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Pygmies Musical Tribute

Here is a tribute to the African so-called Pygmies: the first song is an example of their classical polyphonic singing, the second piece is a vintage-exotica composition entitled "The Call of the Jungle" by Carl Stevens (Chuck Sagle) (from his LP "African Sounds", 1962).

Pygmy is a term used for various ethnic groups: the best known are the Aka, Efé and Mbuti of central Africa. The term "pygmy" is sometimes considered pejorative. However, there is no single term to replace it. Many so-called pygmies prefer instead to be referred to by the name of their various ethnic groups, or names for various interrelated groups.

The African Pygmies are particularly known for their vocal music, usually characterised by dense contrapuntal communal improvisation. It is said that the level of polyphonic complexity of Pygmy music was reached in Europe in the 14th century, yet Pygmy culture is unwritten and ancient; some Pygmy groups being the first known cultures in some areas of Africa. Music permeates daily life and there are songs for entertainment as well as specific events and activities.

Polyphonic music is found among the Aka–Baka and the Mbuti.

The polyphonic singing of the Aka Pygmies was relisted on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.

Deforestation has greatly affected the everyday lives of the Pygmies. Their culture is threatened today by the forces of political and economic change. Yet this people represent one of the oldest human cultures, and one of the most egalitarian and peaceful.

Enjoy the beauty of those "little giants"!

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