Music of Madagascar - Traditional Music - Vocal Traditions

Vocal Traditions

Vocal traditions in Madagascar are most often polyharmonic; southern vocal styles bear strong resemblance to South African singing (as exemplified by groups such as Salala or Senge), whereas Highland harmonies, strongly influenced in the past two hundred years by European church music, are more reminiscent of Hawaiian or other Polynesian vocal traditions. In the Highlands, and particularly in the 19th century, vocal performance by large groups called antsa was favored, while in the south and western coastal regions singing was performed with more elaborate ornamentation and in small groups. Musical performance in Madagascar has often been associated with spiritual functions. Music is a key component in achieving a trance state in tromba (or bilo) spiritual rituals practiced in several regions of the island, as it is believed that each spirit has a different preferred piece of music. The association between music and ancestors is so strong on the eastern coast that some musicians will put rum, cigarettes or other valued objects inside an instrument (through the tone hole, for instance) as an offering to the spirits to receive their blessings. Similarly, music has long been central to the famadihana ceremony (periodic reburial of ancestors' shroud-wrapped mortal remains)

Read more about this topic:  Music Of Madagascar, Traditional Music

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