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Alison Prain

(b Cape Town, May 12, 1942). South African composer. His composition teachers at the University of Cape Town (BMus 1964, MMus 1965, DMus 1971) were Erik Chisholm, Gideon Fagan, Stanley Glasser and Ronald Stevenson. In 1966 an award from the PRS enabled him to study for a year with Alan Bush at the RAM, where his ...

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Mark McKnight

(b Pasadena, CA). American librarian. She received the BA (1964) in English literature at Holy Names University, Oakland, California with additional study at San Francisco State University and University of Florence. Following a tour of duty in Nigeria as a Peace Corps volunteer (...

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Vizugo  

Wooden bell of the Shambala people of Tanzania.

(1) An hourglass-shaped double bell with three clappers at each end.

(2) A trough-shaped rectangular bell with numerous clappers suspended from a cord.

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Timothy D. Taylor

(b Pietermaritzburg, July 26, 1949). South African composer, naturalized Irish. A prodigiously talented pianist at an early age, he studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, graduating in 1972; he then went to Europe for postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen. From ...

Article

(b Kampala, Uganda, Aug 5, 1944). British violinist. His father was a German ethnomusicologist who went to Uganda to escape Hitler’s persecution. He took up violin at the age of nine, then the following year left Uganda and later studied music in England (gaining a BA at Durham University), the USA (...

Article

Waka  

Ronnie Graham

Yoruba percussive and vocal genre. Waka has its origins in south-west Nigeria, where extensive Islamic conversion during the 19th century produced a variety of musical genres performed during key periods in the Muslim calendar. Waka (Hausa term for song or poem) was originally sung by women, accompanied by handclaps and beaten ...

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Lisa B. Robinson

(b New York, June 29, 1946). American composer. She spent part of her childhood in Morocco, then returned to New York to attend the Juilliard Preparatory School, where she studied the piano, singing, theory and composition. She obtained degrees in composition at Sarah Lawrence College (BA ...

Article

James May

(b Cape Town, July 28, 1958; d Paarl, Nov 29, 2005). South African tenor . He studied singing at the University of Stellenbosch, and made his operatic début as Jaquino in 1981 in Cape Town. From 1982 he was attached to a number of opera houses in Europe, principally in Stuttgart and Zürich, where he sang Tonio in ...

Article

Washint  

Claire Lacombe

End-blown flute of Ethiopia. It is made of a kind of bamboo (schembeko) in various lengths and pitches and typically has four to six equidistant fingerholes, sometimes with any unused ones covered with adhesive paper. The blowing edge is sanded straight rather than notched, and the flute is held obliquely. It is played exclusively by males, often to improvise luxuriant ornamentations on folk melodies. Traditionally, the ...

Article

Gary Stewart

(b Lubefu, Kasai Occidental Province, Belgian Congo [Democratic Republic of the Congo], June 14, 1949). Congolese singer and songwriter. Wemba's career began in 1970 in the group Zaïko Langa Langa. Zaïko was the most prominent of groupes des jeunes, youth bands that emerged in the late 1960s and early 70s as an alternative to older Congolese rumba bands. Personnel splits took Wemba to new groups, Lokole Isifi (...

Article

A type of musical bow sounded by swinging it rapidly around as with a bullroarer. It is found in West Africa, China, Indonesia and parts of Latin America, and is classified in the Hornbostel-Sachs system as a free Aerophone (whirling). See Musical bow.

Article

(b Mostaganem, Algeria, Jan 6, 1867; d Lyons, Aug 12, 1943). French composer . While training at the military establishment of Saint-Cyr he wrote an opéra comique, Le maître à chanter (1, M. Checzy), performed privately at the chateau of Mme de Trédern in Brissac (...

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Wonga  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Whistle of the Barambo people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is carved of wood, spindle-shaped and about 14 cm long. (LaurentyA, 183)

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Graham Wade

(b Edinburgh, Oct 4, 1955). British guitarist. He was educated in South Africa, and later studied with Narciso Yepes and at Goldsmiths' College, London. He made his début at the Newport Music Festival in 1984. Later he settled in Toronto. He was artistic director at the Music in Blair Atholl Chamber Music Festival, Scotland (...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Drum of the Yeke people in the Shaba region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a very large, double-headed instrument, part of the king’s regalia. The heads, of buffalo, antelope, or elk skin, are laced together and beaten with two sticks. The yamilango may be played only by the king and only on official occasions. (...

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Yeye  

Cylindrical Slit-drum of the Konda people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made from wood, 30 to 50 cm long and 15 to 20 cm in diameter, and has a square hole at both ends of the slit. The yeye is held in the crook of the left arm and is beaten with one stick; it accompanies dancing. ...

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Akin Euba

The Yoruba people live predominantly in the western state of Nigeria, Federal Republic of, but there is also a considerable Yoruba population in the central and southern areas of neighbouring Benin, and a lesser population in Togo. The Yoruba of the western state, who acknowledge Ile-Ife as their ancestral and cultural home, are grouped into the subcultures of Oyo, Egba, Egbado, Ijesha, Ife, Ijebu, Ekiti, Ondo and Akoko. At the height of the Oyo empire in the 18th century, most of these groups owed allegiance to the Oyo, a unity that was broken with the collapse of the empire in the 19th century. A more comprehensive and lasting unity developed under British administration and the term ‘Yoruba’, originally used to refer only to the Oyo, became the name for all Yoruba-speaking peoples....

Article

Yua  

Laurence Libin

End-blown notched wooden flute or whistle found throughout northern Ghana particularly among the Builsa and Kasena Nankani peoples. It is played with drums and xylophone or alone by shepherds and hunters, sometimes for signaling or as a bird call. A modern commercial version, 12 cm long, has two fingerholes, one on either side in protrusions covered by thumb and index finger....

Article

Riëtte Ferreira

(b Pretoria, July 9, 1948). South African composer. Her early piano studies were with Goldie Zaidel then with Philip Levy and Adolph Hallis in South Africa and John Lill in London. She studied composition at the University of Pretoria (MMus 1971), where she was particularly influenced by Arthur Wegelin and Stefans Grové, both pioneers in the use of indigenous African elements. At the RCM in London she continued her composition studies with John Lambert and Tristram Carey. She was selected to participate in a masterclass with Boulanger. Her studies with Ligeti in Hamburg (...

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Single-string harp of the Fang people of Gabon. It is played exclusively by women.