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Arts, Music, Dance, and Theater
Papa Wemba, Pepe Kalle, Tabu Ley, Mbuti pygmies, likembe
Two important Congolese contributions to music and dance are Congo jazz and soukous, a type of guitar-based dance music. Both of these musical forms developed in Kinshasa and are known throughout Africa and in other parts of the world. Famous Congolese musicians and vocalists include Franco and his band O.K. Jazz, Tabu Ley, Pepe Kalle, Papa Wemba, and MíPongo Love. Traditional folk music is also highly valued. Traditional instruments include the likembe (a hand-held board with mounted metal strips that are plucked with the thumbs) and drums of various types. The Mbuti pygmies of the Ituri rain forest in the northeast are famous for their distinctive polyphonic singing style, in which multiple voices pursue independent melodies. Dance ranges from a wide variety of traditional forms to colorful, coordinated mass dances, often held as part of political rallies. In urban areas, dance clubs playing popular music are a vibrant part of the social scene.
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