Maloya

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Music tagged “maloya”

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Maloya is a popular music genre on Réunion, originated in slave communities. Banned until the sixties due to its strong association with Creole culture and political engagement, it is now one of the two major folk genres on the island. It is usually described as based on a call and response structure, and uses traditional instruments like roulé, Kayamb, piké and bobre. Very often compared to Séga, though more reflective and slower.

Maloya is one of the two major music genres of Réunion, usually sung in Réunion Creole with a purely percussion accompaniment. It has origins in the music of slaves on the island, as has the other folk music of Réunion, sega. It is compared to the American music, the blues.

Compared to sega, maloya is slow and reflective. Like the blues, maloya is based on a chant-response structure.

Instruments:
roulé - cylindrical drum
Kayamb - rattle
piké - bamboo ideophone
bobre - musical bow

Themes:
Maloya songs are often politically oriented and their lyrical themes are often slavery and poverty.

Origins: It is often presented as having purely African origins. However, recently, possible influence from the sacred drumming in Tamil religious festivals has been identified, making maloya a hybrid genre, not just African but also incorporating Indian elements.

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