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I want to end my series about music from Africa with an unusual composition: a Catholic mass sung in the traditional style of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

AN AFRICAN MASS

A Franciscan friar from Belgium, Father Guido Haazen, composed it while he was stationed in a town called Kamina in the Congo. He wrote it for a group he’d formed: called Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin, it consisted of 45 boys aged 9 to 14, as well as 15 teachers. It was first performed in Kamina in 1958, and attracted so much attention that it led to a tour in Europe and a recording contract with Philips.

The best-known section is probably the Kyrie, which I’ve selected as my last post. It’s written in the style of a kasala, a song of mourning of the Luba people of Central Africa.

Africa is huge, and it contains so many different cultures and art forms that it’s impossible to talk about “African Music”. Music from Africa, perhaps. I selected a few of my favourites, and I hope I could introduce you to instruments, artists and composers you didn’t know before.

Thank you for your attention! - Today in Tokyo (who lives in Tokyo but grew up in South Africa)