The term "African music" is understood to mean the music of peoples south of the Sahara desert. Music has a complex rhythmic structure and originality of musical modes in each ethnic group. An important role in traditional music is played by various percussion instruments (drums, sansa, xylophone) and wind instruments (various flute variants, horns). Of stringed instruments, a musical bow, harp, bark, mbet, guru’s stringed wind instrument and others are used. Many African languages are tonal, which played a role in the corresponding speech ups and downs in musical compositions.
Professional music of Africa began to take shape in the ancient period, this process was activated during the period of medieval states (Ghana, Mali, Songai, Kanem-Bornu, Congo, Buganda, Monomotapa and others). The rhythms of "black Africa" through the African American culture played a significant role in the emergence of such musical styles of the 20th century as jazz, blues and rock and roll.