Zanzibar has launched a National Arts and Music Council (BASAMU) according to the Daily News, It is designed to help the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports to revive, preserve and promote music, art and other forms of entertainment.
Meanwhile, on the mainland, Mr John Mgandu, Lecturer in Music and Theatre at the University of Dar es Salaam, told the Bulletin recently that there has been an encouraging increase of interest in choir singing. Previously, he said, choirs had been largely confined to churches and schools. Nowadays however many parastatals, the Police, the TPDF and other organisations have their own choirs, employing a mixture of Tanzanian and Western musical elements with Western harmony.
The Music Conservatoire of Tanzania held a very well attended (200 people) concert on January 30th in Dar es Salaam. Mrs L.E. Crole-Rees, the Principal Tutor and Manager, told the Bulletin that the Conservatoire had been founded originally in 1966 and in 1986 had provided individual instruction to over 150 different pupils. Subjects studied included Beginners Music, Clarinet, Flute, Guitar, Piano, Recorder, Violin and the Theory and History of Music.
The Conservatoire has also published an illustrated booklet entitled “Traditional Musical Instruments of Tanzania”. The Conservatoire is also in the process of producing a more comprehensive booklet with sections on Idiophones (percussion instruments eg: Reed box rattles from Kayamba, Hembraphones (drums), Aerophones (wind instruments eg: Filimbi- flutes and Lilandi-dry gourds), Chordophones (stringed instruments eg: Zeze-fiddles) and Enanga (a zither from Mwanza region).
The Conservatoire, which operates from two small rooms on Sokoine (formerly City) Drive has difficulty in obtaining books on music and certain specific types of sheet music. Any music lover able to help is invited to write to Mrs Crole-Rees at P.O. Box 1397, Dar es Salaam.