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Howard and African Music

edited November 2014 in Songs
I understand that Howard loved all kinds of styles of music and what can be expressed through them, and I am fully aware of his talent for "developing stylistic marriages" (as Alan Menken once described it). This is particularly evident in the scores for "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Little Mermaid", with the former's pastiche of '50's and '60's rock music, and the latter's influence taken from calypso, reggae and rock steady.

I, for one, am a very big fan of African music (inspired by listening to songs performed by such artists as Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo, the Mahotella Queens, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Insingizi, Achila Orru, and Lebo M, and the scores to such films as "The Lion King", "The Power of One", and "Duma"), partly because of its exotic sound, and also because, well, I find that it speaks to me on many levels. That, and the music is so immensely POWERFUL, conveying the voices of the vibrant, varied human cultures of the African continent, and also serving as the voice of the land itself (don't get mad at me for waxing animistic here, please).

Here are some African musical tracks that I particularly like (which you can find on YouTube, and I strongly recommend you listen to BEFORE commenting on this post):


1. Closing theme to "Africa's Elephant Kingdom" (Discovery Channel Pictures, 1997)

2. Kaboyi (a song that I first heard in the Warner Bros. film "Duma", but, unfortunately, is not included on the soundtrack)

3. It's Time (from the "Lion King"-inspired album RHYTHM OF THE PRIDE LANDS)

4. Mother Africa ("The Power of One" Original Soundtrack)

5. The Rainmaker ("The Power of One" Original Soundtrack)

6. Busa ("The Lion King", RHYTHM OF THE PRIDE LANDS)

7. One by One ("The Lion King" Original Broadway Cast Recording)

8. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (as performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which I first heard over the end credits to the 1998 IMAX film "Tropical Rainforest")

9. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (RHYTHM OF THE PRIDE LANDS version, performed by Lebo M and the South African Choir)

10. Phiry- The Bird Sings ("Duma" Original Soundtrack)

12. Land Yacht ("Duma" Original Soundtrack)

13. We Are One (from "The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride")- as performed by Angelique Kidjo

14. Kube (as performed by Lebo M on RHYTHM OF THE PRIDE LANDS)

15. Noyana (as performed by the South African Choir on RHYTHM OF THE PRIDE LANDS)

16. Of Death and Dying ("The Power of One" Original Soundtrack)

17. Senzenina ("Power of One" OST)

18. Woza Mfana ("Power of One" OST)

19. King of Pride Rock/ Circle of Life Reprise ("The Lion King" Original Broadway Cast Recording)

20. The Click Song/Qongqothwane (performed by Miriam Makeba)

21. Lala (from RHYTHM OF THE PRIDE LANDS, later the basis for "Endless Night" in the Broadway show of "The Lion King")


In any event, what do you suppose Howard thought of African music (especially modern African music)? Can anyone imagine him writing for a project set in Africa, or elsewhere but still utilizing that genre of music? I think that would have been the most AMAZING thing in the whole world.
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