Singing in Africa


Africa dances and sings always and everywhere: whether in the queue at the bus stop, gas station and supermarket, at tragedies and funerals, in hour-long religious services and festivals or when performing daily activities. From an early age on music in Africa has a great social importance, it structures events that accompany living together and determines the atmosphere.


In African songs the African life is reflected. They tell of the small and large joys, express pain and despair, are evidence of Africa's deep faith and have the relationship between man and woman as their topic, sometimes with feeling, sometimes with irony.


Black African choral music stems from the tension and the mixing of "black" African and "white" European culture. It combines elements of original rhythms and elements of classic and modern gospel and spirituals and integrates jazz and blues harmonies.


Unlike in Germany, in most African countries there is a variety of languages. The Heidelberg Africa choirs sing the songs from southern Africa in Zulu, Xhosa and Sesotho, from Ghana in Fanti and Ga, and from East Africa in Swahili and other languages of Tanzania and Kenya.



Pictures: K. Dobhan