East African

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Alternatively all "blue" words below are links to records which have been so tagged

Title Audio Collection Description Composersort icon Date All terms
Chemirocha (II) | East African

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ILAM

Topical song with Chepkongo 6 string bowl lyre. Chemirocha the mystical singer, (based on Jimmy Rodgers, the American guitarist) is at Kericho, they say. 'Why'. He is said to have visited a friend of his at Ituna! The similarity of the two instruments, the guitar and the local lyre has given rise to the legend of this wandering player whose records have been heard, but whose presence is a mystery.
The young men having sung this version of Chemirocha said that it was really their sisters' song, but they were too shy to sing it. Eventually the girls were persuaded to sing and gave us the next version.
Details from ILAM field card number: D6L 19

1950-09-15 Chepkongo bowl lyre | East African | ILAM | Indigenous music | Kenya | Kipsigis | Kipsigis | Kipsigis | Ng'asura, Charondet Arap | Topical song
Mucungwa | East African

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ILAM

A very simple dance song, sung in unison.
Further details refer ILAM field card number: D6T 8

1950-09-23 Dance song | East African | Folk music | Forest Hall district | ILAM | Indigenous music | Kenya | Kikuyu | Kikuyu | Wairimu,Tabitha
Mwomboko | East African

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ILAM

A topical song with accordian and struck iron. The accordian is used as a ground which creates a happy noise but has little, if any, melodic or harmonic relationship to the tonality or mode of the voice.
Song to accompany a town dance in which men and women dance together in pairs, after the fashion of Europeans.
Further details refer ILAM field card number: F3B 6

1952-05-24 Accordion | Chinda Kamwana | East African | Folk music | ILAM | Indigenous music | Kenya | Kiamuthambi | Kikuyu | Kikuyu territory | Struck iron | Topical song
Kolasi | East African

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ILAM

A topical song with accordian and struck iron. The accordian is used as a ground which creates a happy noise but has little, if any, melodic or harmonic relationship to the tonality or mode of the voice."The father of the girl I want to marry came to Mombasea leaving his daughter at home - so I came to Mombasa too and said to him 'Now how about it - I want to discuss the marriage arrangements'."
Further details refer ILAM field card number: F3B 5

1952-05-24 Accordion | Chinda Kamwana | East African | Folk music | ILAM | Indigenous music | Kenya | Kiamuthambi | Kikuyu | Kikuyu territory | Struck iron | Topical song
Dongo Mothi | East African

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ILAM

A Mamboko dance song with accordian and struck iron. The "struck iron" was an old starter ring from the flywheel of a car. It is necessary to have a circular or 'S' shaped piece of metal for convenient playing of the double beat. The performer called it 'Kengere' or 'Beru' bell.
The sweepers in Nairobi, they say, always come from Embu. Kibunga Waita, the iron player, was no exception. Elsewhere in Africa certain tribes tend to adopt one occupation exclusively.
After hearing a few Kikuyu songs to the accompaniment of the iron and accordian, the listener who is not case hardened to the noise, may experience a singing in the ears for several hours afterwards.
Listening to this kind of Kikuyu music is more a feat of endurance than an aesthetic pleasure.Further details refer ILAM field card number: F3H 3

1952-06-08 Accordion | Dance song | East African | Embu | Folk music | ILAM | Indigenous music | Johnnie Murethe Wambu | Kenya | Kibunga Waita | Kikuyu | Mwamboko dance song | near Mount Kenya | Struck iron
Koras (Chorus) | East African

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ILAM

A Mamboko dance song with accordian and struck iron. The "struck iron" was an old starter ring from the flywheel of a car. It is necessary to have a circular or 'S' shaped piece of metal for convenient playing of the double beat. The performer called it 'Kengere' or 'Beru' bell.
The sweepers in Nairobi, they say, always come from Embu. Kibunga Waita, the iron player, was no exception. Elsewhere in Africa certain tribes tend to adopt one occupation exclusively.
After hearing a few Kikuyu songs to the accompaniment of the iron and accordian, the listener who is not case hardened to the noise, may experience a singing in the ears for several hours afterwards.
Listening to this kind of Kikuyu music is more a feat of endurance than an aesthetic pleasure.
Further details refer ILAM field card number: F3H 4

1952-06-08 Accordion | Dance song | East African | Embu | Folk music | ILAM | Indigenous music | Johnnie Murethe Wambu | Kengere struck iron | Kenya | Kibunga Waita | Kikuyu | Mwamboko dance | Struck iron
Arap Tapartele olei yo lalei yo | East African

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ILAM

A praise song with a Chepkongo 6 string bowl lyre. The player flips the bridge of the lyre with a finger tip as he plays. The song is largely a repetition by the chorus of the words "olei yo lalei yo" a kind of "Hey - nonny - nonny."
The singer also brings into his song the names of many places he has visited and likes in common with his audience.
Both Kipsigis and Nandi are noted for their patriotism, their love of country as such, which they frequently express in song. This is comparitively rare with Bantu people who do not, as a rule, praise the beauty of the countryside and are mostly insensitive to scenery. Details from ILAM field card number: D6L 1

1950-09-15 Bowl lyre | Chepkongo bowl lyre | Chepkwony,Kepkoske Arap | East African | ILAM | Indigenous music | Kenya | Kipsigis | Kipsigis | Kipsigis | Praise song | Vocal
Arap Chemonget | East African

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ILAM

A praise song with Chepkongo 6 string bowl lyre. This lyre is strummed and fingered like the Bangwe zither of Nyasaland. The right hand strums the strings and the left mutes or opens the 6 strings, making it possible to play two or three chords on the open un-muted strings. The singer mentions by name his home village, places of common interest to his friends. The player flips the body of his lyre on the 2nd and 4th beats. In common with several African verse makers, the singer sings in couplets, repeating the second phrase and making it the first line of the next.
Details from ILAM field card number: D6L 3

1950-09-15 Bowl lyre | Chepkongo bowl lyre | Chepkwony, Kepkoske Arap | East African | ILAM | Indigenous music | Kapkatet | Kenya | Kericho | Kipsigis | Kipsigis district | Praise song | Sitonik, Kipkemo Arap
Mbira tune and crowd noises | East African

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ILAM

Crowd noise and song for Mbira. Further details refer ILAM field card (H1R14C)

1955-10-11 Bilene | Crowd | East African | Hlanganu | ILAM | Macia | Mbira | Mozambique | Portuguese East Africa | Southern African | Tonga
Hongahonga lele | East African

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ILAM

An Mbeta pipe dance with Viyanzi vertical flutes, 2 friction sticks, and tin rattles.

The players start to play beginning with the pipe 3rd from the lowest. Each piper above them takes his rhythm from the next man below. If one fails to get started he holds up all the others above. The leader then comes along and gets his rhythm for him and his companions can then take up the rhythm until the treble player at last joins in.

Set of 13 pipes. The tuning of this set was as follows:- 584, 320, 440, 392, 336, 292, giving a pentatonic scale. The total range was just over two octaves.

1950-00-00 Dar-es-Salaam | East African | ILAM | Mbeta pipe dance | Selemani, Pembe | Tanganyika | Tanzania | Zaramo
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