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, history and culture were passed on through music and more specifically drums were used as a means of communication. In instrumental music, a native speaker of a language can often perceive a text or texts in the music. This effect also forms the basis of drum languages. The drum is so important in African society that it is sometimes equated with a man.
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. The flora and culture found in any particular region influences the dominance of certain categories of instruments. Drums are for instance more popular in the forest regions of West Africa than in the tree-less savanna areas of southern Africa. Some instruments indigenous to Africa include:
To find more instruments that represent the culture of Africa, use the search box on the upper left - type Africa then click Search.