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Article

Peter Cooke

[mugaabe, omugalabe]

Single-headed drum of the Soga people of Uganda. It is open-ended and the head, usually of lizard skin (occasionally of a small mammal such as duiker), is affixed with glue or, less often, nails made of thorns or hard wood. It is played by the hands, usually in ensemble with other drums. In shape it resembles the Ganda ...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

(b Barcelona, April 15, 1925). Spanish tenor. He studied in Oran (Algeria) and in Barcelona with Mercedes Capsir, opposite whom he made his début as Massenet’s Des Grieux at the Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona, in 1946. Later that year he made his Italian début at Bologna as Almaviva and quickly established himself as a leading exponent of the Rossini-Donizetti repertory. He appeared at Glyndebourne from 1952 to 1961 as Don Ramiro, Count Ory, Almaviva, Lindoro, Ferrando, Don Ottavio and Fenton, and as Scaramuccio in the first British stage performance (1954) of Arlecchino. In 1963 he began to sing heavier roles, including Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur at the Edinburgh Festival, Rodolfo, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Boito’s Faust and Don José. He returned to Glyndebourne in 1965 as Percy (Anna Bolena) and sang Leicester in Maria Stuarda at Naples (1968) and Rome (1970) as well as Monteverdi’s Nero in Vienna (...

Article

Ondende  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Set of two whistles of the Makere people in the Uele region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The end-blown, cylindrical (sometimes cylindro-conical) wooden whistles are up to 11 cm long. Other Makere names for sets of two or more whistles are abimbo, bwanze, eli, mapengo, nabimbaye, and nabimbo.

J.S. Laurenty...

Article

Gregory F. Barz

[Ramadhani Ongala Mtoro, Dr Remmy ]

(b Kindu, Belgian Congo [now Democratic Republic of Congo], 1947; d Dar es Salaam, December 13, 2010). Tanzanian composer, guitarist and singer . In 1969 Ongala moved to Uganda; he later moved to Kenya to join the band Orchestra Makassy, before settling in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After the dissolution of Orchestra Makassy in the early 1980s, he joined and later became the leader of the Orchestra Super Matimila. The socially oriented lyrics of Ongala’s songs and the guitar-driven sound of Orchestra Super Matimila appealed to promoters of WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) in the late 1980s, and Ongala’s exposure to international audiences and his recording sessions in Europe confirmed for him a major role in the international development and promotion of African urban musics. His music typically included three guitars, saxophones, bass, drums, and lead and backup vocals, and his style reflected influences of earlier Congolese musical genres blended with indigenous rhythms and guitar playing styles of East Africa; he credited Franco as an early influence. Ongala, often referred to as ‘the Voice of Tanzania’, communicated to and for the poor and disaffected, as is reflected in the political and social commentary of many of his songs’ lyrics, most of which are in KiSwahili. Ongala referred to his music as ...

Article

Oriwa  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

End-blown gourd horn of the Logo people in the Uele region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is played in groups of eight. Alternate names for oriwa are kangamva, akoti, aoalo, aori, asidri, ira, kanga, soma, and agolova.

Article

Frank Gunderson

(b Uganda, 1953). Ugandan composer . Born into a prominent musical family, Oryema received a privileged education in Western music. His father, a prominent government minister, was one of the last great inanga (seven-string harp zither) players in Acholiland, and taught him to play, together with the myamulere (flute), the lukeme (thumb piano) and other indigenous percussion instruments. While still young, Oryema also received training from his mother, director of the Ugandan national dance company, and attended the Kampala School of Dramatic Arts, where he founded a theatre company. At the age of 24 his father was murdered by Idi Amin, forcing him to flee in the trunk of a car to Kenya. Today, Oryema is a respected musician-songwriter, maintaining the songs of his youth and experimenting with the diversity of musical cultures offered in Paris. Oryema’s moody and contemplative music reflects an original combination of acoustic African rhythms with ambient electronic pop. He has recorded three albums with Peter Gabriel’s Real World label, accompanied by such pop luminaries as Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. He has performed on the ...

Article

Samha El-Kholy

(b Cairo, 1855; d Cairo, Dec 19, 1900). Egyptian composer . The son of a teacher in a Cairo mosque, he learnt music with the qānūn player Qustandi Mansy, and then underwent another period of apprenticeship as a singer with the ensemble of El-Rasheedy, thus learning much about modes, Arab rhythms and the vocal repertory. He achieved fame as a singer but lost his voice through illness and turned to composition in the classical monodic style of the period. Soon acknowledged as one of the leading composers of his time, he had his vocal pieces performed by the best singers, in particular Abdo El Hamouly. His most important contribution to the vocal repertory was in the genre of the dawr, an elaborate form for solo singer, small chorus of about four men and takht, a traditional ensemble of ‘ud (lute), qānūn (zither), nay (end-blown flute), violin and percussion. Osman took up the ...

Article

Outa  

David K. Rycroft

Braced mouth bow of the Herero and Damara (Nama) peoples of southwestern Africa. It is often adapted from a hunting bow (which bears the same name). The stave is held against the player’s slightly parted lips while the string is struck with a thin stick. Mouth-resonated harmonics are used melodically. Among the Damara it is also known as ...

Article

Gregory F. Barz

Form of West African guitar band Highlife music from Sierra Leone. Palm wine music (known in Sierra Leone as maringa) takes its name from the alcoholic beverage made from fermented palm sap served in coastal bars, a fairly cheap alternative to bottled beer. Palm wine was first made famous by Ebenezer Calender and his Maringar Band, who were known for their calypso-influenced style that drew heavily on the music of freed Caribbean slaves who had returned to Sierra Leone. Calender recorded extensively in the 1950s and 1960s, singing in the Krio language. The Kru-speaking sailors of Liberia who traded all along the west coast of Africa were accomplished guitarists, and their music may have influenced both Trinidadian calypso and Freetown maringa (Ashcroft and Trillo, 634). S.E. Rogie (d 1994) helped to popularize a form of palm wine internationally, and bands of expatriate musicians in London continued to maintain the palm wine music tradition....

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

Orchestra founded in 1988 in Accra, Ghana, under the leadership of its conductor and founder Nana Danso Abiam. The orchestra of approximately 28 instrumentalists is guided by a creative and practical philosophy that calls for a return to indigenous traditions and resources. The leader integrates music, musical instruments and performers from various ethnic groups and from various African countries; financial limitations constrain the hiring and use of musicians and musical instruments from several African countries, however. The Ghanaian government, especially the Commission on Culture, actively supports both the ideals of the former President Kwame Nkrumah, a leader in the Pan-African and African Personality movement, and the related philosophy and objectives of the Pan-African Orchestra. Abiam composes and arranges most of the music, which is closely related to indigenous practices. Instruments of the orchestra include a variety of original African instruments: Kora (21-string plucked chordophone), gyilli (xylophone), axatse (shakers), adawuro and ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[ikpwokwo]

Ground bow of the Pygmies who live with the Andekelao people in the Watsa-Gombari region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. One end of the bow is stuck in the ground. A string is fastened to the upper end of the bow and attached at the other end to a small stick under a piece of bark that covers a resonating pit dug in the ground. The string is plucked with the fingers. The instrument is not played by the Andekalao themselves, and surrounding peoples do not know of it....

Article

Thomas F. Heck

revised by Peter Danner

(b Sopiki, Greece, Dec 18, 1893; d Alexandria, VA, Feb 26, 1986). American guitar teacher and publisher, born in Greece. At the age of 14 he moved from Greece to Cairo, Egypt, where he learned to play the mandolin. He returned to Greece in 1912, but in 1914 immigrated to the United States. After serving in the US Army, he settled in Washington, DC, in 1920, where he taught fretted instruments, played mandolin and banjo on the radio, and studied the guitar seriously with William Foden and George Krick. By the late 1920s he was one of the few Americans (other than Bickford, Krick, and Foden) promoting European guitar music. Papas befriended the guitarist Andrés Segovia soon after the latter’s 1928 New York début and effectively promoted Segovia’s American career thereafter. As a publisher, he established the Columbia Music Company in Washington (1928) and eventually published his ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

[Schecroun, Ralph [Raph(aël)]]

(b Oran, Algeria, Oct 30, 1930; d New York, July 2, 1998). American drummer and pianist. He took up piano at the age of 14. In 1947 he moved to Paris to study sculpture and soon became involved in the local jazz scene, winning an amateur contest sponsored by Jazz hot magazine. The following year, as Ralph Schecroun, he recorded with Kenny Clarke, James Moody, and Django Reinhardt, but in 1951 he abandoned music and returned to college, graduating in 1955. From 1956 to 1958 he performed and recorded as a member of Don Byas’s group. To avoid a conflict with his recording company, Ricordi, Schecroun changed his name in 1960 to Errol Parker; he also recorded for Decca, Phillips, and Brunswick, and in 1963 had a hit with Lorré for Brunswick. An automobile accident that year permanently damaged his right shoulder, causing him to modify his piano playing. He moved to New York in ...

Article

Rodolfo Celletti

revised by Valeria Pregliasco Gualerzi

( b Turin, Jan 11, 1893; d Milan, Feb 17, 1983). Italian bass . He studied with Arturo Pessina and made his début at the Politeama Chiarella, Turin, as the King of Egypt (Aida) in 1917. In 1924 he appeared at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, and at the Colón, Buenos Aires, where he returned until 1930. In 1926 he made his début at La Scala in Don Carlos, and sang there, almost continuously, until 1951. He was engaged at the Metropolitan (1929–33), at Covent Garden (1931) and at the Paris Opéra (1935). He retired in 1955. His voice was full, mellow and even across a wide range, and he sang with a fine sense of style in a repertory extending from Sarastro to Escamillo. He was outstanding in such Italian basso cantante roles as Oroveso (Norma), Zaccaria, Ramfis, Fiesco, Padre Guardiano and Philip II; and in the latter part of his career he became a renowned Boris Godunov....

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Nigeria, 1884; d 1969). Nigerian composer. After a time as organist at the church of St Paul, Breadfruit, Lagos, he studied the piano, organ and violin at Trinity College of Music (1911–14). On his return he was appointed organist at Christ Church, Lagos, remaining in this post until 1962. Most of his compositions are sacred choral works. As an exponent of the cultural and musical importance of Yoruba music and language, his works, many of which set Yoruba texts, show a predilection for speech rhythm, pentatonic scales and simple harmonic progressions. A major contributor to the growth and popularity of church and art music in Nigeria, Phillips provided compositional inspiration for such prominent Nigerian composers as Fela Sowande and Ayo Bankole. He was awarded the honorary doctorate by the University of Nsukka in 1964. His book Yoruba Music (Johannesburg, 1953) is an early study of theoretical aspects of indigenous African musical practices....

Article

Piki  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[piki piki]

Whistle of the Mbuti people and of the Pygmies living with the Balese people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The conical wooden body is about 17 cm long. Reportedly, the piki piki of the Balese is always decorated with metallic binding.

J.S. Laurenty: Systématique des aérophones de l’Afrique centrale...

Article

Nishlyn Ramana

[Edmund Mthuthuzeli ]

(b Alexandra township, South Africa, Dec 16, 1925; d Johannesburg, Dec 18, 2000). South African alto saxophonist. Self-taught, he played in the army during World War II, then in 1947 he joined the Casablanca Orchestra and learned to read music. In the late 1940s he was a member of the Harlem Swingsters, and by the early 1950s he had founded and was leading the Alexandra All Star Band. In the middle of the decade he performed with the African jazz and variety shows promoted by Alfred Herbert, and in the late 1950s he worked alongside Kippie Moeketsi, the pianist Todd Matshikiza, and others in the musical King Kong. Piliso was active as a studio musician in the 1970s. In 1982 he became the leader of the African Jazz Pioneers, which brought together a group of veteran South African jazz musicians and aimed to revive the big-band township jazz sounds of the 1950s....

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

[Pilós, Joanna]

(b Alexandria, July 1937). Italian soprano of Greek parentage and Egyptian birth. She made her début in 1958 in Milan and then sang throughout Italy, in the Americas (the Metropolitan, San Francisco and Buenos Aires), in Britain (at Covent Garden and with Scottish Opera), and in Paris and Vienna; at Monte Carlo she created Inez de Castro in Renzo Rossellini’s La reine morte (1973). She took part in the Wexford, Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence festivals. Her repertory ranged from Gluck’s Eurydice and Mozart’s Susanna and Zerlina to the three female roles in Einem’s Der Prozess, but her lyrical style and personality were particularly suited to French opera, and Marguerite, Juliet, Micaëla, Manon and Mélisande were among her most successful characterizations. She was also a fine Violetta, while her Puccini roles included Mimì, Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Liù and Magda (La rondine). The timbre of her voice was not without a trace of harshness, which she used skilfully to give dramatic edge to her performances....

Article

Jean Gribenski

(b Constantine, Algeria, June 13, 1888; d Paris, June 20, 1974). French musicologist . He studied musicology at the Sorbonne with Rolland, Laloy and Pirro. After World War I, he taught the history of the violin at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris; he also worked as editor-in-chief of Le monde musical (1925–7) and Musique (1927–30) and as music critic of several newspapers. He was artistic director of the Société Pleyel (1927–55), founding president of the Académie Charles Cros (from 1948), vice-president (1945–8), president (1948–56) and honorary president (from 1956) of the Société Française de Musicologie, a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique and an honorary member of the Royal Musical Association, London.

Pincherle’s research was mainly concerned with French and Italian music of the 17th and 18th centuries. His outstanding achievement was his first book on Vivaldi (...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(Charles Franklyn )

(b Pietersburg, Transvaal, Dec 10, 1903; d Hassocks, Sussex, Dec 21, 1973). South African-born librettist, resident in Britain from 1929 . Well known as a poet and novelist, he collaborated as a librettist with Benjamin Britten on Gloriana (1953) and the three ‘church parables’ (1964–8), having abandoned a plan for a children’s opera about space travel. Based on the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex, Gloriana hardly ‘glorifies’ its heroine. Presented at Covent Garden as a coronation tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, and performed in her presence, it was considered by some to be scandalously inappropriate; however, its musical virtues draw strength from Plomer’s mastery of a ‘distanced’ (but not pseudo-archaic) language and the clarity of the plot.

An even greater control of language is evident in the church parables, a language poised between that of the Authorized Version of the Bible and the directly modern. The most startling of the parables is the first, ...