Kwela music: South African street dance music

Kwela music: South African street dance music

Music is food and nourishment to the soul. It gives life any quiet place no matter what genre is played. It serves to please any mood and person with many variations. When it comes to African music, the rhythm, the beats, the sounds played by the instruments, and of course the dances make all Africans proud. One of the legendary beats that bring everyone to their feet is Kwela music. This African genre has stood the test of time.

Kwela music: South African street dance music
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Kwela is a Zulu word that means “climb” or “get on board”. The meaning was also to refer to getting on police vans, which many called Kwela Kwela. This kind of music was mostly played where people convened to dance, drink, and socialize. The chords were played into a perfect blend of light, youthful sounds, and African flair. It is a South African music style that comprises of a pennywhistle instrument based on some African and jazz undertones.

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Kwela dance music

The emergence of this style of music came about in the 1940s, but it gained some international prominence in the 1950s. The tones were derived from the marabi sound and had distinctive African jazz influence to it. It deeply embedded in the South African traditional and Malawi music from the Malawian migrants to South Africa. The tune was played using the pennywhistle flute, which is popularly referred to us as the Kwela or African flute. The flute sounds were often accompanied by the guitar, banjo, or the saxophone, which added more flavour to it.

Kwela music
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Some of the local artists that attracted many fans were the likes of Kippie Moeketsi, Spokes Mashiyane, and other groups, such as the Manhattan Brothers and the Skylarks. In 1958, some of the local artists such as Elias & His Zig Zag Jive Flutes went on to get international success with several pieces.

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Kwela Kwela dance moves download are available on different websites online. It is straightforward to find, and they will make you learn a dance or two. Kwela 2019 has evolved, and with the increase of the pop culture, some of its traditional aspects continue to diminish.

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Kwela flute instrument

This wooden pennywhistle flute is used to produce sounds that are vibrant and have a jazz and African sound. Many had a great preference for the instrument because it was affordable and was easily portable. The flute can be played solo or as an ensemble instrument.

Kwela music
Image:, @lifestayela
Source: Instagram

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What type of music is popular in South Africa?

South Africa is a place that has many rich and diverse cultures that have profoundly influenced the type of sounds produced. The music listened today comprises of both the traditional and the modern rhythms. Some of the popular genres are:

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  • Bubblegum
  • Kwela
  • Contemporary South African Musicians
  • Musical Instruments of South Africa
  • Marabi
  • South African Jazz
  • Mbaqanga
Kwela music
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Source: Instagram

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What is a Kwela flute made of?

The flute or as others may call it the African flute is a wooden pennywhistle.

What is Kwela dance?

It is a style of dance that became popular in the 1950s after the increase in popularity of the Khwela style of music.

When did Kwela dance start?

It started in the 1950s as the style of music broadened and was performed in the streets.

When the sounds of Kwela are heard, it brings everyone to their feet. The dances to the rhythm of the music capture the essence of the tradition. It is such a fun and enjoyable time because when everyone dances, we all become one no matter where we come from.

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Source: Briefly News

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