African has a significant impact on the whole world in various fields including sports and music. When talking about music with African origin, the first thoughts usually run to jazz and blues. These clearly originated from Africa to capture everyone’s heart across the globe. Here are some music genres you are less likely to perceive having African origin.


This electronic form of music has origin in the 1980’s Chicago. It catered to African American and Latin clients who desired dancing to high energy music. House has elements from Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Soul, and disco. Additionally, House music is also an infusion of electronica.

Some of House music samples bass lines from Disco tunes with a combination of vocals and various music types. This blend of various music types encourages high energy movement and dance. House music includes electronic elements with deep roots in Soul and Funk. However, its groovy feel comes out when on the dance floor.

Hip Hop and rap

Most people believe hip hop and rap are the same but they have distinct differences. Rapping is conversing and predates hip-hopping. Consequently, rapping is a speaking form of art with or without accompaniment. It involves rhyming lyrically to make a wonderful self-expression tool. Rap has roots in early African tribes where rhythmic chanting was done to induce a trance state. Becoming a member of The Africa Institute allows understanding more aspects of the African continent.
Hip Hop originated out of New York subculture in the 1970s. It includes four basic elements including:

  • Emcee-ing
  • Djing
  • Breaking
  • Grafitti writing

Emcee-ing seems a bit familiar with rapping. Hip Hop was popularised by DJs after exchanging samples of rhythmic beats and looping them creating unique compositions. Rapping over rhythm beats follows breaking. This is a colorful and high energy dance. Hip Hop includes various forms of rap leading to subtle but brilliant synthetic rhythms, dance, polyrhythms, and written art forms.


Three African American friends with interest in music founded Techno music in the early 1980’s Detroit Michigan. These had a keen interest in Funk and other electronic bands including Tangerine, Giorgio Moroder, and Kraftwerk. Techno was first played in small circles and local parties before it gained prominence in broader audiences.

People who enjoy dancing and party-goers in local clubs started developed an interest in Techno music. Growth in popularity of DJ’s with the ability to collate and synthetic various songs launched Techno to the international scene. This explains the popularity of this music genre today. This music has western composition forms but most of it comes from programmed drums to give it cool effects.

Tribal House

This includes various compilations and blends of various music styles. Tribal House music is a sub-variety without a clear cut definition. It is filled with melodies and chanting just like the music of various African tribes. Tribal House music features live drummers as other musicians bring energy and passion to the instruments with a combination of electronica. In its purest form, this music genre lacks live musicians but relies on digital instruments.


Being in trance is being in a state of deep hypnosis, absorption, or profound abstraction. African tribes perform music to stimulate a trance state to the performers and listeners. Some people attach Trance music with negativity but it induces a trance-like state full of calmness. Trance music originated from the 1990’s Europe with a particular melodic hook with a guitar riff, vocal melody, or bass line.

This music has massive variations including sublime and psychedelic making it flexible, uplifting, emotional, and sometimes danceable. In terms of rhythm, Trance music is very conducive for movement and long term dance experiences. Most people see Trance music as a blend of Techno and House music with a more emotional and poignant edge. Regardless of its general components or music elements, this music is a worldwide phenomenon with variations including:

  • Euro Trance
  • Goa Trance
  • Psychedelic Trance
  • Hard Trance

Keep this in mind

Various modern music icons incorporate African instruments, ideas, and ideas into their music. These include Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, and Paul Simon. Additionally, various forms of music are produced or inspired by African music. Equally important is to acknowledge that various western music instruments are inspired by African forms.

Others borrow ideas from rhythms, cross-rhythms, scale patterns, and the evolution of harmony and melody. There is no doubt that a lot of western music borrows a leaf from African music in terms of insight, wisdom, and creativity.

Wrapping up

Africa has contributed significantly to the rest of the world. It requires a deeper understanding of Africa to appreciate how much it has contributed to the western world. To music and dance lovers, African inspirations and creativeness manifest significantly across various genres. Next time you are listening to music take time to appreciate its African origin.