The ethnographic variation of the Central African Republic is reflected in the diversity of music cultures. As elsewhere in Africa, music is performed at festivities and ritual occasions. It is closely associated with words and dance and is an important element of any oral tradition.
- Countryaah: Population and demographics of Central African Republic, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.
Music is performed both individually and in groups, where vocal and instrumental work together. Purely instrumental music, for example. in the band’s horn ensembles. Distinctive forms of vocal polyphony have been developed by the pygmy people in the south. The many musical instruments can be divided into two main types: those shared by most ethnic groups, e.g. various xylophones, harps and rhythm instruments, and those specific to their people, e.g. the whispers of the pygmy people and the bow harp.
Popular music has largely been dominated by music from Cameroon and Congo (Kinshasa), but some artists have influenced the music of the Central African Republic, such as guitarist Prosper Mayélé (died 1997), the group L’Orchestre Centrafrican Jazz, Charlie Perrière (born 1946), the Tropical Fiesta group and the Zokela group, which gave rise to a music style of the same name.