Bn Red Carpet Fab: 2013 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards

African Swahili music lives on in Oman

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BN Red Carpet Fab - 2013 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards - BellaNaija Exclusive- 027

Our music talks about HIV, womens rights, recovering from a disaster, xenophobia and much more. Its not just great music, were saying something. Music for social change Most of the music performed by the Sigauque Project was produced by Community Media for Development (CMFD) Productions, which records music and radio projects for social change. The project Musicians against Xenophobia brought together musicians from Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to produce four songs about discrimination. South Africas large migrant population faces discrimination and harassment. Many people do not know these things are happening, says Machotte, a Mozambican saxophone player. Through this music, maybe we can make people know and think about this, and people will change. Noting the power of music to reach youth especially, CMFD Productions and the Sigauque Project also recently produced two songs about HIV awareness.
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Rediscovery of Lost African Music

Ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey (left) taking notes about one of his father’s, Hugh Tracey’s, tape recordings at the International Library of African Music

“Swahili music” is kept alive by a loose-knit community of musicians who constantly join and leave various bands. The bands still tend to be overshadowed by more commercially successful Omani bands, such as folklore group Al Majd or the traditional music band Bin Shamsa from southern Oman, which sell CDs and upload performances to YouTube. But Saleh al-Zadjali, a musician in Muscat and owner of the Musicology record label, is part of a new generation mixing traditional Omani sounds — including Swahili music — with modern music, creating a new art form that is slowly gaining in popularity. Zadjali sings of complicated relationships, backed by a Lebanese pop beat. “The influence of African music will be there forever in Omani traditional music,” said Zadjali, whose dream is to sell his music in Egypt, Lebanon and the West. “Like some of the beats in Omani music are African, and some of the melodies as well.
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Music can change the world

For centuries, Buganda rulers had employed musicians to entertain them and their guests and to perform at royal court proceedings. According to historians, these musicians created some of Africas most important music. But Amins forces killed most of them. Those who survived fled Uganda. The soldiers also destroyed almost all of the ancient royal musical instruments, such as drums, lutes and lyres. That (Buganda royal) music is completely dead nowin the sense that theres no one left to play it, no one left to teach it to modern generations of Ugandans, said South African ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey.
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