work is discussed in Gerhard Kubik: ...

Article

Mvet  

Gerhard Kubik

An idiochord stick zither with a notched bridge. It is unique to an area of western central Africa which includes southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, northern areas of the Republic of the Congo and the south-west of the Central African Republic. Its invention is attributed to the people of the Pahouin group (known variously as the Fang’, Fan, Fanwe, Mfang’, Mpangwe, Pangwe) and, according to tradition, its first player was Efandene Mvie. First described by Hornbostel as a ‘Pangwe’ instrument, it is thought to be a development of the monochord stick zither of the Fang’ and other peoples.

The Pahouin mvet is made from a raffia branch about 1·5 metres long. Five idiochord strings are raised from the hard surface of the branch and are supported at their centre by a notched bridge. Small rings of fibre are wound round the ends of the strings and the branch; the mvet...

Article

Gregory F. Barz

(b Dakar, 1959). Senegalese musician . A Wolof singer with a remarkably flexible voice and a wide range, Youssou N'Dour began singing with Sine Dramatic at the age of 12, and by the age of 15 he was a star, singing with Super Diamono. Several years later he joined the Star Band in Dakar. N'Dour formed Étoile de Dakar in 1979, a group that went on to tour Europe before reforming as Super Étoile de Dakar in 1981. In 1983 he opened his own club in Dakar, the Thiosanne, a venue he used to perfect his craft. He is perhaps the best known performer of Mbalax, a distinctive Senegalese music based on the rhythm produced on the mbung mbung drum. His home concerts appeal greatly to elegantly dressed Wolof women who perform the ventilateur dance during concerts in which they expose their legs, dancing wildly in their floor-length boubous...

Article

[sokou]

Single-string fiddle of Mali. The resonator is a half calabash shell, its opening covered by a skin soundtable. Horsehair can be used for the string and the bow. The instrument is said to have been introduced to Mali by Muslims from Andalusia and to have been played by women and bards, but evidence is lacking. It was popularized in the late 20th century by the eclectic musician Ali Farka Touré....

Article

Naka  

David K. Rycroft

[‘horn’](plur. dinaka)

Term, for flutes, especially stopped flutes, among most subgroups of the northern Sotho-speaking peoples of southern Africa, particularly the Pedi, Ndebele, and Lovedu. The naka of the Tswana people is made from the lower leg bone of the secretary bird, covered with lizard skin, and is used for divining and to ward off lightning. The tsula of the Pedi, who use eagle or wildcat leg bones, is similar. The Lovedu play a pentatonic set called motaba, dinaka, or kiba, with four drums for the dinaka dance.

Among the Pedi people, the name naka ya lehlaka covers either a transverse flute, similar to the Venda tshitiringo, or an end-blown stopped pipe, of reed, without fingerholes. The latter yields one note, other notes being interspersed through whistling as the breath is drawn in. It is played by herdboys. The naka ya phatola (or naka ya makoditsane) is a conical flute made from wood, covered with buckskin and woven wirework, and treated with medicinal charms. Warriors used it as a signal instrument. The player’s hollowed tongue directs the air-flow. With the lower end either open or closed by a finger, two notes can be produced plus several overblown harmonic partials....

Article

Nakers  

James Blades

revised by Edmund A. Bowles

(from Arabic naqqāra; Fr. nacaires; It. nacchera; Sp. nácar, nacara)

Small kettledrums of the medieval period, of Arabian or Saracen origin (in the system of Hornbostel and Sachs they are classified as membranophones). At the end of the 20th century the instrument was represented in North Africa, Turkey, Egypt and Syria by small drums with bowl-shaped bodies of wood, metal or clay, and covered on their open tops with animal skin. The Western form was often crafted from thick leather, shaped while still wet over a mould. While nakers were introduced into Spain by the Moors in the early 8th century, there is no hard evidence for their use in Western music prior to the era of the Crusades (1096–1291). Nakers represent one manifestation of the cultural exchange between the Muslim states and the West, a phenomenon that began before the Crusades with Frankish mercenaries serving in Byzantium and under Muslim potentates, and Saracen troops serving the Normans in Sicily (...

Article

Namaddu  

Peter Cooke