Africa, the second largest of earth’s continents, has more than 50 countries which are home to innumerable tribes, ethnic and social groups all of which have different cultures and languages. Because of this, African history and culture were passed on through music and more specifically drums were used as a means of communication.
Traditional African musicians do not seek to combine sounds in a manner pleasing to the ear. Their aim is simply to express life in all of its aspects through the medium of sound. Musical games played by African children prepare them to participate in all areas of adult activity - including fishing, hunting, farming, grinding maize, attending weddings and funerals and dances.
Musical instruments from the African culture are listed below. Please also see the instrument categories on the left to explore additional African musical instruments.