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October 23, 2013

The imperativeness of Music is Historical

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The imperativeness of Music is Historical

Music rates back to history a means of entertainment, it holds a significant role in the Rwandan culture in diverse ways. An ordinary song could speak volumes when it comes to message embedded.

Meanwhile, if I am to take you down memory lane, music has a paramount purpose in Rwandan history. Songs celebrate social gatherings, festivals, while music is the best friend to console on funerals and other grieving occasions. Rwanda had special songs for specific occasions, for instance; weddings, evenings, royal ceremonies at the King’s Palace, name it.

Music was a symbol of unity, peace, happiness and joy among the community. Drumming and folk songs went hand in hand with the graceful fulfilling Kinyarwanda dance; this was indeed more than just illustrations. Music was transmitted orally with a named style and drums were of a great importance in producing and giving a good sound of live music.

When Rwanda transformed from a Monarch to a Republic in 1950, music experienced a wave of change, little by little instruments were modernized, guitars, pianos, name it, replaced the ancient harps and drums. Rwandan musicians preferred the new music and instruments, spare for a few legends.

Early 1970s, music took a whole new transition, Group {Itorero}, National Ballet Urukerereza was birthed and then was its climax.

“It was such an entertaining group, no one could go home when they sang,”recalls Agnes Mukaruriza, an elderly fan of the entertainment group.This group had songs that are still famous today, the likes of Amasimbi n’amakombe.

By 1980s to 1990s solo singers showed up, the likes of Cecile Kayirebwa, Annonciata Mutamuliza, Ben Kayiranga, Bizimungu Dieudonne, Masabo and many more. More groups like Orchestre Impala, Orchestre Imararungu, and more showed up. All the above mentioned sang live music, it wasn’t electronised like today. Embedded in the songs, were messages narrated in a poetic way.

Today music in Rwanda has taken a different twist; the imported styles include hip-hop, RnB, with a few legendary traditional musicians. After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Music faced setbacks; some of the artists had been killed while others fled to safety, outside the country. But from like 2005-2006 new artists started coming up where names like Rafiki Mpazimaka, Miss Jojo, Miss Channel, Fysal, Casanova groups like Hot Side which included Kamichi and many others started showing up.

Today, Rwanda boasts of recording studios, which wasn’t the case in the past, Jay. P, Jackson Dado, Buzzy .B were some of the few music producers Rwanda had, but today producers are many.

Music is always upgrading in Rwanda with new artists showing up. There is a handful to cover when it comes to showbiz news.

Meanwhile, critics prefer old music to the new brand, they say talent is long gone and many modern songs carry less or even no meaning at all. Nevertheless facts are music has had a long way to go, via uniting and building a stable relationship among Rwandans.

Music has been paramount over the years.

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