Music has many faces in Africa from social, ritual to ceremonial functions and some merely recreational functions. Music is highly respected in Africa and is considered to connect the visible world with the invisible world. Musical pursuits are greatly ritualized in Africa. Music in Africa is generally scaled of four, five, six or seven tones. Musical instruments in Africa provide us with different forms of music such as simple, sacred, humorous, elaborate and serious or maybe a combination of all. Instruments found here can be carved, beaded, decorated with skin or painted. All of them are known to send the messages of artistic styles, religious beliefs and entertainment practices of the people who worked in creating them.
In Africa, the most popular form of musical instruments is the percussion instruments. Africa includes a wide range of musical instruments some are traditional and many are a gift of the modernising society.
The sub- Saharan African region includes resonant solid instruments such as the xylophone, mbira and stamping tubes. In Africa Mbira, is loved by majority musicians. Different people from different cultures of Africa make use of Mbira for different types of music. Mbira is one of the best and most melodic instruments in Africa. It is used for both entertainment as well as cultural purpose. Other than Mbira other popular percussion instruments are rattles, cymbals, sansa, clappers, sticks and bells.
Drums are also very popular in Africa. Different varieties of drums include cylindrical drums, kettle drums, semi cylindrical drums, barrel shaped drums, goblet drums, hourglass drums, etc. All of these drums have varying tension heads. Wind instruments used in Africa are made using conch shells, horns, tusks or wood. Stringed musical instruments in Africa include zithers, pluckes lutes, musical bows, arched harps, lyres and harp lutes. Animal horns or tusks are used to make Panpipes, whistle, ocarinas, horns and oboe.
Read also Traditional Musical Instruments Of China