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Sundiata

[Kushites] Nubian Music, call to musicians

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The Kingdom of Kush: Music Tracks

In order to create the most authentic feeling Kushite faction as possible, we are in need of a new musical track. There is one very Egyptian sounding track, which is good, but the second track currently  being used sounds too "generically African". Although we have permission to use them, the license isn't of a formal nature, and more authentically sounding Nubian music would fit this faction like a glove anyway. For this reason I'm posting a tracklist of contemporary traditional Nubian music that should serve as the primary reference for a 0AD original track.

@OmriLahav, you seem to be the resident musical genius. Perhaps if you are interested and your schedule permits it, you could work on this? I'd be honoured, if you could. Even if you can't, you could inform us on who else on this forum could assist us. That having said, anyone who wants to work on this and has the necessary skills, feel free! I was told to tag @Itms, to make sure you'd see this.

Features and historical considerations for traditional Nubian music:

  • (Sometimes) fairly fast paced percussion, using a variety of drums, typically African, but more nuanced, not so prominent that it drowns out other instruments/singing.  
  • Typical rhythmic hand-clapping 
  • Modern String instruments should be replaced with the Oud (very similar to the Lute), still widely used in Sudan today (including some of these tracks)
  • Modern wind instruments should be replaced with reed pipe aerophones, or Hellenistic Aulos
  • Modern Violins should be replaced with African trumpet instruments, not unlike the Waza, variants of which can sometimes sound similar to violins. 

You will notice the common thread running through all these tracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, finally, what is probably the most "tribal" music video-clip I've ever seen... I know some brothers that would curse me for sharing this, but who cares :P... These are Dinka's from South Sudan, very similar to the Nuba, both ancient and recent. In some places their material culture is still very similar to their ancient counterparts, except now they wear Calvin Klein boxers. The southern-most component of Kush, the wild hinterlands... 

 

 

 

And a Swagalicious Nubian Musician, with ancient instrument:

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Edited by Sundiata
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Some examples of instruments used in ancient Kush, including Hellenistic imports:

 

Auloi, Greek wind instruments from queen amanishakheto's pyramid at Meroë

5a54bc8e84e37_AuloigreekwindinstrumentofMeroequeenamanishakhetopyramidkingdomofkush.thumb.jpg.98f1415fb82810a4f2a5c961c6e63396.jpg

5a54bcb41f91b_auloiAerophonedoublereedfragmentspackedinboxesFoundinadamagedstatebutincludepartsofatleast12differentpipesRemainsnowextremelyfragile.thumb.png.9230b127a94859dbf12019e76f1a21b0.png

 

 

Syrinx-player from the Royal Baths at Meroë

5a54bcdcca77d_ScreenShot2017-07-27at13_21_34.thumb.png.89183e7786f4d8d47b0d985455156ea3.png

 

 

Flute player from the Royal Baths at Meroë

5a54bced31e30_Nudewomanandfluitplayer.thumb.jpg.1be349818da33a2e7c24364b2a2cc2d8.jpg

 

 

Harp (?) player from the Royal Baths at Meroë

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Harp-player from Musawwarat es Sufra

5a54be0771d8a_ThekingdomofKushkushitereliefcutstonewallcarvingSudanRichardLepsiusaethiopenaethiopien-fradecoratedcolumnelephantpetliongodsapedemakamuninstrument.jpg.e1e89a6feb0677dd0cc993dcbbfe86fd.jpg

 

 

String instrument from Musawwarat es Sufra

5a54be0cf1496_ThekingdomofKushkushitereliefcutstonewallcarvingSudanRichardLepsiusaethiopenaethiopien-dcolumnkinggodssekhmetamunpetliondevouringenemiesinstrument.jpg.624c0b93c1bcbcb4119b58f0e3fb46a3.jpg

 

 

Double piped flute-player, Meroitic pottery

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@Sundiata, thank you for the extensive research and wonderful references!

At the moment, I am dealing with three film soundtracks, but I will be able to create a new track or two during February.
I will listen to all the references to pick out the common elements and try to make something that sounds authentic, and also works within our game-world.

Please keep an eye out on the Score Notes and Links thread, I post new tracks there.

Omri

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11 hours ago, OmriLahav said:

@Sundiata, thank you for the extensive research and wonderful references!

At the moment, I am dealing with three film soundtracks, but I will be able to create a new track or two during February.
I will listen to all the references to pick out the common elements and try to make something that sounds authentic, and also works within our game-world.

Please keep an eye out on the Score Notes and Links thread, I post new tracks there.

Omri

Thank you! Very nice to hear :) 

As Stanislas69 pointed out, I don't have access to the link. Feel free to post any progress in this thread if/when you get around to it. 

Good luck with the film soundtracks! 

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Ah, my apologies!

I will bookmark this thread and post here when I've had the chance to work something out.
What will probably happen is that I'll post a draft (or several drafts) around mid-February, and then work on finalizing the tracks we like best.

O.

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Just a quick update - my schedule is a little crazy at the moment, but I will try to make something happen in time for the next alpha, so the Kushites can have at least one track!

Omri

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Hey team,

I realize it's been quite a while (!) but I wanted to post an update regardless.
As was often the sad case with 0 A.D. music, I've got 3 drafts almost ready but I can't seem to find the time to finish them properly!

I am currently wrestling with 7 film projects but will raise my head soon, and post some rough mixes of my ideas for the Kushites.

Thanks for your patience,
Omri

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@OmriLahav Here's a little extra info from another source that might be interesting. A guy called LinusLinothorax has done a lovely deal of research on the Kushites (and other Sudanic civilizations) for various Total War mods. On the topic of Meroitic music, he wrote the following:

Quote

Music

For me music is, together with the UI, an important thing to create immersion and make a campaign unique. Music transfers much of the culture of the faction I am playing with, it tells me who the peoples which lived 2300 years ago are. Concerning Meroe there is definitely an own soundtrack needed to even underline their uniqueness. To compose music there are potential instruments needed. So I researched a bit and I found this part of the book “Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval Nubia”:

5j2wu64e.png.d7237f7559eaea2d54b5f9e992f2db1a.png

So you can see that we have a wide variety of instruments we can choose from. We have, of course, the typical African drums (similar to modern Nubian dalakas) and bells, but we also have harps and flutes. These flutes might be indigene, but we also have the knowledge that Meroe often imported stuff from the Greeks and this Cushite pottery shows us two centaurs playing on flutes, so it seems possible that Cushites also imported instruments as well. 

 

He also provided an example of a soundtrack for a mod depicting the Kingdom of Makuria, a medieval Christian Nubian kingdom in Sudan, succeeding the post-Meroitic period. They essentially used the same instruments, and their soundtrack seems pretty decent (although I'm confident you could come up with a little more jazzy tunes more in line with traditional Nubian music:

Quote

Sorry for making commercial for my channel, but I am the only one who uploaded it, so here is the soundtrack of Broken Crescent for Makuria. In my opinion the first piece fits perfect for Medieval Nubia (Last is one is not bad at all too) and I could imagine a similar piece for EB2. You can hear a Nubian string instrument, drums and synthezisers (Imo they are scratching on the limit of how much it should be) with a climax which don’t annoy even after hearing 20 times in the campaign:

 

 

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?667530-An-Europa-Barbarorum-2-Faction-Proposal-Meroe

 

I also failed to mention anything about African fiddles, which are widespread across East, West and Central Africa, come in many forms and produce a very distinct sound very appropriate for the Kushites. 

There are obvious overlaps between Sudanese and Ethiopian musical traditions (to this day). Here's the Ethiopian fiddle known as Masinko or masenquo, to the beautiful backdrop of the Abyssinian castle at Gondar:

 

Mali fiddle: 

 

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@Sundiata thank you for this useful resource :)

I was pleasantly surprised to find out these tracks are fairly similar to the tracks I drafted for the Kushites!
I'll aim to upload them for the team to review next week.

Also, I'm working with another composer to add more music to the game, and I think he owns some of these African instruments, it will be interesting to explore some of these sounds with him.
Updates coming soon!

Thanks again,

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@OmriLahav Just two more inspirational sources:

The 1st minute especially provides some nice traditional sounding Sudanese fluting.

 

 

It's pretty difficult to find quality (video-) recordings of traditional Sudanese instruments being played, but there's a bunch of stuff from Ethiopia, which have sometimes very similar sounding stuff. The following example is traditional Ethiopian spiritual music (known as Mezmur), but they use all the right instruments (more or less), and the tunes are comparable to some of the Nubian examples in the first post. Beautiful interplay between the Lyre, Flute, the Masinko and the percussion, to the backdrop of the mesmerising Ethiopian highlands: 

 

 

Edited by Sundiata
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