Afro music – Rhythm & Roots exhibition

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More and more we hear about Black music or Afro music, referring to the musical movements inspired by African rhythms. The Rhythm & Roots exhibition the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam presents a comprehensive overview of this evolution. Until the 7th, January 2018 you can enjoy it there. It’s all about Black music and How it as evolved particularly since the 20th century.

What are we talking about when we say Afro music?

It starts with traditional music all over Africa to current rap over even trap, and of course it includes Jazz, Soca, Cumbia, Son, Zouk or Congolese Rumba and much more. All Along the exhibition you will travel between Africa, Europe and Caribbean islands.

Afro music roots instruments: drums
© Amanie Magazine – Afro music roots instruments: drums


To the origins of Afro music

Whether you’re looking for historical background, more knowledge in music or just interesting points of views on music, you’re going to be pleased. As much as the exhibition is going to the origins of Afro music, it is also explaining the fundaments of these particular rhythms. Instruments, historical background, note systems… everything is clearly detailed. To strengthen and illustrate those elements the museum offers short documentaries. They help you compare the similarities between music played in New Orleans and in Mali, for instance.

We were already enthusiastic about the topic and this opening caught our full attention.

After visiting a couple of public and private museums in different countries we must confess that we’ve kind of been used to see the well-known influences of African rhythms in many other musical movements, especially on the American continent. Indeed from the beginning, the Rhythm & Roots exhibition underlines the genius of Afro music which have been mixing several note systems to create new musical environments. And you can’t prevent yourself to look back at the deportation of African people and the slavery. Besides their slave conditions these African people and their descents haven’t stopped creating, expressing themselves and nourishing their cultures. As cultures enthusiastic editor and journalist we always feel so humble in front of so much creativity in such situations.

From Africa to the world

It’s the kind of travel that you can expect from this exhibition; you start your journey with Blues music. Of course you think about BB King or Bessie Smith. What about Ali Farka Toure? If there is one place Where Blues has strongly been living in Africa is definitely Mali. Once again the curators have put together musicians sharing the same universe, on a smart way. It’s pointing out the similarities between Blues on the West and the Est coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Let me tell you that it is only the beginning of your musical journey between the two rives, continuing with Jazz, Chôro, Gospel, High Life, Reggae or even the M’balar. (I’m sure you’re going to Google some of those music ?).

As the exhibition is still ongoing and we would love you to visit it and have your own mind about it, we won’t go further into details. We can assure you that you will love it!

What we particularly love ❤️

Our hearts have vibrated when we saw some of our very loved artists. We were so happy to find musicians like Papa Wemba, Myriam Makeba, Benny Moré or even Celia Cruz.

We must say that all the pictures are expressive and artistic.

Are you one of Jimi Hendrix’s fans? His guitar is there; it’s not a joke! For sure you’re going to dance while you watch/listen to James Brown. By the way his cape is also there.

Well, I won’t tell you much, but there are good Afro music surprises waiting for you over there.

one of the Afro music King: Papa Wemba
©Amanie Magazine – one of the Afro music King: Papa Wemba (upper right side)

Who can visit the Rhythm & Roots, Afro music exhibition?

Afro music is not only dedicated to those fond of African rhythm, but really to all musicians and music lovers. Besides that, it is also some great history and cultures knowledge that you can provide your children with. The exhibition is accessible to anyone as long as you understand some English, even without being able to read it. There are many visual and audio content and you even have room to dance! I’m sure that your teenage would love to hear: « Hey we’re spending the week-end in Amsterdam and we will visit a museum where you can dance! »

It worth it to organise a week-end or more in Amsterdam and spend a day or an afternoon at the Tropenmuseum.

 visitors of the exhibition
©Tropenmuseum – visitors of the exhibition

Are you an Afro music aficionado? Or just curious and willing to discover new things? STAY Tuned! We are actively working on the first issues of the magazine. One of them is dedicated to music with of course focus on Afro music. To be regularly updated sign-in for the newsletter and follow our Facebook page. If you have suggestions for this music issue, please let us know!

As we enjoy so much the Rhythm & Roots exhibition we have creating a Youtube playlist; enjoy it!

More about the Tropenmuseum

The Tropenmuseum is a museum about people. It is located in one of the most beautiful museum buildings in the Netherlands. The impressive listed building adjoining the Oosterpark, in the heart of East Amsterdam, dates from 1926. The imposing Great Hall offers a broad view of what the museum has to offer: an extensive permanent exhibition and regularly changing temporary expositions in which one by one each object tells a human story. Stories about universal human themes such as grieving, celebrating, adorning, praying and fighting. They make you curious about the enormous wealth of cultural diversity in the world. From Africa to West and South-East Asia, from New Guinea to Latin America. In the Tropenmuseum you discover that in spite of the differences, we are all the same