Wassoulou Music Basics

—Wassoulou music developed in the 1970s, 80s, and became increasingly popular in the 1990s, especially with younger Africans. The music is derived from hunter’s music. As Eric Charry points out in his chapter on Hunter’s music in his book, Mande Music, hunter’s music is largely unknown outside of Africa. Charry says about hunter’s music: it consists “of praising, chanting, and singing accompanied by a calabash harp”, and “it probably represents the oldest surviving Maninka melodic instrumental tradition.” Thus, there are virtually no resources on the web for hunter’s music. On the other hand, the Wassoulou music that developed out of hunter’s music has become very popular in Africa and internationally. watch Alicia Keys perform with Oumou Sangaré,who, in the mid to late 1980s, emerged as one of Wassoulou music’s first prominent artists.

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Author: David Velardo

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