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Sekere  

Gourd vessel rattle of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It has external strikers, consisting of a network of cowrie shells. The instrument may be heard clearly on All Blues, from Tito Puente’s album Goza mi timbal (1989, Conc. Picante 4399). (GroveI)

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Gavin Webb

Bridge harp of the Akan and Ashanti people of Ghana. The name seperewa derives from the Akan terms se (‘talk’), pre (the word that describes the strumming motion from the thumb), and wa (‘small’). So seperewa roughly translates to ‘this small instrument that you strum speaks’. It has 6 (traditionally) to 14 strings, a wooden box resonator, and a skin soundtable. A gently curved wooden neck extends upwards from the front of the instrument away from the player. The tall bridge, notched or pierced with holes up both sides for the strings to pass through, stands vertically on the skin. The strings, nowadays often of nylon, are tied around the neck and extend to the tail. Textual sources date the instrument’s presence as far back as the late 17th century. Its tuning and hand positioning, with the strings for the left hand tuned to the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale while the right-hand strings are tuned to the second, fourth, and sixth degrees, facilitates the modal harmonic progressions typical of Akan music. The instrument normally accompanies praise singing....

Article

Gerda Wolfram

(b Sozopolis, Pisidia, 465; d Xois, Egypt, Feb 8, 538). Greek hymnographer and theologian. He studied law and philosophy in Alexandria and Berytus and in 488 was baptized in Libya. He became a monk and is thought to have founded a monophysite monastery near Maiuma in Palestine. Because of the persecution of Palestinian monophysite monks, Severus went to Constantinople in 508, where he opposed the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon and succeeded in gaining the support of Emperor Anastasius I for the monophysite cause. In 512 he became Patriarch of Antioch, but with the suppression of monophytism following Anastasius’s death in 518 he was removed from office and went into exile in Egypt. In 535 Severus returned to Constantinople, but he was excommunicated in 536 and again fled to Egypt where he later died....

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(b Shoah, Ethiopia, 1949). Ethiopian singer, church musician, and liturgical scholar, naturalized American. Seyoum began studying music at the age of eight and attended various religious schools in his homeland. As he grew older, he began to learn new types of performance, including the Bethlehem style of singing, Christian chant, and sacred dance. At 17 years of age, he was already named a ...

Article

(b Tugela, Ladysmith, South Africa, Aug 28, 1941). South African composer and singer . He is the leader of the world-renowned a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the chief exponent of isicathamiya, a tradition of male choral performance and dance that emerged in the 1920s and has remained popular with Zulu-speaking migrant labourers. His early recordings in the 1970s highlighted themes typical of the genre such as longing for ancestral homelands, the Zulu past and a world of stable gender relations. Shabalala also reinvigorated the genre by introducing new choreography and by replacing the more voluminous sound of earlier ...

Article

Samha El-Kholy

(b Cairo, Nov 15, 1923). Egyptian violinist and composer. He studied at the Fuad I Music Institute (1941–5) and, proving a proficient violinist, was engaged to play with several composers. He conducted the Radio Music Ensemble and later the Reda Folkdance Troupe (...

Article

Christian Poché

(b Tanta, 1925; d Masqaṭ, Nov 20, 1987). Egyptian musicologist . He studied science in Cairo and at Harvard, taking the doctorate in 1950, concurrently investigating Arab and European music. He began teaching at the Cairo Conservatory and later at the University of Cairo. He took part in conferences on Arab music in ...

Article

Shiba  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Panpipe of the Luba/Luluwa people in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has two or three bamboo tubes. Four shiba panpipes are used, in conjunction with other instruments, for dance music. Siba or shiba is also a generic name among the Sampwe for panpipes with four bamboo tubes, and with four, five, seven, or eight bamboo tubes among the Luba....

Article

Bill Dobbins

(b Norwalk, CT, Sept 2, 1928; d New Rochelle, NY, June 18, 2014). American jazz pianist, bandleader and composer. As a child he was exposed to Cape Verdean folk music performed by his father, who was of Portuguese descent. He began studying the saxophone and the piano in high school, when his influences were blues singers such as Memphis Slim and boogie-woogie and bop pianists, especially Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. In ...

Article

Linda Fujie

(b Wesermünde, nr Bremerhaven, May 6, 1938). German ethnomusicologist . He studied musicology and ethnology at the University of Hamburg, receiving the doctorate in 1971 with a dissertation on Egyptian folk music. In 1972 he was appointed director of the ethnomusicology department of the Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin (formerly the Phonogramm-Archiv). From ...

Article

Christian Poché

Bowl or box lyre with five strings, found in Egypt (from the Suez area to Sinai), Saudi Arabia (the Red Sea coast) and South Yemen (where it has six strings). This instrument is smaller than the ṭanbūra. In South Yemen the simsimiyya lyre has a circular soundbox, with two arms, less widely spread than in the ...

Article

Sipi  

Lamellaphone of the Komo people in the Kivu region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has wooden tongues affixed to a wooden soundtable over a resonator of tortoise shell, wood, or gourd (see Ekembi ).

LaurentyS, 193, 196

J.-S. Laurenty: L’Organologie du Zaïre, 2 (Tervuren, 1995)...

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Timothy D. Fuson

(b Salé, 1918; d ?Salé, Sept 7, 1951). Moroccan singer, instrumentalist and songwriter . He first gained notoriety performing in ḥalqāt, the performance areas of public markets. Travelling with one or two percussionists and a violinist with whom he played the gunibrī (long-necked lute) and the ...

Article

Somalia  

John William Johnson

[Somali Democratic Republic] (Som. Jamhuriyadda Dimugradiga ee Soomaaliya). Country in the Horn of East Africa. It has an area of 637,657 km² and a population estimated at 11·53 million (2000). The Somali Democratic Republic collapsed in a revolution in 1991, and no political state has been formed to replace it, although the Somali National Movement declared the secession of an independent country called the Somaliland Republic in the north-western region. Somalis are the primary ethnic group and inhabit neighbouring parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. These peripheral populations have been separated from the main population since the colonial partition of Africa. A small number of other Bantu-speaking ethnic groups live among the Somalis. Islam, language and ethnic identity unite all Somalis, but there are internal divisions into clan families, lineages and other subgroupings based on an agnatic genealogy. There are also three main linguistic divisions. Most Somalis are nomadic herders of camels, cattle, sheep and goats or small-scale subsistence farmers. The growing urbanization of the country was curtailed considerably by the civil war, which began in ...

Article

B. Surugue

The Songhai (also known as the Songhay and Sonrai) live on both sides of the great bend of the Niger river, from Mopti in Mali to Gaya on the borders of Niger and Benin. As a people with a single common language and, with minor variations, a common music culture, they are composed of three groups: the Songhai proper, who form the largest group; the Zarma or Zabarma, the second-largest group, adjoining the Hausa in the east; and the Dendi, centred on Gaya (...

Article

Soukous  

Gregory F. Barz

Generic term for Central African dance music. More specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo (see Congo, Democratic Republic of the, §III, 4 ) soukous refers to a dance style first popularized in the late 1960s. The style developed directly from Congolese rumba that was introduced in the 1950s. The first period of ...

Article

Asta-Rose Alcaide and Alexandre Delgado

(b Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, Feb 15, 1927). Portuguese composer, musicologist and conductor. He took a degree in classical philology at Lisbon University and studied the piano (diploma 1947) with Abreu Mota and composition (diploma 1952) with Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos at the Lisbon Conservatory; he also studied conducting with Fritz Lehmann in Munich (...

Article

Gregory Mthembu-Salter

Hymns brought by European missionaries to southern Africa found a ready reception among indigenous people, though the harmonic scales their performance required were markedly different from those of southern African singing traditions. By the late 19th century, black South African hymn composition was well-established. Enoch Sontonga composed South Africa's most celebrated hymn, ...

Article

Christopher Ballantine

Though North American influences on black city culture in South Africa predate the 20th century, they found new conduits during and after the 1920s, for example in gramophone records and films. By the early 1930s, black dance bands started to appear, modelling themselves directly on US prototypes. They played not only US (or US-inspired) swing numbers but also their own ...

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Oyo, May 29, 1905; d Ravenna, OH, March 1987). Nigerian composer and organist. After receiving early musical training from his father and from Ekundayo Phillips, he went to London in 1934, where he studied the organ privately with George Oldroyd, G.D. Cunningham and Rubbra; he subsequently became a fellow of the Royal College of Organists and Trinity College of Music. Sowande studied at the University of London (BMus ...