Like much of the island’s culture, the music of Zanzibar is mosaic of different influences and style,
borrowed from all over the Indian Ocean and beyond. The best example for this creative blending of
traditions is taarab music, the national sound of the Islands. Taarab music has flourished since the first
decades of the 20th century, becoming the region’s first mass mediated music. Drawing in influences
from the Arab world, India, Indonesia and the West, taarab blended these with the classical traditions
of Swahili poetry, local rhythms and melody.
In this workshop, the facilitator will underline the taarab terminologies and the used
methods/influences that the composers have borrowed from the Dhow Countries, the West, Caribbean
etc. This workshop is intended to last for two hours. In those hours there will be a;
Live performance from the DCMA students and teachers
Listening examples (music analysis) from the great Taarab composers from the east African
Bit of singing (the fun part).
During the music analysis, the facilitator will place more emphasis on the similarities of rhythms and
maqamat used by the composers from the East African coast (Zanzibar and Kenya), Egypt and etc.
Among the listening examples;
Siti bint Saad (Zanzibar)
Oum Kalthum (Egypt)
Juma Bhalo (Kenya)
Ikhwan Safaa (Zanzibar)
Culture Musical Club (Zanzibar)
Shakila (Tanga) and
Abdullah Issa (Zanzibar)