Talk:Music of Madagascar

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Good article Music of Madagascar has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Date Process Result
October 6, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
November 28, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Regional and national music (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
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Great work and valiha[edit]

Thanks for the great work to everyone who's been improving this article. I've recently made a list of national instruments which contains the valiha, unfortunately lacking both a picture and a recording. Might anybody be able to supply one or the other? Tuf-Kat (talk) 00:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Music of Madagascar/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: - (CK)Lakeshade - talk2me - 04:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Im sorry but i am quick failing this article. - (CK)Lakeshade - talk2me - 04:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The Tags ; {{wiki}} and {{lead}} basically sums it up.

  • Your lead is one sentence. An articles lead should summarize what is written in the article. Judging by the length of this article, the lead should be at minimal two paragraphs.
  • "[1] Afindrafindrao.mp3." is copyright infringement, further, this is not how to link something.
  • None of the references are written or linked properly.
  • Almost all of the article fails WP:V and WP:OR.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I've removed the old audio link, added more wiki links and will revise the introduction. The entire article is drawn from the references listed, but I will revise to insert citations more frequently so the source of information provided is evident. The article will be resubmitted shortly. Lemurbaby (talk) 06:50, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Music of Madagascar/GA3. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jezhotwells (talk) 23:23, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

I shall be reviewing this article against the Good Article criteria, following its nomination for Good Article status.

Disambiguations: three found, and fixed.[1] Jezhotwells (talk) 23:29, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Linkrot: none found. Jezhotwells (talk) 23:34, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    ...over the later half of the last century. Better to use 20th century, rather than last century.Green tickY
    Changed. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    I changed it to 20th century, per MoS
    By the late 19th century, certain instruments and types of music became associated with various castes or ethnic groups although these divisions have always been fluid and are continually evolving. Vague, better to say something like "certain instruments and types of music became associated with specific castes or ethnic groups"Green tickY
    Changed. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    waves of settlers from across the Old World. Is "Old World" the right phrase here? To me it indicates Europe, but the next sentence introduces Indonesia.Green tickY
    I haven't changed this yet - according to wikipedia entry Old World, the term encompasses Europe, Africa and Asia. If you feel strongly that this is confusing, let me know and I will rephrase it. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    No problem, my mis-reading
    The strings are traditionally raised from the fibers of the bamboo tube itself "raised from"?Green tickY
    Clarified. Let me know if this is still confusingly worded. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    While the bamboo valiha is the most emblematic of the instrument surely "instruments"?Green tickY
    Rephrased. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    have emerged in the coastal regions over the last fifty years. Better to say "since the 1960s", or something like that.Green tickY
    The hira gasy troupes of today why is hiragasy split into two words here? and "For instance, members of hira gasy troupes are traditionally invited "Green tickY
    It seems using two words is more common than using one to transcribe the word from the Malagasy language (although either one is "correct" as far as I've seen in research literature). I've changed it to be consistent throughout. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    ref #2[2] needs [format=Subscription required] to be added to cite template
    I don't know how to do this. It seems easier just to remove the url link, which is what I chose to do. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    I fixed it.
    Otherwise references check out.
    ELs: There are far too many links here. Better to link to the master page, e.g. {}Green tickY
    I think it's useful to make it clear what kind of information the link will lead you to, and in the case of the BBC programs each one is such a wealth of information I feel it's preferable to leave all three of them there separately. I agree for the sound clips for the instruments that these can be subsumed into one link, which I have done. Let me know what you think looking at it now and if you still feel strongly that the BBC links should be condensed into one or not. - Lemurbaby (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    Much better
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Licensed and captioned OK
  7. Overall:
    OK, this article is nearly there. Please address the points above. On hold for seven days. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:11, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    OK, this is now meting the GA standard. I removed some instances of over wiki-linking, you don't need to repeat wiki-links for words such as salegy, see the section in Wikipedia:OVERLINK#Overlinking and underlinking on repeated links. I am happy to list this article, congratulations. 16:06, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for being willing to review this article, Jezhotwells. I am ready to make immediate changes to any issues in the article that you identify, so please give me the opportunity to make those changes rather than quick-failing the article like the previous reviewer. There are currently NO articles related to the people of Madagascar that have attained good article status - only articles related to the island's plant and animal life. This is a serious gap in Wikipedia's coverage and working together on this we can correct that problem. Thank you. - Lemurbaby (talk) 00:00, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Please do not make major changes to this GA article without discussion here![edit]

This article is at GA status. Please do not make substantive edits without discussing here first. Hard work has been put into making this a top-quality article. Let's take care not to destroy that. Thank you. -- Lemurbaby (talk) 09:53, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Non-free content on Music of Madagascar[edit]

(Copied/pasted from User talk:J Milburn:)

Hello J Milburn, When you tagged the Music of Madagascar article as containing excessive non-free content, you wrote: "There really is an excessive amount of NFC here. Ideally, this would be illustrated with free sound files- what's to stop pieces of music representing these genres being released under free licenses?" The answer, at least for now, is that I'm a new editor learning as I go and I don't know where to look or what to do to have comparable freely licensed audio to illustrate the page. Can you point me in the right direction? I've read through much of the audio copyright information here on Wikipedia and from what I can see, foreign audio is covered by copyright after 1946. There are some Malagasy music audio clips in the public domain in France through Gallica but I haven't figured out a way to get a download of them yet. Certainly the majority of the clips I have on the page cannot be replaced with early free content files, especially in the contemporary music section. As far as I know, there is no relevant audio of Malagasy music released to the public in the US prior to 1972, which could have made it free-use. This conversation really should be transcluded to Talk:Music of Madagascar but I don't understand the code well enough to do that. I'll copy/paste for now. -- Lemurbaby (talk) 16:08, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

It is not just early samples which may be free; equally, material could be freely released by artists. Our non-free content criteria are quite clear that non-free material may not be used when it is replaceable by free content. There's a massive number of non-free files in this article, but, to pick one at random, File:Justin Vali Trio - Bongo Lava (The Broad Mountain Range).ogg seems to be used to show what music produced by a valiha sounds like. Why couldn't we have a freely licensed version of this? What's to stop someone who owns a valiha uploading a sample of them playing it? J Milburn (talk) 16:14, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I see what you mean. This is tricky, given how few people play the instrument who might actually read the English wikipedia and respond to a request to upload an audio sample. There are audio samples on some museum websites linked to this article, so does that mean I need to remove the tracks that present the performance of that instrument? I'll comb through and remove the ones I see as most questionable until this is sorted out. -- Lemurbaby (talk) 17:08, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Any sample which could reasonably be replaced by a free sample needs to be removed. J Milburn (talk) 17:30, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm thrown by the word "replaced." Links on a museum page cannot "replace" the music embedded in an article; people will have to leave the Wikipedia site to listen to it. If the existence of an off-Wikipedia clip that the article could link to were considered reason enough to remove uploaded audio on Wikipedia, then there would be next to no audio clips that could justifiably be uploaded given the samples on music sales sites everywhere. The word "reasonable" is also problematic since the notion is very open to debate. I don't believe it is reasonable to expect that anyone else is going to upload a free clip of the national instruments of Madagascar being played since there are so few people who could possibly do so.
I agree that there are a lot of non-free clips on this page. However, Malagasy music is very diverse and rich; the clips I chose here were included deliberately as the minimum essential audio required for the reader to have a meaningful understanding of the island's musical traditions. Each one is quite distinctive and is tied into the article. I was reluctant to take out the first Justin Vali clip because it is odd to discuss the national instrument of Madagascar (the valiha) without including an audio clip, especially when so many other important instruments and sounds are represented. In fact I believe it would be justifiable to upload a different clip for the valiha section (another non-free sample) showcasing the sound of the valiha orchestras that characterized the music of the 19th century Merina court. But I'll wait to do it until I'm sure I understand these notions of "reasonably" and "replaced". -- Lemurbaby (talk) 20:01, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

A short review for improvement[edit]

Hi, Here are some personal comments/suggestions for improvement :

1. The origins of the instruments. At the beginning of the article are a bit confusing and the discussion does not start from the origin. According August Schmidhoffer (University of Vienna, Austria) here, the world reference in Madagascar musicology, 90% of traditional/historical music instruments in Madagascar are of Austronesian origin, even if some bear an African name (having transited through West Africa)

  • Reply: Where exactly do you mean when you say "beginning of the article"? In the section on musical instruments, the origin of the valiha and other Austronesian instruments is discussed in the second sentence. I agree there is more that can be added here, including information from the Schmidhoffer article (such as the fact you stated). Feel free to add what you think is important and be sure to substantiate it. Lemurbaby (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Also - I couldn't find the 90% statistic in that article. Could you give me the page number where you found it please? Lemurbaby (talk) 07:25, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

2. Name of instruments. It would be better to give title (the name of the instrument) for each detailed presentation-paragraph of each instrument (with photo if possible, see the example given by Schmidhoffer)

  • Reply: I don't agree stylistically with this point as I feel it would make the text too choppy. It also would force us to find ways to be consistent - how long a discussion is long enough for an instrument to get its own heading? We've linked the names of instruments to their own pages where they exist. I think since the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of a vast topic, we can't get into the level of detail that would warrant creating so many subheadings and subsections here. I find it easier to read and more aesthetically appealing if we work that detail into the subpages on the individual instruments, which are all currently just stubs. If you would take that task on, you'd be doing WP and Malagasy music fans a huge favor. :) Lemurbaby (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

3. Separate the instruments presentation in two terms.

  • a. A chapter on instruments common in the whole island
  • b. Another for instruments specific to each region (with eventually the explanation of its supposed origin according to the Schmidhoffer article cited above.)
  • Reply: There are two issues here. One is finding evidence to classify all the instruments on Madagascar as either existing across the whole island or not. The second issue is, once we've lumped them that way, given there are most likely going to be relatively few instruments that can be found across the whole island (and how that's defined is another tricky issue), I suspect we'll have a relatively small presentation of one group of instruments in one section and a large and diverse group of instruments in the other - but does this presentation help the reader digest the information in a more meaningful way than the way it is now? Is it more helpful to make that division in the prose instead of just looking at the maps provided with instrument distributions in 1900 already there, or using the evidence we find (if we can substantiate it) to create a new map that shows the distribution of instruments in 2011? Also there is an issue of precedent. There are other good articles on music that discuss instruments according to their classification, which is why I chose this model. Lemurbaby (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

4. The division into "traditional music", "contemporary" and "popular" might be questionable, and it is in the state arbitrary, unjustified. Explanation:

  • a. The term "traditional music" is in my opinion acceptable, but it is not defined/blue-linked
  • b. The definition used here for "contemporary" is not universal / encyclopedic/ "wikic" (not blue linked) What music today could not be termed "contemporary"? Regarding the music called "traditional” here, isn't it also contemporary? And isn't music listed here as "contemporary" (Rossy, for example) traditional when played in events related to traditions (parties, weddings, balls, funerals, etc.)? Afer verifying the WP definition, contemporary music appears to refer to another genre than what is showed here.
  • c. The third category ("popular music") is not defined either (and also does not appear as a chapter, but as a sub-section?!). It is also a little bit undeveloped as is. Again, what music is not "popular"? What is more popular in Madagascar that "hira gasy" (classified as "traditional" here) or Mahaleo, and Rossy (tens of thousands of spectators at each performance)? Yet they are classified elsewhere... But a quick look at the WP popular music shows that the category is by definition opposed to Art music and Traditional music: "Any popular music belongs to a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and reaches large audiences typically through music industry distribution. It stands in contrast to both art and music traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local audiences." So okay, it can be maintained as is.
  • Reply: Terminology is an issue when discussing "world music" as there is quite a lack of consistency. I agree, I'm not totally satisfied with the terms I used here, although I believe I pulled these divisions from one of the sources on Malagasy music I was using. The distinctions I was trying to get at were 1) music originating within and performed within local communities by members of the populace without commercial intent, or genres that are no longer performed as part of an organic, living, evolving musical tradition (traditional music); 2) living, evolving musical traditions derived from traditional music, often with the inclusion of foreign modern (electrified) instruments 3) musical styles fully borrowed and imported from the Western popular music genres (popular music). It is difficult for me to find the right words to express these distinctions. Your suggestion of "fusion" would seem better to me, except that the word has a connotation in English that implies something experimental and avant-garde... not quite the characterization I could use for many of the "contemporary" genres of Malagasy music. Hmmm.... Lemurbaby (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed changes So I propose to restructure slightly without changing the content:

1. Add blue links: To include definitions (blue links) by keeping in mind the debates presented by WP articles among them.

  • Reply: I agree, as long as we're linking to the best article for it. The articles on folk music, world music, traditional music, African music etc all overlap and link to one another as a means to define themselves, reflecting the general confusion about these terms. Honestly those articles need a serious rethink. Lemurbaby (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

2. Reexamine "contemporary" classification. Two main category seems to emerge in the contemporary classification above, and I think are adapted in the Madagascar case:

  • (1) World music, with two subcategory: (A) traditional music and (B) (World) Fusion
  • (2) Popular music (including pop, rock, hip hop, gospel etc. (see list above)
    Another suggestion, closer to the extant classification, is to maintain the three categories and just change the term "contemporary": "traditional", "fusion", and "popular"
  • Reply: This is an interesting suggestion... It's very clear and makes good sense, but I have reservations about the terms "world music" and "fusion." My concerns with "fusion" I already explained above, and I take issue with the term "world music" because it implies a category of music that basically stands in contrast to Western (American) popular music. In other words, the term is very West-centric.

*(3) Possibly rename the chapters using the WP categories as follows.

1. Malagasy world music: WP definition: "World music in its classic definition is a general categorical term for global music, such as the traditional music or folk music of a culture that is created and played by indigenous musicians and is closely related to the music of the regions of their origin." This would have two principal sub-categories (I. and II. below):

I. Malagasy traditional music (aka "ethnic music" or "roots music ") or traditional folk music. Definition: synthesis proposed for traditional music :"music that is expressed as forms (rhythm and harmonies) inherited by oral transmission, related to national / regional culture and played in the popular classes, which uses the traditional intruments, which has most often not well-known author, and is most often non-commercial."

Partial list (for a complete list see the French article (chap. "musique traditionnelle" & "musique improvisée"):

A. Vocals
Gasy Hira (Center): Feo Gasy (feat. Rakoto Frah), Mahaleo
Kalon’ny Fahiny : Solika
Beko (South): Tihar, Hanta, Salala (Senge), Jean Gabin (Salakao), Salakao interpreted by a Western (French) choral
Zafindraony (Betsileo): Saotra sy Dera
Vakisaova (Tsimihety: Vakisaova style by Mahaleo
B. Mixed (Instrumental and Voice)
Vako-drazana (Center): Rakoto Frah, Dada Gaby, Ramilison Fenoarivo, Ramilison Besigara, Voninavoko
Salegy (North): Jaojoby, Ninie Doniah, Vaiavy Chila or Dr. JB and the Jaguars
Tsapika (South): Tiriki, Jarifa, Mamy Gotso
C. Instrumental
Valiha marovany: Rakotozafy
Valiha: Randafison (Ny Antsaly), Justin Vali
Lokanga (Rija of Betsileo): Raprosy
II. Malagasy world fusion music (aka "Worldbeat" or "Global Fusion"). WP definition for "word fusion" music: "Primarily a music genre That refers to a blending of Western pop music with traditional / folk or world music influences"
A. Global malagasy fusion (performers that draw from across all Malagasy genres)
Global Malagasy-pop fusion: Mahaleo, Ricky, Samoela,
Global Malagasy-jazz fusion (e.g. Toty, Nicolas Vatomanga, Charles Kely, Silo Andrianandraina, Mboutah, Tony Rabeson, Hanitra Ranaivo
Global Malagasy-gospel fusion: TGC
i. Highlands
Ba gasy fusion (Centre)
Ba Gasy-pop fusion: Tarika, Rossy, Justin Vali, Eric Manana
Ba Gasy-jazz fusion: Jeannot & Lalao Rabeson, Sivy Mahasaky, [Patrick "Datita" Rabeson], [Solo Andrianasolo], Fanja Andriamanantena, Malajazz
Ba Gasy-blues fusion Arison Vonjy
Rija-hip hop fusion: Oladad
ii. Coastal styles
Salegy fusion (North) (e.g. Salegy fusion-jazz & pop: Jaojoby, Mily Clément)
Tsapika & Beko fusion (South) (e.g. Beko-rock fusion: Mikea such as this and this)
Bassessa & Goma fusion (East) (e.g. Bassesa & Goma-jazz fusion Hajazz)
Mangaliba fusion (SouthEast) (e.g. Mangaliba pop & jazz & fusion like Thominot (Hazolahy))
Tsapika fusion (SouthWest)
Tsapika pop (Theo Rakotovao)
Tsapika-blues (Regis Gizavo, D'Gary)
Tsapika-jazz fusion (e.g. Tsimihole, Mimi Fiandratovo)

2. Malagasy Popular music. Some examples (for a complete list go here):

Pop-rock: Tselatra, Ambondrona, Nataly Andria
Pop: Bodo, Melky,
Jazz: Serge & Nivo Rahoerson, Dédé Rabeson, Jeannot Rabeson

Regards Kaluvau (talk) 12:13, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Re: Proposed changes above[edit]

  • These are really interesting suggestions you've made here Kaluvau, and I'm still reflecting on them. This is a helpful start for a fresh discussion about how to present the musical styles of Mada. While I'm reflecting I hope you might be able to clarify the genres of a few artists for me. How would you classify the music of Tearano, Terakaly, and Varanga? Lemurbaby (talk) 04:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
just enough time to reply here:
Tearano = beko-tsapika-pop-rock fusion (harmony beko polyphony, language: south style, rythm: binary (pop & rock) or ternary (tsapika))
Terakaly = (kind of/original) tsapika (sound like cameroon makossa) = tsapika-makossa fusion
Varanga = beko-tsapiky (traditional)
(IMHO)Kaluvau (talk) 00:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • And one other question for you - if you had to choose only five more audio clips to include, which ones would you choose? Lemurbaby (talk) 04:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
oh, only five ? :-) ideally, at least :
  • (1) a vocal one, in the "vocal" chapitre (you will have to choose between beko, zafindraony, bemiray (hira gasy), kalon'ny fahiny, vakisaova),
  • (2) another valiha, in the "instruments" section (marovany-rakotozafy/daniel tombo or valiha-randafison/justin vali or torotenany-justin vali ? (but he is already there for valiha) or sakalava menabe-mama sana),
  • (3) another guitar, but in ba gasy style, in the "instruments" section (either colbert "rakôly" or eric manana)
  • (4) a true "hira gasy" one, in addition/contrast to/with rossy in the "highland" section or in the "performance" section (ramilison fenoarivo/besigara or dada gaby), and, last but not least,
  • (5) a fusion one, in addition to oladad, in the "popular" section (my preference here would go to tôty above or solomiral or charles kely, or a vatomanga, for example) Kaluvau (talk) 00:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Are there any I've included that you would replace with something else you find a better illustration of the style or instrument? Lemurbaby (talk) 04:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
You know, I'm convinced that "What is beautiful pleases universally without concept" (Kant, appr.), and especially in music "there are only two kinds of music: bad music, and good music" (Miles Davis, appr.), and this is the first thing that surprised me: the artists you've chosen would be the ones I'd also have chosen (except the coastal ones, I'd have been more classic by putting the well known like Jaojoby & Mily Clement, but your choices are also good for me), and even sometimes the titles, so if you ask me to replace something beautiful by another, that's not very relevant... Kaluvau (talk) 00:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Misaotra e, Lemurbaby (talk) 22:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

misaotra koa Kaluvau (talk) 00:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed outline revision[edit]

What about something more like this:

  • Comment : great! (my comments directly between the lines below: I couldn't help, even if my program was to take it easy at the end of my "Shabbat")

1. History

1.1 Origins
1.2 Syncretism
1.3 Radio era (? I welcome your suggestions on how to divide up the history section. Another idea is to do years, like the Cuisine of Mada article: Origins to 1896; 1896-1960; 1960-present)
  • Comment : very good sequencing, the two ideas are equivalent and can be mixed, Schmidhofer seems to follow the same scheme to explain malagasy music evolution (but I have to see it deeply), explanation :
(1) Origins to 1896 : the Austronesian-East african backgrounds (here, we should collect and synthezise all Schmidhofer collossal work (I don't have it); my personnal theory, if rapidly summarized, is that Malagasy ancient music -that we can still observe in remote area- followed the Vezo->Vazimba settlement and its contacts with outside. I give you a very simple image, a pattern, which I hope will help you to construct your own "big picture" (and, thus, to write/improve easily all your articles about Madagascar). Take a pyramid (a tree also fits): at the base (in the origin, let say in -500, it was probably a small group settled first in the SouthWest coast) everything was Austronesian (close to the aborigenes culture of Taïwan and/or Phlippines that we can still see today), then different layers, depending on the region, were overlaid on top of this, and the basic structure (harmony and rythm) was slightly transformed in each region, resulting in what we can see today, but if one observe/analyse more deeply the current divesity, if we ignore the visual aspect and all that things, one can easily deduce that, in fact, the basic patterns are basically the same everywhere (it's my personnal thesis and it's an original work):
(a) The Malagasy polyphonic approach of singing is the same everywhere: especially "singing in thirds", either in the Beko of the South (see "Tiharea" above), or in the Zafindraony (see "Saotra sy Dera" above, even if I don't appreciate too the introduction of the drums in it), or in the Bemiray (see Feo gasy or Solika above), or in the Vakisaova (I could'nt found a good example of Vakisaova but I will add it if...). It is certainly the strong rest of an old Austronesian tradition: according to Blench's researches (some you have already cited), Austronesian polyphony (from Polynesia to East Africa) might probably came from Taïwan (the supposed cradle of the Austronesian civilisation). It is just the harmony that differs: I personnaly think that the Beko (South) harmonies remained close to the Austronesian's one of the beginning, characterised by the using of the pentatonic scale (a scale common to every aboriginal people of Asia and SouthEast Asia, not of Africa). Even today, one can hear the pentatonic scale used within aboriginal people of Taïwan (a very nice piece, compare with Hanta above). The origin of the polyphony using diatonic scale seems apparently to be more challenging, as one can hear it both in East Africa and in Polynesia. But, I think it has also been brought by the ntaolo, te first Austronesian, as one can still hear it within aboriginal people of Taïwan (here : compare with all the Zafindraony, the Bemiray, and the SouthEast african polyphony: it is practically the same), and some Beko use also diatonic scale (see Salala above). My personnal conclusion: Malagasy polyphony comes from the ntaolo Asutronesian, and they brought both the pentatonic and the diatonic scales. Only the people of the South part of the island strongly kept the pentatonic scale, like all other Malagasy original traditions: regarding all those criteria they are the closest branch of the Malagasy "aborigenes" ntaolo.
(b) The Malagasy time signature is the same everywhere: 12
or 6
, wether it's Tsapika (South) or Salegy (North) or Ba Gasy (Centre), or Bassessa and Mangaliba (East), it is just the pulse -roughly how the 12 or 6 beats are stressed/unstressed- that makes the difference between them. And this ternary time signature comes undoubtedly from the East-African coast an illustration here, that means that the coastal Austronesians (let's call them the the "Vawaka Vezo") contacts with the Est-African coast (let's call this zone & culture: "Swahili", because of its strong Arab-Persian culture, along with a Bantu base) appeared early in time (probably from the 8-9th century CE), and during a relatively long period. This is logic because the Vawaka Vezo were good navigators. I think that this Swahili 12
ternary time signature (that can also be seen in all Arab culture, and probably comes from them), more complex (compound, more precisely), more rich, took over the binary Austronesian one (example here), which is simple. But, surprisingly, one can still find today in Madagascar the original Austronesian binary beats in the Beko (see Tiharea above: the first performance, it's just a 4
- 4 beats within a 4 measure) - yet rapid, then, in the 2nd or 3rd performance, when one of the girls plays the drums or the katsa, you can hear the beats of 12
, which is just adding complexity - 12 beats - within the framework of a slow "4 measure", you see ?) Kaluvau
  • Reply: Now the challenge is to support whatever assertions we make with evidence. Recent DNA research using a sample of Malagasy from across the island showed that almost everywhere, all Malagasy are an almost equal split of 50% African and 50% Austronesian in genetic terms (exceptions were in the far south, with a slightly stronger African genetic base, and in the central highlands, with a slightly stronger Austronesian base). The cultural differences may have persisted a bit longer according to the sources I found. If you're aware of others to support an alternative characterization of the roots of musical sounds in the island we need to dig them up and include them but acknowledge the contrast in sources. Let's start hunting for what we can use as references to support the division we're going to express here. Lemurbaby (talk) 05:16, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Reply:I suppose you are talking about the Hurles et alii (2005) article: these results do not contradict at all the hypothesis I synthesized above (which include archaeological research). The variable percentage of Austronesian genes among all Malagasy doesn't contradict the hypothesis that Austronesians (A) could have came circa -350, then they mixed with Bantus (B) from circa +1000 to present, in a different degree according to the region, giving the ratios we are facing today: 50%A/50%B in coastal region, and a more % of A and a less of B in central. This results are obvious, since the central region is farer from the trade with Africa than those of the West coast. In addition to that, two very interesting recent articles of Mrs H. Razafindrazaka et alii (2009, 2010, sampling on Merina "Andriana", Vezo, and Mikea), focusing on the famous "polynesian motif" common to Malagasys that Hurles et alii have already found, strengthens this common first Austronesian origin of Malgasy people (and music of course ). Even the Vezo and the Mikea (phenotypically more Africans) bear the same polynesian motif, yet at a lower percentage than Merina. Kaluvau (talk) 14:58, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
PS: These are some recent articles on Malagasy genetics that I know:
(2) Colonial period and synchretism (1896-1960): here we should keep in mind that, even if Malagasy music from this period began inevitably influenced by European styles/patterns(mainly in urban area: ithas to be also precised), it was also (and mainly) at that time a mean of resistance, of conveying a message of encouragement, of inspiration and healing, a way of preserving the culture, the History: the Kalon'ny Fahiny precisely are a perfect illustration : borrowing from Europe as for the piano (and sometimes for harmonies or rythms), the style of piano playing (you have already noticed it) is close to valiha, the harmonies are mainly a continuation of the ancient "bemiray" polyphony, the rythms come in majority from ba gasy, and, finally, the message, using metaphor or humour was adressed to the occupant: e.g the poetic text of Fody an'ala the "Forest Birds" (the colonizers) who came to steal the people's rice paddies (varim-bahoaka) on the ricefield (Madagascar): "tout un symbole"... In conclusion: syncretism, appropriation, and adaptation, certainly, but still always in order to preserve the culture, the identity, the History.Kaluvau
  • Reply: I think this period might arguably be something more like 1820-1960 because the syncretism really began to occur when Europeans settled in the capital and started having influence over the court in Imerina. Lemurbaby
  • Reply: Relevant, the title in that case would be something like "Between Tradition and Syncretism: European influences (1820-1960). Even I personnaly think that European musical influence started later than David Jones arrival in 1820, but let's maintain this symbolic date, in honor to/in memory of this courageous and noble man and his family to whom Malagasys owes much.Kaluvau

(talk) 05:16, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

(3) 1960-present: here the appropitation and the openness to the World has inevitably continued. And, especially in urban area, the "basic patterns" that I cited above sometimes radically changed, increasing the fracture between the "traditional" (rural) and the "modern" (urban) structures.Kaluvau

2. Instrumentation

2.1 Cordophones
2.2 Aerophones
2.3 Membranophones
2.4 Idiophones
2.5 Voice
  • Comment: I agree with your defense higher above against my proposition: If there is a precedent elsewhere, in some good article, why not using it.

3. Genres

3.1 Traditional (or Folk, or some equivalent term)
  • Comment: Traditionnal
3.1.1 Coastal traditional
3.1.2 Highlands traditional (I think distinguishing between vocal, instrumental and mixed may be difficult since many artists move between these categories)
  • Comment: I agree. I meant -in my proposed classification higher above- that some style show more or less emphasis on vocal or instrumental, for example: if you remove Rakotozafy voice/chant it will not change much his music, which is most often a pure a demonstration of virtuosity and improvisation's hability, leading to the real masterpieces he left us. The same goes -but in the other sense- to the (Grand Master of "ba gasy style") Rakôly (Colbert) guitar accompaniment in the Feo Gasy performances: it is just a decoration, since the Bemiray songs can also be performed -and have certainly originally been performed, and are still in the villages performed- a capella. Modernism contributions (musics instruments like guitar, brasses are recent) transformed/enriched the traditions...Kaluvau
3.2 Fusion (or Popular, or some equivalent term)
3.2.1 Coastal fusion
3.2.2 Highlands fusion
3.2.3 Pan-Malagasy fusion (What are your thoughts on this format reinforcing the "highlands/coastal divide"? I'd hate to do that;
  • Comment: me too (I like your find of "Pan-..." terminology aesthetically & philosophically)
on the other hand, stylistically, there are some sharp contrasts between the more African and Arab influences along the coasts, and the more Austronesian sounds of the highlands... thoughts?)
  • Reply: as I tried to demonstrate above (shortly), the base is, at the origin and in practice (rythmic and harmonisation), common: and, in contrast, the variations, even among one small region, are numerous. So, if you followed me above, the "highlands sounds" are not more "Austronesian" than the coastal South ones: in fact they are, musically speaking, even less "Austronesian" than those of Antandroy and Mahafaly(!) (if, of course, we agree that "Austronesian" stand for the original/ancient migration from the Sunda islands; for the more recent we can use the term "Indonesian"). And about the (too large in my opinion) "coast" category: is there a real common point between them? Generally speaking, I see four main groups of style in Madagascar: (1) South style (or "Original", aboriginal, roots: strong Austronesian+ a little Swahili culture), (2) North style (with a more strong historical Swahili influence from the small Western Islands - Comoros group), (3) East Style (Austronesian + a little Swahili culture from South and West), and (4) Center style (Austronesian+Neo-Austronesian&Indian + a little Swahili culture). This classification, although creating inevitable (but much more precise and objective) contrasts, will resolve the "problem" (to say the least, regarding the disaster it has created and whom we are the unfortunated spectators) of "highland/coastal divide", and it is more scientifically justifiable, regarding the results of all the recent researches (I mean the last 20 years): we can eventually put a link to History of Madagascar somewhere in the beginning of the article...Kaluvau
  • And here I think that regarding this classification, another plan is also possible:
I. South style
A. Traditionnal: Salala, Tihare, etc.
B. (E)merging: Tearano, Theo Rakotovao, etc.
II. North style, and so on...
NB: We can also avoid to make a separation Trad/(E)merge for each style (and resolve in the same way the terminology problem!), and just create to paragraphs in each: the first dealing with the trad artists, etc. Kaluvau
  • Reply: Again, whatever division we make, we need to find support for it in the literature... which might be tough. Let's do our best. :) One thing that is very important and is missing from the article currently is a much more detailed discussion of the defining features of each of the genres we name here. What makes a piece of music mangaliba as opposed to kalon'ny fahiny as opposed to ba-gasy as opposed to bemiray etc.? We need to find sources that explain what defines all the different styles. Lemurbaby (talk) 05:16, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
2.3 Western popular genres (or Imports, some equivalent term)
  • Comment: Western genres (not only "popular", so that "art music" can also be placed here)
2.3.1 Pop and rock
2.3.2 Hip-hop and R&B
2.3.3 Jazz and blues
2.3.4 Other genres
  • Comment: I wish to add "Classical music" as a separate category. About "Other genres": I was certain that we couldn't avoid a "trash can" category here (I would personnally have liked putting all of them in this one, except classical music, jazz and blues of course, but I don't want you missing the FA because of me :)...Kaluvau
  • Reply: What do you have in mind when you say "classical"? Surely you don't mean orchestral, given there are no full orchestras in Mada? Lemurbaby (talk) 05:16, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Reply: Yes, I meant some individual classical interprets, not so bad, internationally speaking, like pianists: Mahery Andrianaivoravelona, Yannick Rafalimanana, Rija Rakotomalala, or, less active but also good [Ny Hasina Andriamanjato] (ignoring his policy activity), and some other less known. Considering that there is zero classical music tradition (except in churches since 1830) in Madagascar, the level these individuals attained is notable. The same remark goes for jazz (Jeannot Rabeson, Tony Rabeson, Sylvain Marc) (Here, in passing, a jazz interpretation of the clasical Kalon'ny fahiny "Izaho anie ravorona" by Jeannot and Lalao Rabeson, diatonic scale in origin but jazzitically played here, lyrics: Izaho anie ravorona te hiaraka aminao -"dear bird, I'd like to go wih you...", a constant in Malagasy poetry).Kaluvau

4. Performance

4.1 Secular
4.2 Sacred

5. Commercialization

5.1 Production
5.2 Distribution

6. References
7. External links

  • This is really challenging.
  • Comment: and therefore interesting ;)
* Agreed. I'm so glad to have met a like-minded musician to think this through together! (I'm guessing you play jazz yourself! I play a little valiha - badly - and western flute, working on guitar at the moment.) Lemurbaby (talk) 05:16, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Reply: Right (jazz but not only...), wow (for the 3 instruments) good luck for the valiha particularly, I am also glad to have met you.Kaluvau (talk) 12:21, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure where something like the theatrical piano music of the 20s wor or accordion music, both of wuld fit in this scheme. I suppose it's "fusion", because it's a style that developed as a consequence of fusing together valiha sensibilities and Western piano performance styles.

  • Comment: I suppose you're talking about "Kalon'ny fahiny": I propose to put it in the "traditio nal" section. First because it now belongs to the past. Second, because I don't think there was really fusion here, except the using of a foreign instrument (piano). Malagasy composers and musicians of the 19th and 20th always dug essentially in the tradition, since, until recently, they never followed musical/theoretical lectures from European (unlike the intellectuals: writers, etc.). Yet they heard new harmonies, and they inevitably incorporated them, but basically, they remain Malagasy. Historically, the first Malagasy who played piano was King Radama (circa 1830, I don't remember the exact year), and the first piece that he composed was the romantic "Izahay sy Malala" ("My beloved and me"): it is a pure piece of valiha. The great 19th century composers like Pastor Andrianaivoravelona, also showed this traditonal style of composition. The "Kalon'ny Fahiny" pianist composers of the 20s, like Andrianary Ratinarivo, Naka Rabemanantsoa, or Therack (the author of "Vorompotsy"), if you listen to them carefully, rarely used european patterns (neither the rythm nor harmony), melodies was most of time from Malagasy traditions inspiration. And one proof I can give to you is that the majority of them used the diatonic scale, which is, a I demonstrated above an Austronesian signature. European music, classical or not often uses the Chromatic scale (except Mozart which managed to created eternal mastrepieces uniquely with the diatonic scale). Kaluvau
  • Reply: Do you have some references to share that could support these points for the article? That would be really helpful. Lemurbaby (talk)

But it's acoustic, and why is it any more fusion than any guitar which follow the same genesis? Where do we draw the line? Does the fusion music need to be amplified? Lemurbaby (talk) 05:16, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Reply: the same analyse goes for the guitar, if we put aside the "ba-gasysts" like (late) Barijaona, Rakôly and Eric Manana (which are totally affiliated to the Ba Gasy tradition), a virtuoso like (late) Tôty (see link above) dug principally in valihist Rakotozafy and in many other valiha players, the same for Hajazz, Jackis Ralph, D'Gary, Solorazaf, Charles Kely, Dama (I just cite here the internationally well known), etc. But they also use - more or less according to the artist- european material (some Charles Kely or Hanitra Ranaivo compositions for example make beautiful fusion with Latin jazz), so, as you ask "Where do we draw the line? Does the fusion music need to be amplified?" A simple, laconic answer would be : music is/has always been a (continuing) fusion. WA Mozart "fusioned", Miles Davis "fusioned", Michel Camilo or Pat Metheny are "fusioners". The what-we-call-here "traditional music" of Madagascar has (as I tried to argue above) always certainly been, from the early times to the recent, a fusion between "Austronesian" music and "Swahili" music (example the Malagasy 12/8 particular rhythm and its different pulses who seems to be a mix of Austronesian and "Swahili"), and here we are trying to create an new artificial Malagasy music category we want to call "fusion" (implied with Western styles), in contrast to the ancient (and also) "fusion" (implied with ancient Swahili style)... mmm, why not "fusion" finally? First, it's an European term, and as you said somewhere above, bears a connotation of "something experimental" which perfectly corresponds to what the current Malagasy artists are trying to do, so the term fits with the reality (!). In definitive: "Malagasy fusion music" (or "Malagasy fusioned music") would be acceptable for me. If you don't agree with the term - I can understand it - but if you accept the idea of "experimental", I propose otherwise "Modern", "Recent", better: "Current", even better: "Emerging"(!) (this las term contains the idea of "something new", of "creative", but also unlikely, experimental like the fusion, an "emerging" music is not exclusively traditionnal - even if it "emerges" from the traditional - and not a pure copy/paste borrowing like the "Western Popular" ones)

Veloma Kaluvau (talk) 04:26, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Reply: I agree with your argument here. I think if we distinguish between the sounds that are evolved, current forms of traditional styles, and ones that are deliberate fusions with Western popular styles, it will be a complete and excellent presentation. Just as long as we can find some sources to justify our decision (and I think I have a few in mind). Lemurbaby (talk) 05:16, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Audio clip suggestions/requests[edit]

As far as expanding the audio goes, most likely since an editor already raised concerns about the number of non-free audio files in this article, there will be even more objections if more are added. That being said, Kaluvao, I agree that there are some very important sub-genres that are not represented here and we should do something about it and make the case in the FA review later. I think we'll have difficulty convincing editors to let us upload clips of Shyne, Poopy or other artists who perform Western popular styles with the sole difference of using Malagasy language. Chances are they also won't allow us to upload samples of all the different kinds of fusion out there.

  • Reply:  :) (for the "Western popular styles with the sole difference of using Malagasy language" for Poopy, etc., but they are appreciated and popular, so representative of "something", I don't know what but they represent it)
  • Reply: I agree, but the admins and reviewers might not buy the argument... We can try it and see. Lemurbaby (talk)

This is where the question of how we subdivide Malagasy musical styles becomes especially important. Personally I believe that there's a difference between someone like Mika sy Davis, Ricky, or Samoela, and someone like Jaojoby, Mily (most of the time) or Lego. The former really are primarily Western popular artists that practice a fusion drawing on various local influences, while the latter perform electrified forms of traditional musical styles with the inclusion of Western instruments. To me the latter are less fusion and more the evolution of local styles, while the former are a truer sort of fusion. I believe we could successfully make the case for including one example for each of the major "modernized" traditional styles (e.g. salegy, tsapika, mangaliba, etc) and in addition have some good examples of the types of "fusion" you mentioned. We could get fusion-y versions of the more traditional styles (e.g. Mangatake Tsodrano by Varanga as a fusion Beko in contrast to Lanitra Manga Manga by Salala?) Then maybe Oladad, Samoela and Vatomanga could broadly represent the rap/hip-hop, folk rock and jazz/blues fusion subgenres respectively.

  • Reply:I totally agree with everything here: this is a lucid and relevant analysis

I also agree we need audio for hira gasy, ba-gasy guitar and beko. All I have for hira gasy is "Dada sy Neny" by Ramilison Besigara - do you have something else you think would work better? For ba-gasy I agree we should put in some Eric Manana - what are some ideas you have for the most representative songs of his? I also feel like we need Mahaleo in here somewhere, and I think Ravorondreo is one of their more recognizable songs, but maybe you have a suggestion. I'd like to add a clip of the folaka from Mbola Velona by Jaojoby, and the slower versions of salegy & tsapiky (malesa and I don't recall the name!). I was considering Madrora Mantsilany by Mily Clement and Moletsy by Lego.

  • Reply: About Ramilison Besigara "Mbola ho avy" is almost a national anthem for Hira Gasy fans. About Mahaleo, "Ravorondreo" of course, it is both joyful by the rhythm and melancholic in the text: in short, a synthesis of the "Malagasy mood"... But we can say the same about any other of their song! For example: "Somabisamby", "Raha mila fanampiana", "Ianao no fidiko", etc. "Embona sy hanina" is for me a masterpiece of Malagasy poetry in all the sense of the term (the text by Dadah here). About the others: I agree for Jaojoby, Mily Clément and Lego (I don't really know this later), maybe are you talking about "goma"?
  • Reply: Did Ramilison Besigara write "Mbola ho avy"?! I love that one! The version I knew was different - maybe a Rossy cover or something, I don't know who. Do you have an audio clip to use of that one?

We might have to be really strategic with our song selections and try to "feed two birds with one grain" so to speak. So for example maybe we could pick a different Andrianary Ratianarivo song that would better illustrate kalon'ny fahiny. As far as the Troupe Analamanga song I have titled as "Mifankatiava", can you confirm for me that I do have the correct title? There was a problem with the file where I kept the song title list for that album and I was going off sometimes-faulty memory.

  • Reply: "Mifankatiava ihany" is the complete known title (the complete first phrase of the song, if you listen to it carefully is "Mifankatiava ihany raha mbola velon'aina..." -"let us love one another while we're alive..." - which comes from the beginning of a famous proverb that ends by "...fa ny maty aza te ho maro -"...because the dead want to be numerous", but the author of the song cut it off, and I totally agree with him :)
  • Reply: Nothing like the lyrics of Malagasy songs to grab your heart. That's how I feel about Lanitra Mangamanga. It would be great if we could find some source citing how popular Mifankatiava Ihany is to sing at weddings! ;) Lemurbaby (talk) 05:24, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly agree that we need a clip of the valiha as the very first one in the article (being the national instrument and all)! But when I tried to add a clip of the valiha there before, it was met with objections because the Afindrafindrao clip at the end already demonstrates what that sounds like, and I was not about to remove Afindrafindrao from this article!! (Random WP editors don't understand why it would matter but anyone who's part of the Malagasy community is going to get it!) So we can't add another valiha clip, much though I'd like to have examples of a valiha orchestra and the sound of a bamboo valiha, unless we can find a free (non-copyrighted) audio clip. By any chance do you happen to have any friends who play traditional instruments and who could upload a clip of themselves playing? Then it would be considered free audio as long as they're not playing a copyrighted tune.

I have already answered this issue in your talk page: it is noted ;)

It feels kind of like a travesty to me that Aoira by Rossy isn't in here, either. But I've tried slicing it various ways and I haven't been able to capture the song in any kind of appealing way in a clip short enough to meet the legal restrictions. :( Lemurbaby (talk) 12:38, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Reply: I don't get you: there is already a Rossy one isn't it ? Aoira, why not? but there are a lot of other Tsapika interprets who can do the same...Bienvenue represents for me the fusion of the Hira Gasy at a level of perfection that approaches the masterpiece (there is another which is for me better but I don't find/remember the title),

I don't really have anymore time now to reply to every paragraphs in detail, VelomaKaluvau (talk) 06:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Reply: Thanks for all your thoughtful comments here. I truly appreciate the time you've taken to respond and reflect on these points to help improve the article. As far as Aoira, that's more personal memories than anything. Do you remember how hot that song was in the 90s? All the young people (I was young then) were so excited to clap along. Good memories. :) Lemurbaby (talk) 05:24, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Reply: You are welcome. I understand for Aoira, I remember. But we are still young!, and will always be (I'm a little bit older than you). It is after all this that our task is really really challenging: sourcing. It may take time for me because I am constantly in a rush, but I keep it in mind and will put it right here in the corresponding point of debate if I manage to come up with some (I have some in mind but don't get them on hand). Finally, dear Lemurbaby, I wanted to repeat my admiration. Not only do you act at a fundamental level for Madagascar, that of knowledge and its worldwide popularization (the Madagascar english page is daily visited by a mean of 5,000 persons, sometimes 18,000), but mostly you do so with an extreme rigor, with a rare sense of truth and accuracy, with an unswerving energy, generosity and passion and, in addition to all this, you do it with aesthetics, with an admirable elegance. You know, I do not know you, nor how much Madagascar has given you - you say somewhere quantitatively 24 months, e.g. two year, over ten years, certainly the qualitative is not calculable - but I'm sure what you have already made up here is at a multiplying factor extremely high compared to what you received. It forces admiration and humility. Such a recognition capability, such a heart can only be a noble one, and I am moved by writing it. You know, John E. Mack the late great Harvard psychologist, who was a specialist on persons who have been abducted by E.T., once said "if you ask a question hard enough, the Universe co-operates and provides you with informations relating to your question": I wish you the same to all of your questions and your future research (whatever they are), and I will also take the logic of J.E. Mack for what you are doing for Madagascar and Malagasys (who will not be able to give it back to you): I am also convinced that "if you do something good, the Creator co-operates to give it back to you, in this life and in the one after": I wish it for you too. Veloma -“stay eternally alive” (more than a wish, it is an imperative)Kaluvau (talk) 11:48, 8 November 2011 (UTC)


Re: Request above: Free Audio Files[edit]

  • By Kaluvau (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons
  • Categories: Audio, Music, Madagascar, Music of Madagascar, Music Instrument of Madagascar
  • NB : The idea here was to create files which can also be used in the (future) specific articles dedicated to each instrument/genre/composer. I did my best (hard at times) to make the improvisation sound the most traditional as possible. As far as the valiha, in case of doubt by comparison to commercial copyrighted files for the intepretations of the old folk songs, I signed my work by "GCAFDG" in the beginning and "CEGC" at the end. I don't know the copyright laws for interpreting a contemporary composition. I think to the Justin Vali one below, for which I don't remember the exact title in the same occasion :) Kaluvau (talk) 02:23, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
  • What you've done here is absolutely incredible. This is a gift not only to users of Wikipedia, but to the wider world, because recordings released under CC-BY-SA-3.0 can be reused by anyone anywhere anytime, thereby exposing the wider world to free audio of Malagasy musical traditions in a way that has never been as readily available before. And you are one hell of a musician, too. I am really moved by your passion, talent and kindness. Hopefully we can meet one day. I'm actually coming to Paris in December if you want to meet up - with any luck there will be a chance to feter la reveillion a la malgache. Lemurbaby (talk) 03:50, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the compliments, but I still lack training with some instruments (especially the valiha, that I haven't played for a long time). We cannot meet. I can't explain it here. Kaluvau (talk) 12:14, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Turning to what we can use and what we can't, unfortunately interpretations of copyrighted material can't be released under a share-alike license as they technically violate copyright law in Madagascar, France and the US alike. All those teenagers posting videos of themselves playing cover songs on youtube are breaking the law without realizing it. So that means we have to remove those clips here (although you are SO good) unless we want to selectively include one as non-free audio. But I think in that case we may as well use the original artist's interpretation if appropriate.
  • Reply: So I have to remove Ramilison an Jutin Vali. Telle me please when I can. As far as the Ny Antsaly songs, I wonder if we cannot keep them, they have been created in the 60s: what do you think? what is the duration after what an artistical work fall in public domain? (50 years like other works?)
For example, it might be worth it to include Mbola Ho Avy in original form, or Manitra Langa Langa, because they both are excellent examples of vocal genres. Although as much as I love Mbola Ho Avy, it isn't quite fully representative of Hira Gasy in my mind because it doesn't have the repetitive quality... I don't know how to describe that. And the instrumentation, while typical of hira gasy, isn't used in the typical way, whereas Dada sy Neny does have those qualities. So we need to look at several examples and choose the most representative one.
  • Reply: I have listened carefully to "Dada sy Neny": the lyrics are deep, quasi biblical (Fifth Commandement), and in the same time totally Malagasy (...izay mandaka masoandro amam-bolana), and you are absolutely right that the rythmic and melody is typical of Ramilison work in particular, and hira gasy in general: I agree with this good choice. You are also correct about the issue of repetition/circularity (as "diatonicity"), I personnaly wonder wether it does not come from the valiha, which accompanied almost all compositions in ancient time. The circularity of the instrument had an impact on music accompanied/composed on it...If we add that Malagasy/Asian ancient conception of life is circular: everything is repeated continuously, but never in the same way...
As a side note, I can only hope one day I can play the valiha as beautifully as you. Did you start young with all these instruments?! Much appreciation from a fellow musician. Lemurbaby (talk) 04:01, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, I started young but unfortunately not with the same passion for all. I'm sure you already play valiha beautifully in your own style.Kaluvau (talk) 15:39, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

1. Cordophones[edit]

1.1 Bamboo Valiha[edit]

Old Folk Songs

  • Iny Hono Izy Ravorona -"Take Her/Him With You Dear Bird" is a very old (surely Austronesian) Malagasy Lullaby and talk about the dialogue between a mother and a bird, the mother asking to the bird to take her child for a journey and give it back to her after it.
Old Malagasy Lullaby - Iny Hono Izy Ravorona - Take Him-Her With You O Bird (Bamboo Valiha)

King Radama II

  • Hafatra - "Testament" is a Malagasy piano composition of King Radama II (ca 1860) in the "Malagasy Quadrille" genre
King Radama II (ca 1860) - Hafatra - "Testament" (Bamboo Valiha)

1.2 Steel-string Valiha[edit]

Old Folk Songs

  • Diavolana fenomanana - "Full Moon" is a very old (surely Austronesian) Malagasy song accompanied with Bamboo or Steel-string Valiha and evokes the happiness brought by the full moon, which is "always in a good mood"

Old Malagasy Folk Song Diavolana - "Moonlight" (Steel-string Valiha)

  • Mandihiza Rahitsikitsika - "Dance Kestrel" is a very old (surely Austronesian) Malagasy folk song and dance which tells us about the joy of liberty evoked by the fly of a sparrowhawk
Old Malagasy Folk Song - Mandihiza Rahitsikitsika - "Dance Kestrel" (Steel-string Valiha)

  • Iny Hono Izy Ravorona -"Take Her/Him With You Dear Bird" is a very old (surely Austronesian) Malagasy Lullaby and talk about the dialogue between a mother and a bird, the mother asking to the bird to take her child for a journey and give it back to her after it.
Old Malagasy Folk Song - Iny Hono Izy Ravorona -"Take Her/Him With You Dear Bird" (Steel-string Valiha)

The « Malagasy Quadrille »

King Radama II

  • Hafatra - "Testament" is a Malagasy piano composition of King Radama II in (ca 1860) the "Malagasy Quadrille" genre
King Radama II (ca 1860) - Hafatra - "Testament" (Steel-string Valiha)
  • Falifaly - "Happy" is a Malagasy piano composition of King Radama II (ca 1860) in the "Malagasy Quadrille" genre
King Radama II (ca 1860) - Falifaly - "Happy" (Steel-string Valiha)
  • Izahay sy Malala – « My Beloved and I » is a Malagasy piano composition of King Radama II (ca 1860) in the "Malagasy Quadrille" genre
King Radama II (ca 1860) - Izahay sy Malala – « My Beloved and I » (Steel-string Valiha)

Mrs Razafindriantsoa

  • Afindrafindrao –“Move It softly” is a piano composition and dance created within the reign of Queen Ranavalona III. The theme and the dance steps are known to be due to Mrs. Razafindriantsoa. This composition is the younger among the “Malagasy Quadrilles” and it was erected to the status of “national dance” in the time of the First Malagasy Republic (1960-1972). [1]
Mrs Razafindriantsoa - Afindrafindrao –“Move It softly” (Steel-string Valiha)

1.3 Piano[edit]

The "Malagasy Quadrille" : Radama II piano compositions

Radama II loved music and dedicated a hall of Rova of Antananarivo palace for the study of music and dance. The English (Diplomats, Missionaries) taught him piano and when he reached a good level, King wrote the pieces in the style of quadrille, thus creating a new musical genre, the "Malagasy Quadrille" (Kadrily Malagasy), along with the Dihin-dRadama - "Dance of Radama", solely reserved for nobles at the time. His compositions were set up as the "official themes of dance," played and danced at major banquets and large receptions. Some of them have crossed time and are now part of the Malagasy folk heritage themes, such as: Izahay sy Malala ("My beloved and I"), Mokatejy (Malagasy translation of "My Cottage"), Falifaly ("Happy "), Manjaka Andriana ("Noble Reign "), Manjakamiadana (“Reign of Peace"), Hafatra ("Testament").[1]

  • Falifaly - "Happy" is a Malagasy piano composition of King Radama II (ca 1860) in the "Malagasy Quadrille" genre
King Radama II (ca 1860) - Falifaly - "Happy" (Piano)
  • MokatejyIzahay sy Malala is a Malagasy piano composition of King Radama II (ca 1860) in the "Malagasy Quadrille" genre
King Radama II (ca 1860) - Izahay sy Malala - "My Beloved and I" (Piano)

Mrs Razafindriantsoa’s Afindrafindrao: Last « Malagasy Quadrille » composition (end of 19th century)

  • Afindrafindrao –“Move It softly” is a piano composition and dance created within the reign of Queen Ranavalona III. The theme and the dance steps are known to be due to Mrs. Razafindriantsoa. This composition is the younger among the “Malagasy Quadrilles” and it was erected to the status of “national dance” in the time of the First Malagasy Republic (1960-1972).[1]
Mrs Razafindriantsoa - Afindrafindrao –“Move It softly” (Piano)

Kalon’ny Fahiny Era (20th century – 20’s)

  • Vorompotsy Miara Dia - "White Herons Flying Together" is a Malagasy song for piano, composed in the Kalon'ny Fahiny genre, which lyrics tells about the perfect love of two persons, comparable to the harmony of two white herons' fly
Therack Ramamonjisoa Vorompotsy Miara Dia - "White Herons Flying Together" (Piano)
Justin Rajoro (ca 1930) – Tsofiko Rano – I Bless You (Piano)

1.4 Guitar[edit]

Ba Gasy style (20th century)

2. Aerophones[edit]

2.1 Sodina[edit]

Old Folk Songs

Old Malagasy Folk Song - Iny Hono Izy Ravorona -"Take Her/Him With You Dear Bird" (Sodina)
Old Malagasy Folk Song - Mandihiza Rahitsikitsika – "Dance Sparrowhawk" (Sodina)
  • Somambisamby - "Chiaroscuro" is is a Malagasy song which evokes the calm and sweetness of the evenings in the Imerina Madagascar.
Ny Antsaly- Somambisamby - "Chiaroscuro"


  1. ^ a b c Randriatsiresy, Zo ny Aina. ""Quadrille Malagasy, Dihin-dRadama II fanao tao anaty Rova"". Archived from the original on November 21, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.  (in Malagasy)

Using new audio uploads[edit]

Hi Kaluvau,
Here's what I'm thinking about the audio. If we provide everything on this page, readers could become lost and overwhelmed, so we will definitely need to remain selective here. But ideally I'd like to develop articles on all these subgenres (such as your Jazz in Madagascar article), where we can add yet more audio clips.

  • Hi Ilaimiora (from Miora if you authorize me), creating subgenres was my goal, by uploading all those files!

So I'm thinking we add the bamboo Iny Hono Izy Ravorona and steel string Diavolana Fenomanana (unless you prefer how another two recordings turned out, or think others are more representative... Diavolana Fenomanana is the song I learned valiha on btw). Then the bamboo Mifohaza Rabetorimaso and steel-string Mandihiza Rahitsikitsika can go on the Valiha page.

  • Agreed, feel free to use them as you like (they are no longer mine!), "Iny hono Izy" is in my opinion the oldest Malagasy song, and here it is played with one of the more ancient instrument, so it deserve the first place as one of the Madagascar musical roots, afa Diavolana, it would be great if we could hear your own version here ;)

Page 150 of this document stipulates that copyright protection in Madagascar continues for 60 years after the death of the author,

  • Thank you very much for this precious file, and for the page number of the info!

so I believe that means the works of Ny Antsaly are still protected.

  • Yes, as Randafison, co-author of all Ny Antsaly brothers' songs died in 2003

You will need to delete your beautiful clips of songs by Justin Vali, Ny Antsaly and Ramilison as soon as you have the chance.

  • I have put them under copyright violation and speedy deletion procedure, with the justification you gave above. So, once admins know it, they would disapear from Wikimedia Commons.
  • It's done, they have been deleted from WCommons. Kaluvau (talk) 11:30, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I have just a doubt about Somambisamby, I am not sure wether it was a Randafison compo or just an intepretation of an old song. Research is underway...
Mifohaza has also been deleted, because it seems to be a Randafison compo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaluvau (talkcontribs) 12:02, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

For the Therack and Rajoro clips we'll have to check when they died to see whether their work is still protected by copyright or not. If it isn't though, I lean toward wanting to include an original clip since I have some of them available.
We will use your lovely interpretation of Afindrafindrao instead of the copyrighted one by Justin Vali. Regarding the quadrille pieces, I'm leaning toward putting the steel string Hafatra and piano Falifaly on the Radama II page, and the piano Izahay sy Malala here. What are your thoughts?

  • Good idea for showing that Radama Zanany's compos are today intepreted on valiha too. As they were originally for piano, we can also add more of this instrument on his main page. I can also add Mokatejy/My cottage on the piano if you want. As far as Izahay sy Malala here, no objection from me.

In the meantime I will see if I can adjust the volume a little, especially on the bamboo valiha pieces, which are on the quiet side. Thank you again for all this amazing work. It's just fantastic. Lemurbaby (talk) 07:39, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

  • I have not finished. I'm currently working on the ba gasy guitar, and the kabosa is also in my check list.

...Joy! Most of the Kalon'ny Fahiny works are in the public domain now! I'm going to add a full-length clip.

  • Super! If you would like some other KNF titles to be added, don't hesitate to tell me.
  • But one request - I'm having some trouble clearing up the distinction between kalon'ny fahiny and ba-gasy. The sources I have are not helping to distinguish them. Can you help me understand the distinction? If I'm not mistaken, ba-gasy is primarily the acoustic guitar + vocals tradition emerging from kalon'ny fahiny,
  • You're not mistaken, I agree with the contemporary acoustic guitarists and singers (Eric Manana, Feo Gasy, Rakôly, Vonin'avoko, etc) appropriation of the term. But etymologically and musically speaking, ba gasy (some write it baha gasy, ba(ha) stand for time signature/rythm/tempo in Malagasy) refers also (for every Malagasy musicians) to the Highlands/Merina particular pulse of the national 12
    time signature: it is played more slowly/softly there, all the twelthe eight-notes (quaver) beats are played slowly, and the stresses are generally made on the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th beats. So, in my opinion (if I find a source I will give it to you), it is a general caracteristic of Highlands music, prior to the 18th century: Indeed, you can already hear the "ba gasy" time signature in the very old Diavolana, for example, also in Miangaly (end of 18th century), a song composed by Andrianampoinimerina musicians companions in order to calm his "blues" of Miangaly, King's (most) beloved wife (interpretion by Ny Antsaly in this disc, I can play it if you want to hear the sound). You can also hear ba gasy in some Radama Zanany's compos (Hafatra for example), in some Kalon'ny Fahiny (not all, Tsofiko Rano for example), and, of course in every contemporary ba gasy gitara pieces (example here. In short, Ba gasy is for the Highlands what Salegy is for the North, Bassessa for the East, and Tsapiky for the South. In conclusion: every Merina music is Ba gasy (!)

but one of my sources claims the ba-gasy is the vocal style associated with theater (the style we're calling kalon'ny fahiny here), while kalon'ny fahiny is described as a style really becoming popular in the 40s and 50s as an evolution of ba-gasy and theater. Thoughts? Lemurbaby (talk) 08:28, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

  • This conception is closest to mine above, and I prefer it, with the "flat" that it's not only a vocal style but a whole musical style (vocal and instrumental): Ba gasy is the general/original Merina framework, while Kadrily, Kalon'ny Fahiny, and contemporary "Gitara ba gasy" were (some of) its declinations through History. What is your source btw? Kaluvau (talk) 13:13, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Good source for FA[edit]

Recent book on Malagasy music. - Lemurbaby (talk) 05:22, 31 May 2015 (UTC)