Burundi is a Central African nation that is closely linked with Rwanda, geographically, historically and culturally. The drum such as the karyenda is one of central importance. Internationally, the country has produced the music group Royal Drummers of Burundi.

Burundian-Belgian musicians like Éric Baranyanka from the Burundese royal family, Ciza Muhirwa and, especially, Khadja Nin, have more recently gained prominence. Since the music is from the mind and soul, it mainly expresses what the people in Burundi feel and what they think when they beat the drums.

One feature of Burundian men's folk songs is the presence of an inanga, a type of stringed zither.[1]

Burundian women greet each other in an interlocking rhythmic vocal form called akazehe.[2]

Other instruments include:[3]

Burundi beat

The so-called diverse Burundi beat, filled with distinctive drumming created by Burundi's tribal musicians and recorded by French anthropologists, was used to create unique music by English pop bands Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow.[4]

Further reading

Jacquemin, Jean-Pierreh, Jadot Sezirahigha and Richard Trillo. "Echoes from the Hills" 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 608-612. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0


  1. ^ "World Instrument Gallery". asza.com. 2002-05-01. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  2. ^ Facci, Serena; Ciucci, Alessandra (2020). "The Akazehe of Burundi: Polyphonic Interlocking Greetings and the Female Ceremonial". Ethnomusicology Translations (10): 1–37 – via IUScholarWorks Journals.
  3. ^ "Traditional Music Instruments in Burundi". fortuneofafrica.com. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  4. ^ "THE POP LIFE; LATEST BRITISH INVASION: 'THE NEW TRIBALISM'". The New York Times. 1981-11-25. Retrieved 2015-11-09.