Sunday, October 7, 2012

Music from Equatorial Guinea

The largest ethnic group are the Fang, though there are also numerous Bubi and smaller populations of BisioBujebaNdoweCombe and Annobónese people. The Fang are known for their mvet, a cross between a zither and a harp. The mvet can have up to fifteen strings. The semi-spherical part of this instrument is made of bamboo and the strings are attached to the center by fibers. Music for the mvet is written in a form of musical notation that can only be learned by initiates of the bebom-mvet society. Music is typically call and response with a chorus and drums alternating. Musicians like Eyi Moan Ndong have helped to popularize folk styles.
The balélé and the risque ibanga are two of the many dances in Equatorial Guinea, most of which are accompanied by a three or four person orchestra consisting of some arrangement of sanzaxylophonedrumszithers and bow harps.[1]Another popular instrument is the tam-tam, which is a wooden box covered with animal skin. In its center, there are bamboo keys installed with complete musical scales. A second type of tam-tam has two different levels of musical keys. Generally, wooden musical instruments are decorated with fauna images and geometric drawings. Drums are covered with animal skins or animal drawings. 
From Wikipedia.

A wonderful demonstration of the mvet, though from Cameroon.

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