> Folk Music > Records > Zanzibar: Music of Celebration

Zanzibar: Music of Celebration

Zanzibar: Music of Celebration (Topic TSCD917)

Zanzibar: Music of Celebration

Topic Records TSCD917 (CD, UK, 2000)

Recordings, notes and photographs by Janet Topp Fargion

Taarab is the most common style of music performed at weddings on the island of Zanzibar—a unique blend of musical elements from the Middle East, India and the West, combined with, to varying degrees, local African musical Practices. It is an essential ingredient of most celebrations. And when Zanzibaris are not playing taarab, they are playing maulidi. Although this is primarily a sober religious performance style (celebrating the birth of the Prophet Mohammed) it is also becoming common at wedding celebrations, albeit in a more extrovert guise. Here, recited chapters of the Koran are interspersed with kasida (hymns) accompanied on several tuned frame drums. These recordings, made at actual celebrations and in rehearsal for big events, give us a glimpse of the ethnic, religious, and gender composition of this Indian Ocean island culture.

Tracks

  1. Taarab. Bashraf: Dhikrayat (5.52)
    Culture Musical Club, incl. 2 violins, udi, kanudi;
    Recorded in rehearsal at Culture Musical Club headquarters in Vuga, Zanzibar on March 21, 1990
  2. Taarab. Song: Mwambieni (10.36)
    Culture Musical Club, Saada Mohammed, vocals;
    Recorded in rehearsal at Culture Musical Club headquarters in Vuga, Zanzibar on October 11, 1989
  3. Indian taarab. Song: Prayer (10.36)
  4. Indian taarab. Song: Nakuba Salamu (I Give You My Greetings) (3.34)
    both Chaganlal Keshavji Pithadia, vocals & harmonium;
    recorded in Stone Town, Zanzibar on May 12 and 10, 1990
  5. Taarab ya wanawake. Song: Na mnikome (11.06)
    Mkongwe Bakari, vocals; Maulidi Haji Mkadau, keyboard;
    recorded at a wedding in Dar es Salaam on July 20, 1989
  6. Mailidi. Kasida (7.24)
    The Kilimani Madarasa;
    recorded at a wedding in Haji Tumbo, Zanzibar on June 4, 1989
  7. Mailidi. Recitation from the Koran (4.49)
    Sheikh Othuma Rahman;
    recorded during the celebrations for the birth of Mohamed, in Vuga, Zanzibar on October 15, 1989
  8. Kidumbak (10.30)
    Rashid Makame, violin, leader; Maulidi Haji Mkadau, keyboard;
    recorded at wedding celebrations near Makunduchi, Zanzibar on September 30, 1989