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West Africa

The USC Music Library has a large collection of monographs and sound recordings relating to the music of West Africa. The collection covers both indigenous and popular music. For more African items, click on one of the other five Africa links listed at the top of the page.

Benin Burkina Faso Chad Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea Bissau Ivory Coast Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo

1. Benin
2. Burkina Faso
3. Cape Verde
4. Chad
5. Gambia
6. Ghana
7. Guinea
8. Guinea Bissau
9. Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)
10. Liberia
11. Mali
12. Mauritania
13. Niger
14. Nigeria
15. Senegal
16. Sierra Leone
17. Togo

(Red): 1 to 3 Items - (Yellow): 4 to 6 Items - (Green): 7 or More Items

General Resources

Charry, Eric S. Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
ML 3760 .C38 2000.

Charters, Samuel B. The Roots of the Blues: An African Search. Boston, MA: M. Boyars, 1981.
ML 3521 .C5

Klein, Debra L. Yorùbá Bàtá Goes Global: Artists, Culture Brokers and Fans. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
ML 3760 .K54 2007

Kubik, Gerhard. Westafrika. Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1989.
ML 89 .M9 1974 Bd. 1 Lfg. 11

Stone, Ruth M. Music In West Africa: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005.
ML 350 .S76 2005 and Compact Disc 6515

Sunkett, Mark. Mandiani Drum and Dance: Djimbe Performance and Black aesthetics from Africa to the New World. Tempe, AZ: White Cliffs Media, 1995.
ML 3760 .S84 1995

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Benin

Songs of War and Death from the Slave Coast, pts. 1 and 2. Smithsonian Folkways F-4258 and F-4259. CD. 1982.
Compact Disc 6423 Discs 1 and 2

Yoruba Drums from Benin, West Africa. Smithsonian Folkways CD SF 40440. CD. 1996.
Compact Disc 5674
Listen!

Read about the music of Benin at Grove Music Online.
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Burkina Faso

L'Art du Balafon. Arion ARN 60403. CD. 1997.
Compact Disc 4458
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Burkina Faso: Rhythms of the Grasslands. Nonesuch Records 79713-2. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc 4894
Listen!

Burkina Faso: Savannah Rhythms. Nonesuch Records 79712-2. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc 4893
Listen!

West Africa: Drum, Chant and Instrumental Music. 79709-2 Nonesuch, H-72073 Nonesuch. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc CSAM 102

Read about the music of Burkina Faso at Grove Music Online.
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Cape Verde

Cesaria Evora. Nonesuch Records 79379-2. CD. 1995.
Compact Disc 1878
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The Rough Guide to the Music of Cape Verde. World Music Network RGNET 1045 CD. CD. 2001.
Compact Disc 5681
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Read about the music of Cape Verde at Grove Music Online.
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Chad

Music of Chad. Smithsonian Folkways FE 4337. CD. 1966.
Compact Disc 6400
Listen!

The Sahara. RGNET1153CD World Music Network. CD. 2005.
Compact Disc 9451

Read about the music of Chad at Grove Music Online.
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Gambia

African Flutes: Recorded in the Gambia. Smithsonian Folkways F-4230. CD. 1978, 1999.
Compact Disc 6417

Ebron, Paulla A. Performing Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.
ML 3760 .E27 2002

Gambia's Music, Vol. 1. FE 4521A/B/C/D Folkways Records. LP. 1978.
LP 5203

Kora Music from the Gambia. Smithsonian Folkways F-8510. CD. 1978, 1999.
Compact Disc 6421

The Rough Guide to Music of Senegal and Gambia. World Music Network RGNET 1060 CD. CD. 2000.
Compact Disc 5644
Listen!

Read about the music of Gambia at Grove Music Online.
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Ghana

Charry, Eric S. Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000 .
ML 3760 .C38 2000

Ghana: High-Life and Other Popular Music, performed by Saka Acquaye and His African Ensemble. Nonesuch Records 79701-2. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc 4899
Listen!

Ghana: Ancient Ceremonies, Dance Music and Songs. Nonesuch Records 79711-2. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc 4898
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Kobom, Joseph. Xylophone Music from Ghana. WCM 9516 White Cliffs Media. CD. 1994.
Compact Disc 4451

The Music of Africa. Horizon XTV 223822. LP. 1971.
LP 12702
Listen!

Rhythms of Life, Songs of Wisdom: Akan Music from Ghana, West Africa. SF CD 40463 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. CD. 1996.
Compact Disc 5716

The Rough Guide to Nigeria and Ghana. World Music Network RGNET 1075 CD. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc 5676
Listen!

Songs of War and Death from the Slave Coast, pts. 1 and 2. Smithsonian Folkways F-4258 and F-4259. CD. 1982.
Compact Disc 6423 Discs 1 and 2

Read about the music of the Ghana at Grove Music Online.
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Guinea

Djembé: Percussions d'Afrique: Djembé, Kryin, Tölönyi, Wassakhoumba. Buda Musique 82976-2. CD. [n.d.].
Compact Disc 4460
Listen!

The Rough Guide to the Music of Mali and Guinea. World Music Network RGNET 1048 CD. CD. 2000.
Compact Disc 5684
Listen!

Les Percussions de Guinée, volume 2. Buda Musique 92586-2. CD. [n.d.].
Compact Disc 4455
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Percussions de Guinée. Buda Musique 82501-2. CD. [n.d.].
Compact Disc 4456
Listen!

Read about the music of the Guinea at Grove Music Online.
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Guinea Bissau

Read about the music of Guinea Bissau at Grove Music Online.
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Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire)

Baoule of the Ivory Coast. Smithsonian Folkways F-4476. CD. 1956, 1999.
Compact Disc 6416

Afrique Africa: Percussion Tambour Djembé Djembé Drum, performed by Adama Dramé. Auvidis Ethnic B 6126. CD. 1996.
Compact Disc 4445
Listen!

Sunkett, Mark. Mandiani Drum and Dance: Djimbe Performance and Black Aesthetics from Africa to the New World. Tempe, AZ: White Cliffs Media, Inc., 1995.
ML 3760 .S84 1995

Songs of War and Death from the Slave Coast, pts. 1 and 2. Smithsonian Folkways F-4258 and F-4259. CD. 1982.
Compact Disc 6423

Zemp, Hugo. The Music of the Senufo. Bärenreiter- Musicaphon BM 30 L 2308, [n.d.].
LP 10584 v.8
Listen!

Read about the music of the Ivory Coast at Grove Music Online.
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Liberia

Music of the Kpelle of Liberia. Smithsonian Folkways F-4385. CD. 1972, 2001.
Compact Disc 6419
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Songs of War and Death from the Slave Coast, pts. 1 and 2. Smithsonian Folkways F-4258 and F-4259. CD. 1982.
Compact Disc 6423

Stone, Ruth M. Let the Inside Be Sweet: The Interpretation of Music Event Among the Kpelle of Liberia. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1982.
ML 3760 .S8 1982

Read about the music of Liberia at Grove Music Online.
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Mali

African Music. Recorded by Laura C. Boulton on the Straus West African Expedition of Field Museum of Natural History. Folkways FW 8852. LP. 1957.
LP 3875
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Anthology of Music of Black Africa. Everest SDBR 3254/3. LP. 1969.
LP 2764
Listen!

Charry, Eric S. Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000 .
ML 3760 .C38 2000

Lee, Christopher David. “A Comprehensive West African Mande Percussion Ensemble Curriculum: Rhythms, Technique and Performance Practices for the College-Level Ensemble.” Ph.D. diss., University of South Carolina, Columbia, 2001.
LD 5031 .82 2001 .L442

The Music of Africa. Horizon XTV 223822. LP. 1971.
LP 12702
Listen!

Music of Mali. Smithsonian Folkways F-4338. CD. 1960-1966, 1983-1999.
Compact Disc 6418

The Rough Guide to the Music of Mali and Guinea. World Music Network RGNET 1048 CD. CD. 2000.
Compact Disc 5684
Listen!

The Sahara. RGNET1153CD World Music Network. CD. 2005.
Compact Disc 9451

West Africa: Drum, Chant and Instrumental Music. 79709-2 Nonesuch, H-72073 Nonesuch. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc CSAM 102

Read about the music of Mali at Grove Music Online.
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Mauritania

The Music of Africa. Horizon XTV 223822. LP. 1971.
LP 12702
Listen!

The Sahara. RGNET1153CD World Music Network. CD. 2005.
Compact Disc 9451

Read about the music of Mauritania at Grove Music Online.
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Niger

The Sahara. RGNET1153CD World Music Network. CD. 2005.
Compact Disc 9451

Read about the music of Niger at Grove Music Online.
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Nigeria

Kongo-Muziek: Music of the Mpangu, nr 5. Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika 6803 017. LP. 1971
LP 2791

The Music of Africa. Horizon XTV 223822. LP. 1971.
LP 12702
Listen!

Music of the Idoma of Nigeria. Smithsonian Folkways F-4221. CD. 1969, 2001?.
Compact Disc 6374

Olatunji, Babatunde. Drums of Passion: The Beat. Rykodisc RCD 10107. CD. 1989.
Compact Disc 4168
Listen!

The Rough Guide to Nigeria and Ghana. World Music Network RGNET 1075 CD. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc 5676
Listen!

Veal, Michael E. Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2000.
ML 410 .F2955 V43 2000

Waterman, Christopher Alan. Jùjú: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.
ML 3503 .N6 W4 1990

West Africa: Drum, Chant and Instrumental Music. 79709-2 Nonesuch, H-72073 Nonesuch. CD. 2002.
Compact Disc CSAM 102

Read about the music of Nigeria at Grove Music Online.
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Senegal

The Music of Africa. Horizon XTV 223822. LP. 1971.
LP 12702
Listen!

Ly, Mamadou. Mandinka Drum Master. VPU-1001 Village Pulse. CD. 1996, 1992.
Compact Disc 4453

Ottenberg, Simon. Seeing with Music: The Lives of Three Blind African Musicians. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1996.
ML 399 .O88 1996

Percussions d'Afrique. Playa Sound PS 65004. CD. [n.d.].
Compact Disc 4447
Listen!

Senegal & Gambia. World Music Network RGNET 1060 CD. CD. 2000.
Compact Disc 5644
Listen!

Songs of Senegal, performed by Ousmane M’Baye and his African Ensemble. Smithsonian Folkways F-8505. CD. 1975.
Compact Disc 6422

Read about the music of Senegal at Grove Music Online.
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Sierra Leone

Music of the Mende of Sierra Leone. Smithsonian Folkways F-4322. CD. 1965.
Compact Disc 6420

Ottenberg, Simon. Seeing with Music: The Lives of Three Blind African Musicians. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1996.
ML 3939 .O88 1996

Read about the music of Sierra Leone at Grove Music Online.
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Togo

Togo: Music from West Africa. CD 5004 Rounder. CD. 1992, 1978.
Compact Disc 5750

Read about the music of Togo at Grove Music Online.
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