Traditional / folk music of Angola
Angola can be named as one of the most important countries in the concept of folk music. Not just because of its folk music today, but also about the impact it had on traditional music of other countries in the world.
Anglo has been the house for many African ethnic groups. Portuguese arrived in north part of Angola in 1482. They encountered the kingdom of Congo and Ngona people in the south. They started they slavery system from Angola to their other colonial area, primary Brazil. This had big influence on the culture and also folk music of Brazil and other Latin country a lot. Many traditional music and musical instrument in Latin America are influenced by these slavery trading. Many folk music genres developed in Latin America and later came back again to Angola as being part of Portugal Empire. They changed again in Angola by Angolan folk musicians and shaped new genres again. Although, in 20th century because of Portuguese suppress and later unstable political situation and also dictatorship, many of these folk music could not globalized. Angola got independence from Portugal on 1975. So the traditional music of Angola is mixture of African roots, Portuguese and amazingly Latin music.
One of the first and most important pioneers of modern Angolian music was Liceu Vierira Dias. He made a band named Ngola Ritmos in 1940. He considered as father of Angolan popular music. He was heavily influenced by American jazz and Portuguese fado. He was also a political activist and arrested by government. He spend his life in jail for many years.
Another important Angolan folk musician is Barcelo de Carvalho, also known as Bonga. He was also anti colonial activist and spent many years in exile in Netherland. His album Angola 72, is one of the most important recorded African music records. As he didn’t sing this album in Portuguese, in the beginning the government didn’t get its political message. But later they banned the album and anybody who had it was arrested.
Rhythms are basic structures of folk music in Angolan folk music, the same as many other African musics. There are many different drums and percussion which are used in folk music of Angola. Each one has a specific role in the ensemble. Also Marimba , a kind of xylophone made from wood is very common. Another folk music instrument is Kissanje (or Mbira or Chisanji or Likembe, depending on the region and native language). This instrument is usually made by fixing metal blades in a plank of wood, and it is played by using the thumbs. Many of these instruments are common between many African tribes and cultures.
Semba is the most important traditional music of Angola. Although it is different from the Brazilian Samba, they have the same dance style(and similar names). It was originated in the coastal part of Luanda and Benguela in 17th century. The word semba comes from the word “Masemba” which means “a touch of the bellies “. Many dances and music genres in Angola today are related to Semba, like Kizomba, Rebita, Kazukuta and Kabetula which are primarily Carnaval Music.
If you have more information about folk music of Angola, it's genres or instruments or you know specific songs on each genre, please kindly contact us and let us know about it or send them through “Post a Song” link on top of the page. Also if you see any wrong information about the song tags on the list below please kindly let us know.
Traditional / folk songs for Angola
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