Ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Made in Congo

Rumba Lingala and the Revolution in Nationhood


Jesse Samba Samuel Wheeler

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Music


at the

University of Wisconsin-Madison


To Lillian Estelle Fishman Chasnoff and Jack Aaron Chasnoff

To my family and my friends, who help me compose my everyday life

List of Maps, Chart, Figures and Excerpts v

List of Audio Examples vi

Preface vii

Acknowledgments viii

Maps x-xi

1 Introduction 1

Review of Literature 9

2 Approaches 19

3 "Ah, Mokili!"-- a brief history 32

Life in the Cities 39

4 Urban Inventions -- a new old sound emerges 44

Maringa 49

Rumba Lingala 52

5 "Made in Congo" -- conceiving the nation 86

Performance Sites and Performance Rites 87

Technology 101

Language 117

6 Conclusions and Further Questions 132

Bibliography 142

Discography 151

Maps, Chart, Figures and Excerpts

Map 1: Democratic Republic of the Congo x

Map 2: Republic of the Congo xi

Chart 1: Growth of Major Congolese Cities 38

Figure 1: Maringa Rhythms 50

Figure 2: Clavé Beat in Rumba Lingala 59

Figure 3: Typical African Timeline 59

Figure 4: Cuban Clavé Beat 59

Figure 5: Fast Clavé Beat in Rumba Lingala 59

Figure 6: Variation on the Clavé Beat in Rumba Lingala 59

Figure 7: Medium Clavé Beat in Rumba Lingala 59

Figure 8: Bass Guitar Motif 60

Figure 9: Maracas Rhythm 60

Figure 10: Drum Rhythms 60

Excerpt 1: "Noko Akomi Mobali" 76

Excerpt 2: "Margarine Fina" 78

Excerpt 3: "Marie-Louise" 80

Figure 11: "Émissions Africaines" of RCBI 109

Figure 12: Indoubil Examples 125

Excerpt 4: "Cha Cha Cha Bay" 126

Excerpt 5: "They say that the town [sic]" 137

Audio Examples

A1: "Tout le monde samedi soir" -- Adou Elenga

A2: "El Manisero" -- Abelardo Barroso & La Orquesta Sensacion

A3: "Mazole Vanga Sanga" -- Bokolanga

A4: "Maria Antonia" -- Pholidor & Bana Loningisa

A5: "Indépendance Cha-Cha" -- Kabasele & African Jazz

A6: "Ménagère" -- Lisanga Pauline

A7: "On entre O.K., On sort K.O." -- Franco & O.K. Jazz

A8: "Noko Akomi Mobali" -- Adikwa

A9: "Prince Baudouin" -- Lufungola Alphonse

A10: "Na Mokili Moko Te" -- Kalima Pierre & His Fanfare

B1: "Njila ya Ndolo" -- Antoine Mundanda & Ses Likembes Geantes

B2: "Nalekaki na Nzela" -- Dewayon

B3: "La Rumba O.K." -- Franco & Bana Loningisa

B4: "Margarine Fina" -- Tino Mab

B5: "Marie-Louise" (1948) -- Wendo

B6: "Marie-Loiuse" (1958) -- Wendo & Beguen Band

B7: "Afrika Mokili Mobimba" -- Dechaud & African Jazz

B8: "Cha Cha Cha Bay" -- Camille Feruzi & L'Orchestre Mysterieux Jazz

B9: "Banzanza" -- Roitelet & Bana Loningisa


This thesis is the result of almost four years of research, the self-motivated learning of two languages, two months of lessons with a Congolese guitar teacher, and nearly ten years of uninterrupted listening to music. I first encountered Congolese music in 1990, when I spent six months in Kenya. Dancing in the discotheques at night to Pepé Kallé and Empire Bakuba, Kanda Bongo Man, Zittany Neil, Loketo, and Samba Mapangala's Orchestre Virunga, as well as Congolese influenced Kenyan artists, like Aziz Abdi, made me search out recordings of this music during the day. When I returned to the U.S. I brought back nine tapes and continued the search at home.

Congolese music, like much Afro-pop, has become increasingly available in this country, including re-releases of older recordings. Listening to and reading about Congolese music inspired me decide to study it and theorize about its role in society. In particular I was drawn to understand the incorporation of Latin musics by Congolese artists. I found that little had been written about the influence of Cuban music on African music, whereas the reverse was well researched. The pursuit of a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology has given me the opportunity to contribute to scholarship on this topic.

This thesis was completed in what I hope are unusual circumstances. I thank Andy Sutton, for assuming the position of my advisor in the final month and enabling the timely completion of my degree. The support he offered me, along with his respected scholarship and community involvement, makes him a credit to our department. I thank Lois Anderson for her high research standards and thorough bibliographic assistance. I give a hug of gratitude and deep respect to José Jorge de Carvalho of the University of Brasília, whose commitment to life has renewed my faith in academe.

Along the scholar's path I have met several people who have got me thinking: Of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I thank Florence Bernault, who taught the finest history course I have ever taken; Kirin Narayan, anthropologist and fiction writer, who confirmed that scholarly writing can be poetic and beautiful; Ron Radano, who introduced me to many of the thinkers whose works informed this thesis; and Brian Hyer, whose humanistic approach to music theory has changed how I hear. Of the University of Brasília, I thank Rita Segato, and, again, her husband Jorge Carvalho, whose fascinating, enthusiastic, energetic and ever reticulating discussions brought innumerable issues to my conscience. And I thank Northwestern University's Department of Performance Studies, especially Leland Roloff, Dwight Conquergood and Frank Galati, whose inspired teaching established a permanent link between body and mind in my scholarship.

I reserve my strongest sentiments for my family and friends. They are numerous, and I share the success of my work with each one of them. From the crowd I would like to single out for special recognition my father William Wheeler, my mother Salome Chasnoff, my step-mother Trudy Wheeler, my step-father "Little" Bobby Kahan, my sistren Molly, Alexis, Valerie, Courtnay and Micaela, and my one brer Sean: their direct and indirect support is in every word; my brother-in-soul Youssouf Komara, for his undying laughter and palpable appreciation of who I am; my "very friend" Yvette Orieji Hunwick, who kept her eye on me through every hour of every day in the first three years of this project; my fellow cast and crew of Wole Soyinka's The Bacchae of Euripides, whose communal energy crackled through the last months of this rite of passage; and the whole African community of Madison, whose very existence has enriched my life, and whose support of the Black Star Liner has enabled me to share my love of African music with the wider world.

Lastly, I thank "Franco" L'Okanga La Ndju Pene Luambo Makiadi and T.P.O.K. Jazz for giving me years of dancing pleasure. Some people say that the more they study music the less they listen to it. The reverse has been true for me. I turned to Franco every day for support -- his music powered this thesis forward.


Source: 1

In the late 1930s and early 1940s in the countries now called the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a sonic revolution took place, one that, I argue, heralded the political revolution and ousting of colonial occupation twenty years later, in 1960. In the decades approaching independence, musicians created a music uniquely Congolese, thereby fostering a radically different social-consciousness. But this national music was not founded solely on Congolese musical forms. It also embraced musical genres practiced abroad, particularly in Cuba, as well as other Latin American and European countries. The Latin American musics imported into the Congo were not entirely foreign; the rumba, son montuno, and candomblé among other genres were founded to varying degrees on musical traditions taken from the Congo region across the Atlantic with the slaves. The orientation of tastes towards musics from abroad and the subsequent re-indigenization of these musical terms created a new medium of artistic expression. This new medium, together with the continual use of active, local music traditions, made audible the emergence of a reconceptualized nation. Embedded within the songs of this genre are blueprints to the construction of a new national identity. Close listening to these songs can, I believe, reveal how they “wrote” the nation.1

This thesis examines one kind of music that developed in a community located primarily in two countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), capital Kinshasa, and the Republic of the Congo (RC), capital Brazzaville. Both of the present-day countries experienced periods of tragic exploitation by European powers. The former was first The Congo Free State, a territory plundered by Belgian concessionary companies, and then the Belgian Congo, King Léopold's II personal colony. After independence on June 30, 1960, the country became known as the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and then the Republic of Zaïre in 1970. In 1998 Zaïre reverted to DRC (see map, ix). Across the Congo River lay the French colony known as the Middle Congo, part of the territory called French Equatorial Africa. After its independence on August 15, 1960, it was officially called the Congo Republic. In 1970 it became the People’s Republic of the Congo, and in 1992 the Republic of the Congo (see map, x).2

The boundaries of today's countries are largely the legacy of cruel, violent, arbitrary, “cut-the-cake” decisions made between colonial powers. How these countries are mapped is a problematic entangled in issues of sovereignty, nationality and nationhood. The internationally recognized boundaries circumscribe countries, not nations; they often bisect actual nations, that is, ethnic groups sharing a common mother tongue. The countries of the DRC and RC thus demarcated are largely artificial entities that cohere not as a result of an organic, colloidal stability, but due to disciplining action in the name of statehood. Contrary to the prevailing notion of statehood, these constructed states are not static bodies. They are in flux, with permeable membranes and continual exchange with adjacent bodies.

The countries are imagined, however, to be discrete cultural units, whose independence from one another is thought to be rooted in an essence based on distinct ethnicity, in this case something essentially “Congolese.” That a multi-cultural operation such as the development of a new musical genre, one that combines idioms from several sovereign countries, could be central in the production of nationhood iterates the inconsonance of cultural patterns and political borders. Paul Gilroy writes in The Black Atlantic that cultures are entities that may exist across vast spaces, transcending ethnicity, nationality, place of origin and language. I would like to build on his assertion that cultures do not “flow into [or out from] patterns congruent with the borders of essentially homogeneous nation states” with the bracketed insertion.3 I want to open a discourse often preoccupied with roots to the exploration of routes. The musical idioms that left Equatorial Africa for the new world and those that returned were not created, defined or made meaningful by the polities from whence they came. Rather, their generative power and their stamina to remain meaningful over the centuries come from their creole polysemy.

I use nation to mean a social unit, a “large-scale solidarity”4 based on any of the following (among many more) socially and politically significant shared characteristics: language, cultural expression, spiritual identity, ethnic origin, moral principal, or political ideal. Nations can thus exist anywhere in/across space (or time), so long as people experience a belonging to a larger group. Nations do not, therefore, necessarily obey the same rules of demarcation that apply to countries. By country I mean an area of land, whose borders set it off from other sovereign countries. In this thesis I define the Congolese nation as a solidarity that includes the DRC and RC. It could encompass as well Cabinda and other parts of Angola, but I have limited myself to the areas I have sufficiently researched. Within and overlapping the Congolese nation other nations may exist; the interiors of nations house lacunae, dwelling places for members of other communities, who see themselves as sharing space, but not spirit, with their neighbors. Nationality, as used in my study, means then one’s own “region” of relation. It does not require recognition of what constitutes that region, be it a genre of dance or music, a common language, a religion, or all three. A certain amount of tolerance for ambiguity is helpful when attempting to define nations and nationalities, for just as with cultures, not everyone in a particular nation has everything in common with everyone else.

I will contextualize Congolese music within a discourse of identification and of nation-building.5 By identification I mean the never-ending process of self-definition, as opposed to identity, which is the naturalized, amorphous product that holds the illusion of equilibrium. The evolving nationhood of the Congolese people can be seen as a performance of both individuation and consolidation, in which musicians played an intrinsic role. I call the process a performance, because identification in general involves presentation, while in this case it also utilized an artistic representation of the process. Like Gilroy’s interpretation of trans-Atlantic slave ships, I see the songs of Rumba Lingala as shifting, mobile sites of political dissent, social expression and cultural production. In one sense they are a symbolic middle passage: they mark the transition from colonized to free. In another sense they recall the original middle passage: the importation into the Congo of Cubanized African rhythms is a dynamic that intensifies the social impact of the new music. The songs are palimpsests. They echo “the half-remembered micro-politics of the slave trade and its relationship to both industrialisation and modernisation.”6 They recount the flourishing of the new community whose growth they catalyzed. The compositions speak directly to these journeys, across the Atlantic and out from the shackles of colonialism, as well as other journeys ethnological, ideological, technological, and physically real.

"Rumba Lingala" is one of the names given to a genre of music that emerged in the urban centers of the Belgian Congo and the French Middle Congo. This name is derived from its assimilation of various Latin American musical forms, among them the Cuban rumba, and the practice of singing in Lingala. It has also been used by Günther Gretz and Dr. Wolfgang Bender.7 Other appelations for this music and that of the following decades include “Rumba Rock,” “Congolese Music,” “Modern Zaïrean Music,” and “Modern Congolese Guitar Music.” I find the first problematic, because the term “rock” carries inappropriate connotations based on the music of the United States and Great Britain. The others are undesireable, either because they relate too much to place, i.e., country, or else they invoke the treacherous connotations of “modern.” Rumba Lingala is the best name I have come across for the music through the late 1960s, when Latin music’s influence was still audible. It also signals the importance of the musicians’ main language of expression.

Rumba Lingala was a major catalyst for bringing together the variously related peoples inhabiting the Belgian Congo and French Middle Congo colonies. It was a cultural project whose production became an engine for the construction of a greater nation. In retrospect we can see, by the overwhelming popularity of the music across the continent, that it could have drawn many more people from other regions into the fold, were it not for the nation-state model first imposed upon and then appropriated by the post-independence leaders. Rumba Lingala was so effective that it was able to do what few non-totalitarian regimes anywhere in the world have managed, that is, draw together millions of individuals speaking different languages, practicing different religions, engaged in different economies, and oriented to different regions of the continent for heritage, mytho-historical origins and political center.

How was this movement achieved, and how did Léopoldville and Brazzaville act as centers, tucked away as they are in the extreme southwest of this region? In my reading, Rumba Lingala was as socially inclusive as possible within the fluctuating boundaries of the genre, making it a highly effective nation-building tool. By “socially inclusive” I mean the following: Congolese identity as exemplified by this music was not defined by any of the common social divisors such as language group, geographical region, lineage, skin color, religion, age, career, financial standing, political belief or any other socially constructed characteristic. Congolese identity was defined by the themes explored by the singers and the music composed by the musicians. Whosoever related to Rumba Lingala joined the new nation. What made this nationalist movement radical for communities in modern times was the following: Its inclusivity required members of the expanding Congolese nation simply to unify, not necessarily around a specific, central political issue. In other words, all anyone had to do was to recognize his or her place alongside others and accept interrelatedness. Entrenched, divisive biases were (temporarily) put aside for admittance.

This reading raises certain problematics. Since no restrictions as such were placed on membership, Europeans could, in theory, become Congolese. Moreover, it would appear impossible for Congolese identity as promoted by the music to establish the type of boundaries necessary for sustained political struggle: The music had no clearly articulated ideological center, not even the issue of independence. Some Europeans did become recognized members of the new Congolese music culture, such as the owners of the Ngoma record label.8 I argue, however, that Europeans' primary association with the political enemy precluded their entry into the emerging Congolese nation. Though Rumba Lingala was not intrinsically anti-colonial, it became by the reality of the colonial situation a unifier of Africans. Because the colonizing project was predicated on the segregation of the two groups, Africans assumed the Congolese identity constructed through Rumba Lingala. A question is why was this music so effective? As we shall see, Rumba Lingala was able to pull people together with its modern and yet traditional, international and yet local, sounds.

Rumba Lingala is a particularly perplexing and fascinating subject for study. As I mentioned above, it played a catalytic role in the restructuring of Congolese society into a nation. In order to accomplish such a feat it would seem that a genre-blurring, inter-ethnic syncretism would be most appropriate. Such a mingling of musical idioms is exactly what occurred, but the sound that became the new sonic standard, proclaiming national and cultural sovereignty, did not draw on domestic material exclusively. Had Léopoldville and Brazzaville been out of touch with the rest of the world, this more parochial approach may have worked. But these were modern, cosmopolitan centers, hosting people from around the world. The creators of Rumba Lingala were inspired by musics coming into the colonies as well. With the circulation of records of Latin music in the colonies, an infatuation, with Cuban musics in particular, developed and subsequently had an enormous impact on the new genre of Rumba Lingala. How this music, in large part of appropriated material, could be formative in the construction of a collective Congolese consciousness is what has driven this enquiry.

The role of Rumba Lingala in the reconfiguration of Congolese society needs to be analyzed in order to reveal how certain creative choices proved crucial to the ousting of colonial rule. I argue that Rumba Lingala musicians sought to be "conscious of and to integrate that which had been previously neglected by established structures."9 Musicians and the community at large were aware that the status quo did not serve them. That which did not fit with the colonial regime's program, that which was "ignored, disdained or excluded" is where the Adornian "truth content" lay.10 The Congolese desire to be free is precisely what did not fit; their humanity was ignored, their cultures disdained, and their people excluded from power. Reorganizing reality required expressing what did not fit and cracking open the hegemonic wall. Investigation into the musical project will reveal certain socio-political needs of the Congolese challenge to European domination and show what in the music helped make the revolution successful.

I am undertaking this investigation not as a sort of audient archaeology, which to me implies an excavation of a sonic civilization long dead. Many of the builders of this society, for whom music was edifying material, live on, and their music has changed (with) it. I see this project as akin to the on-going process of interpreting a sacred or philosophic text: both semivaporous conundrums and widely applicable, semiotically saturated parables intrigue us as potential semaphores. We simultaneously receive messages historically specific and archetypically timeless. The heteroglossia of Congolese music holds volumes, and I have been drawn to study them.

Review of Literature

Congolese urban music has been fairly well documented by a handful of scholars, with particular attention paid to musicians and ensembles of DRC. The majority are Congolese, though several foreigners have written on the subject, by and large less thoroughly and with less rigor. In my research I found very few efforts to theorize on Congolese music's role in society. In this regard my thesis appears to be original work. I have read no studies proposing an interaction between music and identity or the nation.

What has been written on Congolese music can be divided into two main categories: studies of rural music and studies of urban music. Certainly some overlap, but they pay far more attention to one or the other. As my study does not treat rural or traditional music, I will not review the literature available on that subject, except to say that many thorough organological catalogues and studies of the musics of particular ethnic groups are available.11

The bulk of the studies on urban music attempt a genealogy. Kazadi wa Mukuna has authored a number of articles, including a New Grove entry (1980), discussing different aspects of Congolese (Zaïrean) urban music. Over the last thirty years he has written about the links between the economic policies of the colonial regime and the growth of urban centers (1979-80, 1981), the origins and evolutionary phases of urban music (1992, etc.), the rumba and other Congolese dance styles (1971), Latin American influences (1998, etc.), the role of radio stations and the recording industry (1992, etc.) and the changing role of the guitar (1994). Aside from descriptive and historical works, he has also provided basic musicological analyses.12

Michel Lonoh (also called Michel Lonoh N'Shima-Boky, Michel Lonoh N.B., and Lonoh Malangi Bokelenge) is another of the major contributors to the body of literature on Congolese music. His Essai de commentaire de la musique congolaise moderne (1969) was the first authoritative study written. In it he looks at the musical traditions of the major regions of DRC and discusses the social functions of music. He discusses the changing musical environment and catalogs the early musicians, ensembles, recordings and analyzes the major lyrical themes. He hypothesizes reasons behind the music's pan-African popularity. The study includes interviews, surveys and his own position on the quality of compositions.

Lonoh's work Négritude et musique (1971) attempts to find a connection between the socio-political movement and music. He concentrates on American Jazz and Congolese music, concluding that these musics are rooted in realities of the black experience. He expands on the sociological study of music he hinted at in Essai, but he stops short of a rigorous examination of music in society. Instead the work becomes a varied look at Congolese urban music and does not offer much more. His other works include an article that updates his previous work (1986) and the forward to a biography of Joseph "Grand Kallé" Kabasele (1985).13

Sylvain Bemba wrote an authoritative history of the 1920-1970 period in his book Cinquante ans de musique du Congo-Zaïre, 1920-1970: de Paul Kamba à Tabu-Ley (1984). This work is descriptive and poetic. It details important musicians, ensembles and recordings. His lyrical analyses enable Bemba to construct an image of life during this period. His articles consider particular aspects of the music, such as the theme of love and the image of the female in song vis à vis colonial society (1977, 1988).14

Manda Tchebwa's Terre de la chanson is the latest authoritative study. It synthesizes the historical information in the works of Kazadi, Lonoh and Bemba, but adds pre-colonial research, an analysis of youth culture, including "Billism," a list of dances from the 1970s to supplement Kazadi's work, and a genealogy of Zaïko Langa-Langa, a fissiparous youth band.15

Kanza Matondo ne Masangaza's book Musique zairoise moderne describes the dances that were popular in the Belgian Congo from c.1920 and traces the beginnings of "Modern Zairean music." His work offers little history not included in Lonoh's Essai, though he examines the structure of ensembles during different phases of the music's development. Like Lonoh, Kanza comments on the changing quality of music through 1970. The only other work of his I have encountered is an essay describing the 1979 Festival of Kinshasa.16

Pius Ngandu Nkashama has written the most evaluative and interpretive works on the music. His two articles, "Ivresse et vertige" and "La Chanson de la rupture dans la musique du Zaïre" theorize on interactions between music and society. "Ivresse" looks at the youth bands of the early 1970s and the hubris of their dances. Nkashama interprets what he sees as exhibitionism and the "drunkenness" of the music as indicative of a social crisis. "La Chanson" builds on the earlier work and examines the crisis of conscience implied by the repetition of certain themes in Congolese music since the 1970s.17

Tshonga-Onyumbe has written several articles interpreting different themes in "musique zairoise moderne" from 1960 to 1981, such as marriage, the family, religion, socio-economic problems, and death. Debhonavi Olema analyzes the lyrics of two songs from 1974 and 1980. Olema interprets the image of a rich man who only wants a woman who can speak French and the recurring theme of death to express society's despair and misery. Through narrative analysis of lyrics to popular songs, Nkangonda Ikome and Aimisi Manara Bakari discuss themes in Congolese music which oppress women, for example degrading imagery, polygamy, infidelity and parasitism.18

Damien Matondo Pwono's 1992 Ph.D. dissertation "The Institutionalization of Popular Music in Zaïre" provides the only rigorous analysis of musical structure I know of. He focuses on the large bands of the 1970s, hardly touching on pre-independence music. I am aware of another dissertation on the subject, but I have not been able to access it: Andre Matondo's “La musique chantée des orchestres contemporains dans les deux Congo (construction imaginaire de l'ordre social),” written in Tours in 1979, may be a valuable resource. Its title suggests an interaction between music and the organization of society.19

Phyllis Martin's study Leisure and Society in Colonial Brazzaville examines various leisure activities of colonial society. Music, sport, and food and drink are analyzed as experimental arenas for negotiating and transforming time and space within and against the capitalist and colonial project of control. Though Martin focuses less on music than on other cultural forms, such as soccer, her book contributes historical research about urban music in Brazzaville (not as well documented as Kinshasa) and proposes a useful theoretical approach for further studies.20

Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain authored two studies that have contributed to anthropological scholarship on the Congo in general, though both are of interest to the researcher of music. Food and Leisure Among the African Youth of Leopoldville (Belgian Congo) and Femmes de Kinshasa hier et aujourd’hui describe various aspects of women's lives in Kinshasa in 1945 and 1965, including, work, health, housing, recreation, and education. Women's associations and social clubs are examined, most of which directly interface with the music scene.21

Greta Pauwels-Boon's L’Origine, l’évolution et le fonctionnement de la radiodiffusion au Zaïre de 1937 à 1960 provides the researcher with detailed descriptions of the various private and government radio stations, including broadcast content.22

Alan P. Merriam's New Grove entry "Zaïre" treats rural music, though it makes mention of the urban genre influenced by Latin rhythms. His mappings of the music styles of Africa first included most of DRC in a greater central African music area (1959). He proposed that musics to the north and west, including RC, be grouped together with the central African musics, as they were different more in degree than kind. Along with his music research Merriam contributed an analysis of the political climate leading up to and just after independence in Congo: Background of Conflict. In it he discusses the nationalism that fueled the struggle, as well as the parties and politicians who dominated the political scene.23

Along with studies of rural and traditional music patterns (see note 9), Gerhard Kubik has written on urban music in Central Africa, including the emerging popular forms in the 1960s, and the link between the guitar and likembe (1995). His article with Artur Simon in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart gives a history of urban music in the Congos.24

Ronnie Graham has compiled two substantive, annotated discographies of African urban music, The Da Capo Guide to Contemporary African Music (1988) and its update, The World of African Music (1992). Both volumes include numerous works by Congolese artists, major and minor, and a smaller number of traditional genre recordings. For the latter, several particularly useful African bibliographies and discographies that catalogue Congolese music and writings about Congolese music have been compiled, including Merriam's African Music on LP: An Annotated Discography (1970), with its many indexes, such as language of song texts and ethnic group, and his 1951 music bibliography; Carol Lems-Dworkin's African Music: A Pan-African Annotated Bibliography (1991), which begins with 1960 and updates four earlier bibliographies (Gaskin, Merriam, Thieme and Varley); and John Gray's African Music: A Bibliographical Guide to the Traditional, Popular, Art, and Liturgical Musics of Sub-Saharan Africa (1991), with more than 300 citations for the Congos. Others include Douglas Varley (1936), Jaap Kunst (1959), Darius Thieme (1964), and L.P.J. Gaskin (1965).25

Much, perhaps the majority, of what has been written on Congolese urban music is topical rather than scholarly. John Storm Roberts, founder of the Original Music label dedicated to early recordings of African pop music, has authored a book (Black Music of Two Worlds) and a cassette lecture (Afro-Cuban Comes Home) about the connexions between Latin America and Africa. Graeme Ewens has authored the definitive works on Franco and O.K. Jazz, Luambo Franco and 30 Years of O.K. Jazz, and the update Congo Colossus. Many interviews, album reviews and exposés of current artists have been published.26

To the best of my knowledge the hypothesis I present in this thesis is original. I have brought together theories on nationalism, performance, culture, identification, and music, and have applied them to the study of Congolese urban music in a new way that I hope will contribute to the scholarship on this music in particular, and to music research in general.

* * * * *

This thesis is divided into six chapters. Chapter 2 "Approaches" outlines the theoretical angles and specialized terminology I will use to analyze Rumba Lingala. Chapter 3 "'Ah Mokili!' -- A Brief History" reviews salient political, economic and demographic aspects of the region's history. Chapter 4 "Urban Inventions -- A New Old Sound Emerges" shows how the urban musical scene developed in the milieux described in the previous chapter. It introduces Rumba Lingala and relates it to other dominant musical genres it gradually displaced. As well as analyzing the lyrical content of three songs, I attempt the much more difficult musical interpretations. In these I adapt Theodor Adorno's methods of broad socio-musical analysis to Rumba Lingala. I also offer brief biographies of the two most influential ensembles, African Jazz and O.K. Jazz. Chapter 5 "Made in Congo -- Conceiving the Nation" explores the ways Rumba Lingala transformed the way people imagined the nation and established new affiliations. It addresses issues of performance, technology and language. Chapter 6 "Conclusions and Further Questions" looks at the twin processes of mimesis and alterity, while drawing together the study's conclusions and a few of the unexplored issues it raises.

Chapter 2

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