Swahili music is a popular form of music in large parts of Africa. It’s a mix of Indian, African and Arabic music. It is also known as ‘Tarabu’ and is based on island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is the former capital of Swahili kingdom. This form of music is widely used in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. What makes these songs appealing is varied use of different eclectic instruments. Instruments mainly used are drums of Indian and African regions combined with various stringed instruments. The slow rhythm produced is syncopated and relaxing. Most of the Swahili songs can be heard playing at social functions like weddings and other entertainment get-togethers. Tarabu also uses Arab choral assortment.
Other popular forms of music besides Swahili in this region are benga, soul, hip-hop, soukous, reggae, funk, rock & roll and euro pop. Renowned Swahili bands and singers include, Simba Wanyika Band, Maroon Commandos, Nairobi Matata, Maroon Commandos, Nairobi Matata, Bi Kidude, Ndala Kasheba, Remmy Ongala, Culture Musical Club, Bongo Flava, Saki Stars and X Plastaz. Famous sawahili songs are Hijazi Bashraf, Pemba Ina Siri, Mahaba, Jamani, Yananiatile, Abana Ba Nasery, Achien’g Abura, Asembo Piny Maber, Gidigidi Majimaji. These songs have been composed using oud, arab guitar, three violas, mandolin, cello, two udi lutes, dambak drum, earthernware drum, tambourine, kayamba rattle etc.
Directory of Swahili Music, songs, mp3 downloads.
These are sites & cultural music resources which offer free Swahili songs, new releases, free Swahili mp3, movie songs, cultural folk songs, tribal music, Swahili music downloads online, lyrics databases etc. Some of these African music sites or companies may offer them free while some may charge a small fee to register to download their songs or mp3s. Feel free to suggest us good, clean song & music resources.
swahilionline.com/culture/music/music – Biographies and a listing of various Swahili music recordings are available, lyrics for various african songs, Music Cds & more.
guaranteedswahili.com/musicG – Offers Swahili Music Cds samples. All files are MP3 format.
http://www.yale.edu/swahili/ – Internet Living Swahili Dictionary is a collaborative work by people all over the world.