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Namibia  

Gerhard Kubik and Moya Aliya Malamusi

Republic of. Country in south-west Africa. It has an area of 824,269 km² and a population of 1.73 million (2000 estimate). European colonial influence in south-west Africa began in 1847, with the activities of the Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft, gradually arousing German interest until the formal establishment of German authority over the territory in 1884. Formal declaration of independence of the new nation of Namibia occurred in 1990.

Namibia is scarcely populated; the southern half is largely desert, and the rural population is found mainly in a narrow strip in the north, bordering Angola.

The diversified population's languages fall into three groups: (a) Bantu languages; (b) Khoisan languages such as Nama, Damara, !Ko, !Kung’ etc. (fig.1); and (c) Indo-European languages (German, Afrikaans etc.). Some population elements form clusters with subdivisions. During the era of South African apartheid 12 ethnic groups were officially distinguished.

Article

Philip E.J. Robinson

( Betzy Rosabella )

( b St Denis, Ile de Bourbon [now Ile de la Réunion], Nov 16, 1831; d Madrid, Dec 4, 1867). French mezzo-soprano . She studied with Duprez at the Paris Conservatoire and in 1849 won the premier prix for opera. In 1850 she made her début at the Teatro Carignano, Turin, as Emilia in Mercadante’s La vestale. She appeared in Luisa Miller at the Théâtre Italien in 1852, and the next year began a three-year engagement at Covent Garden, where she made her début as Gondì in Maria di Rohan and sang in the English premières of Rigoletto and Benvenuto Cellini. In 1854–6 she sang in Spain and North America, then for two years at the Théâtre Italien. On 15 May 1858 she returned to Covent Garden to sing Urbain (Les Huguenots) at the gala opening of the present theatre, where she continued to appear until 1864. Meyerbeer and Gounod wrote her additional music for productions there of ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(b Johannesburg, Feb 16, 1939). South African soprano . She began singing studies in South Africa, continuing in Detmold and Hamburg. Her début, at Bielefeld in 1969 as Venus (Tannhäuser), was followed by engagements at several other German centres and as Venus at San Francisco. She joined the chorus at Bayreuth and sang small roles there before a success in ...

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Baika, April 14, 1922; d Baika, March 15, 1993). Ghanaian composer. Following tuition on the harmonium from his father, he developed his musical skills and directed fife bands and a choir at the Presbyterian Teacher Training College at Akwapim-Akropong. Nayo entered the music school of Achimota College in 1949, studying with Amu, and became a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music in 1953. After some years as a school music teacher, he studied with Nketia at the University of Ghana, Legon, gaining the Diploma in African Music (1964), then attended Boston University (MMus 1970). As the first director of the National Academy of Music, Winneba (1973–5), Nayo encouraged his students to explore 20th-century harmonic vocabularies; Mawu xo Mia ’Kpedada (1973) was a demonstration piece for this purpose. He was a lecturer at the University of Ghana (1975–9) and a senior lecturer (...

Article

Ndall  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Side-blown horn of the Mbelo Panda region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made from a hollowed root or branch about 140 cm long and has two rectangular mouthpieces a few centimetres apart. The player selects one and closes the other with his hand.

J.S. Laurenty: La systématique des aérophones de l’Afrique central...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Darius Brubeck

(Madoda )

(b Benoni, South Africa, Feb 13, 1933; d 1978). South African singer and tenor saxophonist. From 1952 to 1966 he led a popular close-harmony vocal group, the Woody Woodpeckers, whose recordings included the pairing Hambani/Welele (Col. YE263, 1959). He then had a second career as a creative tenor saxophonist, composer, and arranger; on occasion he played with Dudu Pukwana, and from ...

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Ozu-Item, July 6, 1936). Nigerian composer. A member of the Igbo people, he received early training in music and co-founded the Enugu Operatic Society in 1960. In 1961 Ndubuisi began composition studies with Wishart at the Guildhall School of Music, then returned to teach at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The folksongs which he collected from different ethnic groups became the basis of his arrangements for voices and small ensemble, most of which are sung in their original languages. His approach to harmony, melody and rhythm reflect both indigenous practices and his background in jazz bands. The influences of Vaughan Williams and Ivor Gurney are prominent in Ndubuisi's original works, while his percussive approach to the piano displays his endorsement of Akin Euba's concept of ‘African pianism’. Further information is given in B. Omojola: Nigerian Art Music (Ibadan, 1995).

(selective list)

Article

Ndugu  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Tronco-conical drum of the Tsogho people of Gabon. The long wooden body has a glued head and two rings carved on the side around the circumference at about ¾ of its length. It lies horizontally on the floor with the player sitting on it. It is part of an ensemble including an ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Side-blown horn, normally of ivory, of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Mangbele people it has a fingerhole in the tip and is also known as namoduduka and moduka. Among the Barambo, Makere, Mayogo, and Meje, nembongo and nembongaye denote both an ivory and an antelope horn with carved mouthpiece....

Article

James May

(b Johannesburg, Sept 3, 1941). South African composer. He started formal studies with Arthur Tempest (clarinet) and Fritz Schuurman (conducting) in 1955. While at secondary school some of his compositions were shown to Arnold van Wyk; for three years Newcater continued to send him works for comment. After an apprenticeship to a vehicle firm (1957–60), he returned to Johannesburg in 1960, studying privately with Gideon Fagan. A SAMRO scholarship enabled Newcater to study with Fricker at the RCM, where he completed his Symphony no.1. After a period at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (1964–6), he returned to England on a Vaughan Williams Award to study with Searle. He has subsequently been active as a freelance composer and conductor. His mature works display a rigorous and intellectual approach to formal aspects. Although he often uses sets by Webern, his use of serial technique is highly individual, with 2nds and 3rds predominant intervallically. In ...

Article

Ngangan  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

Mouth bow of the Ngbaka of the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The wooden bow stick holds a liana string, which is placed between the lips without touching them. The player strikes the string with a stick in his right hand, holding the bow to his mouth with three fingers of the left hand and altering its sounding length with a second stick (or the back of a penknife) held by the thumb and forefinger. The instrument accompanies the performance of chronicles, fables, and complaints. It is also known as ...

Article

Darius Brubeck

[Pharoah ]

(b Cape Town, Aug 25, 1954). South African tenor and soprano saxophonist. He grew up in a musical family and is the best-known son of the saxophonist “Christopher” Columbus Fezekile “Mra” Ngcukana; his brothers include the late singer Ray Ngcukana, the trumpeter Duke Ngcukana, the singer Fitzroy Ngcukana, and the tenor saxophonist and flutist Claude Ngcukana. Self-taught, in 1969 he was a member of Abdullah Ibrahim’s big band, and in the early 1970s he served as a sideman in The Drive, the jazz-rock band led by Cyril Magubane. After 1975 he worked with Winston Mankunku, Duke Makasi, and the pianists Merton Barrow and Jack van Pol, and from the mid-1980s he played with Bheki Mseleku and Darius Brubeck. He often leads a quartet consisting of the pianist George Weiner, the electric bass guitarist Wesley Rustin, and the drummer Babandamase; any of his larger groups appear as Ezra Ngcukana and Third Testament. In ...

Article

Nghomba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Single-headed drum of the Tumbwe people in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The head is nailed to the 30-cm-long body, which is decorated with geometrical incisions and zoomorphic, painted incisions. A similar istrument is the mufukula of the Tabwa in the same region. When the nghomba is played during dances, the (usually professional) drummers hold the instrument against their chest. It is played by the hands and sometimes one hand presses the head to raise the pitch....

Article

Ngoma  

Peter Cooke

[engoma, goma, gomo, ingoma, in̄goma, ng'oma, ngomba, ngomm, ngomo etc.]

A common term (with many variants) used generically for many kinds of drum among the numerous Bantu-speaking peoples of central, eastern-central and southern Africa. However, ‘ngoma’ often has a wider meaning, at its widest standing for music and dancing (and the associated feasting), and for ceremonies in which drumming occurs. Because of its use as a general name for drums of various shapes and sizes it often appears in the catalogues of instrument collections (e.g. Boone, 1951).

Among different peoples ngoma can variously denote a dance, a drum ensemble, the most important drum of an ensemble, or individual drums. Use of the name is sometimes indicative that drums have special sacred or magical properties. Ngoma dza midzimu (‘drums of the ancestor spirits’) is the term used by the Venda of the Transvaal for spirit possession dances; the bass drum in the accompanying ensemble, a large hemispherical drum with a single head, resembling the two drums with which it is played, is itself called ...

Article

Ngombo  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Cylindrical wooden slit drum of the Chokwe people in the Kasayi-Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Pende call it mukoko dia ngombo and the Kongo call it mikoko mi ngombe. It has an extension carved as a human head, representing a divine spirit. The haircut and sometimes tattoos on the face designate a male or a female spirit. The ...

Article

Darius Brubeck

(b Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Dec 25, 1959). South African saxophonist, flutist, and percussionist. He started with lessons in classical flute, and took up alto saxophone in the jazz-oriented township of New Brighton. A year at Rhodes University led to enrollment in the jazz studies program at the University of Natal, where he joined Darius Brubeck’s student band the Jazzanians; in 1988 the group performed in Detroit at the conference of the International Association of Jazz Educators. Ngqawana attended workshops given by Max Roach and Wynton Marsalis, and with Roach’s help he was admitted to the University of Massachusetts, where he studied with Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef. In the early 1990s he was briefly a sideman with Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela. He composed and performed music for modern dance companies, and for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994 he organized the Drums for Peace Orchestra, involving 100 musicians. His band Ingoma toured the USA (...

Article

Ngwomi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[ngwim, ngwen]

Pluriarc of the Teke (Tegue) peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon, and the Hum, Mfinu, and Yans of the DRC. Ngwim is the Hum term, ngwen the Yans. The Teke term ngwomi denotes a large five-string instrument whose string-bearer (composed of five bows neatly tied together) and strings are almost perpendicular to its rectangular soundbox. The soundbox is traditionally made from a hollowed block of wood but nowadays is sometimes made of boards tied together with rattan; the soundboard, however, is triangular, covering the soundbox and projecting like a bird’s tail. Metal jingles on the bows produce a buzzing effect. The name ...

Article

Niger  

Veit Erlmann

(Fr. République du Niger)

Country in West Africa. It has a total area of 1,186,408 km², and a population of 10·8 million (2000 estimate). Like its neighbour Mali, Niger is situated between Arab cultures to the north and sub-Saharan African to the south. A sovereign state since 1960, Niger is historically, linguistically and culturally diverse and is far from possessing a unified national identity.

Four languages with subdialects are spoken, each belonging to one of the major African language families: Hausa, Songai-Dyerma (Songhai-Dyerma), Tamajeq (Tamachek) and Fulfulde. There are at least four major population groups – Hausa, Songai-Dyerma, Tuareg and Fula (Fulani or FulBe) – and within each subgroups are recognized. Several minorities are also known, such as the Manga in the far south-east, who speak Hausa, but are culturally akin to the Kanuri. Also to the east of Zinder live a number of Kanuri-speaking peoples formerly known as ‘Beriberi’ (now considered a derogatory name), and small communities of Kanembu and Buduma on the shores of Lake Chad....

Article

Country in West Africa. It has an estimated population of 128·79 million (2000 estimate) and a total area of 923,773 km². It is one of the most musically diverse countries in Africa. The high profile of music of a few groups ( see Hausa music, Yoruba music and Igbo music ), and the relative familiarity of certain heavily promoted urban subgenres serves to obscure the overall picture of Nigeria.

If the pattern of musical styles and musical instrument types can be reduced to a single factor, it is the interweaving of Islamic influence, spreading southwards from the desert kingdoms in Niger and Chad, encountering the differing types of music characteristic of such southern peoples as the Yoruba, Edo (Ẹdọ or Bini), Ijo (Ịjọ), Igbo and Efik/Ibibio. Christianity became a significant factor on the 19th century, spreading widely throughout southern Nigeria and in parts of the north, such as the Jos plateau, where Islam has been resisted....