On this site you will learn all that encompasses Malagasy music starting at the basics with the history of Madagascar as a country. Madagascar is a country filled with cultural diversity which affects everything from the religion to the music. The diversity started through a series of migrants passing through starting in 200-500 A.D.
As stated before, the country is filled with a variety of influences and it has affected the music, which has affected the instruments used. Some instruments we will discuss on this site are the valiha, marovany, kabosy, jejy voatavo, atranatrana, sodina, antsiva, and the djembe. These instruments came to Madagascar from a variety of places such as Indonesia, Africa, and Europe.
Another instrument that has become prevalent throughout Malagasy Music is the Malagasy guitar. Within this site you will be able to learn more about some famous Malagasy guitar players such as Bouboul and D’Gary. Through this site you will also be able to learn about how the differing culture has affected the style of music heard in Madagascar know as “Malagasy.”
In the section, “Cultural Influences On Malagasy Music” you will be able to sample music from a variety of musicians including Miley Clement, D’Gary, Feo-Gasy, Regis Givaso, Jaojoby. You will also be able to touch on instruments again and how they have been affected by the different cultures. These instruments include those in the Chrodophone, Aerophone, and Membranophone groups.
Although Madagascar has seen influences from many different countries it has still been able to develop distinct traditions. In the, “Traditional Roots of Malagasy Music” you will learn about vocal traditions, how certain instruments became traditional, and hear the band “Mahaleo” which is a band whom plays strictly traditional Malagasy music.
As I had stated earlier this rush of migration has caused Madagascar to become influenced by many things, one being religion. There is diversity and freedom when it comes to religion in Madagascar and is generally broken down into 3 main religions: Christians, Muslims, and finally the traditional Malagasy religion. In the Religions of Madagascar section you will learn more in depth what it is to study the traditional Malagasy religion and the strong belief of fate and their focus on glorifying their deceased ancestors.
Within the Malagasy music scene you can narrow the styles into two sections: Sacred Music and Secular Music. Sacred music is that used within religious ceremonies and has to do with their spirituality. Secular music is music not defined by religion but more for entertainment and more specifically we will discuss Mpihira Gasy an important musical performance.
There is also a discussion of what is popular today in Malagasy music. There has been a huge influence from other countries that has affected Malagasy music but it is important to note the traditions that can still be heard in most Malagasy music. In the “Popular Malagasy Music” section you will learn about more, and some new, popular musicians such as Jaojoby, Tarika, Mahaleo, and Rajery.
The final page of our site contains a discography where you can learn about some popular albums that really define Malagasy music. You will be able to read descriptions on the albums and see what songs are on each. The albums discussed include: Malagasy, Madagascar: Merina County, Madagascar: Malgache Connexion bilo, Bemiray: Polyphonies Des Hautes-Plateaux, and Madagascar: Accordions and Ancestral Spirits.
So welcome to the Mbira group and get ready to Move it, Move it with Malagasy Music.