Traditional Music, otherwise known as Folk Music has been handed down from one generation to the next, often an informal genre and usually by ear or word of mouth. Even though these folk songs and country dances are usually more traditional there are pieces from earlier composers that are believed to be the popular music of the time and region.
The common denominator of traditional music is that it is shaped by tradition and is continued from the past to the present, surviving throughout the generations.
Traditional Music across the continent of Africa is an ancient art form which is not only rich in its diversity but differs vastly from one region to the next. As with other parts of the world, the Traditional Music of Africa has been passed down either orally or aurally and is seldom written down.
For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa the music is usually accompanied by a wide assortment of instruments ranging from xylophones, drums as well as other interesting indigenous instruments created by indigenous people; included in this list are the interesting mbira, or thumb piano.
Many of the Traditional Music of Africa has Caribbean and American flavours added such as the Soca, Calypso and Zouk. Latin American genres, the likes of the Samba, Rumba or Salsa also form much of the Traditional Music heard throughout the ages.
Fluctuating degrees on the music of the slaves has influenced what is today viewed as popular music in Africa