Blame the elders, lack of national musical genre after independence

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Music is an area characterized by the absence of organized competition, in which case people remember musical groups and contributions of a strictly social level, i.e. personal affinities, dance associates , buying music or, nowadays, visiting the sites of various musicians on the internet, etc …

The competition is informal but just as intense, as public affinities and income levels cannot be hidden from the public.

In this case, it is not possible to separate the business aspect from the artistic considerations per se, as music is only to be enjoyed and people are digging into their pockets one way or another to access it and s ‘use it, thus living the music as it was.

The artistic aspect appears singularly in the way in which the music touches the contemplation of people on their own life, because the music acts like a therapy, what the Greeks called “parrhesia”, namely to speak in public about a problem with the satisfaction of your heart.

Music allows people to express their feelings to themselves, as someone relives what happened and offers them comfort.

This is one of the reasons why building a musical genre is not an easy task, because first there has to be an atmosphere where there is a problem around which the music is built or dedicated, explored. in a myriad of incidents at the social or personal level and accompanying capacities of expression or delivery.

The true story of music is not in the feelings it expresses, but in the delivery, such as the use of instruments and singing patterns in harmony with those instruments.

It is the physical aspect of music, while the feeling is the content, the morale of this activity, and through which is reflected the state of the social fabric that it espouses.

In this way one can trace the history of Tanzanian music and determine if there was a cohesive line in the instrumentation and delivery, and if indeed those who came before the present generation did little to generate distinctive content of Tanzanian music.

A key expert on the local scene, “Manju Music” of the state broadcasting entity, argues emphatically, even on several occasions, that Tanzania has lacked its genre of music since independence, struggling with life in the shadow of our giant musical neighbors, the Congo – then Zaire and later, or now.

As in any value-laden formulation, where personal feelings are an integral part of what is postulated to be true, we see questionable principles here.

Manju can be blamed on two levels, firstly largely omitted to see that in the first place it is not possible to have a single musical orientation in a country without great cultural homogeneity.

For example, it is relatively easy for Somalia to have a national musical genre due to its ethnic cohesion, but even then variations will be noticed, which will be seen as marginal by foreigners but locally (within the country) such variations will be seen as a matter of ‘life and death’, for example if they were politicized.

During World War II, the music of German classical legend Richard Wagner was known as the favorite or even a source of inspiration for German fascist chancellor Adolf Hitler, so many hated the musician to this day.

The plurality of local music is abundant and visible to all, as the coastal areas have had their Taarab since the classical era of Swahili civilization, but the delivery and sentimentality bends along a certain period, but largely remains the same.

The reason is that Swahili society, centered on the culture of polygamy and the constant threat of being abandoned and having another woman married, hovers over the music like a “sword of Damocles”.

Things like “twist,” followed by short-lived rhythms like calypso, “pachanga” or “jazz” in an unclear sense of the term have passed, and “rhumba” largely remained, but in the 1970s, a faster or faster rhythm appeared, known in Zaire as “kavasha”, but here it turned into dance music, without a label.

If we are talking about a national musical genre in Zanzibar, there is a good chance that taarab takes up the whole floor, while the same cannot be said of the mainland, where taarab cannot be left behind. aside but is certainly not dominant.

Likewise, the ‘twist’ dominated the Kenyan scene after independence while being just audible on this side of the border, more receptive to jazz, pachanga, rumba, etc.

The influence of Congolese music was intense, even predominant, but local music is not an extension of the Congo because the rhythms are different, not by choice first but by diktat of the language, the native phonetics.

Genre or musical modality is basically the way people speak and that translates into music, so Griot is Senegalese and ‘kwela’ is South African, etc.


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