Music of the Comoro Islands

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Comoros is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, mostly an independent nation but also including the French territory of Mayotte. It is historically linked to both East Africa and France, and now has a strong Malagasy influence. Zanzibar's taarab music, however, remains the most influential genre on the islands, and a Comorian version called twarab is popular. Leading twarab bands include Sambeco and Belle Lumière, as well as star singer Mohammed Hassan. Comorian instruments include the 'ud and violin, the most frequent accompaniment for twarab, as well as gabusi (a type of lute) and ndzendze (a box zither). Sega music from nearby Mauritius and Réunion is also popular.

Modern musicians include Abou Chihabi, who composed the Comorian national anthem and who is known for his reggae-tinged pan-African variet music, reggae/zouk/soukous fusionists like Maalesh and Salim Ali Amir, Nawal, Diho, singer-songwriters and instrumentalists.

References

  • Ewens, Graeme and Werner Graebner. "A Lightness of Touch". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 505-508. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0







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