The Rise and Fall of the Songhai Empire

Medieval Songhai Culture

During the reigns of Sonni Ali Ber and his successor Askia Muhammad Toure (founder of the Askia dynasty) Songhai was at its greatest power. The emperor had total power but was supported by Muslim judges, governors and town chiefs.

The capital city of Gao was a great cosmopolitan market for dates, salt, gold, leather and slaves. Islam was introduced but many people still followed traditional animist beliefs.

Origins

The Songhai people developed one of the greatest medieval West African empires. Their multi-talented kings, called dia (kings), used their administrative skills to develop trading networks that enabled them to conquer the region around Gao and Timbuktu. They brought scholars from Morocco and Egypt to establish Islamic schools in cities like Timbuktu and Djenne, transforming the empire into a culture that embraced Islam but retained traditional African religious practices in rural areas.

Rivalries among Askia’s successors eroded the strength of the empire, and in 1591 the Moroccan Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi routed a Songhai force at the Battle of Tondibi. The empire collapsed soon after, marking the end of a 1,000-year period in which powerful Songhai kingdoms controlled West Africa. The ruins of the capital city of Gao still stand today.

Religion

After the death of Sonni Ali, a devout Muslim called Askia Muhammad ruled Songhai. He established new schools and encouraged learning in Timbuktu, and he recruited skilled officials to run his empire’s various government functions. He also selected Muslim judges to run his legal system based on Islamic principles.

Throughout the Songhay empire, Islam blended with traditional West African beliefs. Daily life was governed by the traditions of local cults, but Islam dominated state and legal affairs.

Agriculturally, Songhai people cultivate wheat, barley, and millet. They also raise livestock, including cattle and goats, and hunt animals for meat and skin. They rely on servants – mainly Fulani and Tuareg herders – to assist them with labor, and they often allow their fields to be grazed by herds from other areas.

Politics

At its height, the Songhai Empire encompassed parts of present-day Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, and Algeria. Its economy was largely based on trade, especially the caravan routes to Timbuktu and Djenne.

The household is the fundamental unit of Songhai social organization. Beyond the house are village quarters that elect a chief. Villages are nucleated settlements of round mud or thatched dwellings with straw roofs. As with their Zarma cousins, the Songhai recognize noble lines of descent.

Askia Muhammad Toure, the founder of the Askia dynasty, encouraged learning in Timbuktu and instituted Muslim-based government structures. However, his son and successor waged endless dynastic wars for power, eventually causing the decline of the Songhai empire. Morocco’s Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur took advantage of the civil conflict to send an army that sacked Gao and Timbuktu in 1591.

Economy

The Songhai are agrarian but also engage in commerce and trade. A household is the basic social unit, with kinship based on patrilineage and lineage. In villages of importance, a paramount chief or adib has at least ceremonial authority over the village chiefs in his jurisdiction.

Askia Ali reformed the Songhai economy and culture. He instituted Muslim laws and judges, promoted education by bringing scholars from Morocco and Egypt to Timbuktu, and expanded Songhai trade by encouraging trade in gold and salt.

At its zenith, the Songhai Empire covered all of modern Mali and Niger and parts of Nigeria, Mauritania, Senegal, and most of Guinean Coast countries. Its control of the Sahara made it a major trading hub. The adibs were the main wealth-generating families, but there was a strong class of artisans who traded in metals and cloth as well.

Society

Songhai societies are primarily agricultural, adapted to the arid environment that includes a three-month rainy season. Cultivation, largely of cereals, is supplemented by fishery activity along the Niger River and desert oases. The Songhai raise herds of sheep and goats and a small number of cattle.

Askia Muhammad encouraged trade and education, expanding schools such as the famed Sankore University in Timbuktu. He also fostered ties with other Muslim nations, encouraging emissaries from Morocco, Egypt and Muslim Spain.

Songhai society is hierarchical, with a king and nobility at the top of the social ladder, followed by free commoners, artisans, and griots (bards and chroniclers). The lower levels included many slaves. Marriage was often polygynous. Many Songhai were from mixed parentage, with cross-cousin marriages being particularly common.

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The Unconventional Music Tastes and Habits of Gen Z

Gen Z Music Culture

Gen Z relies on social media, streaming apps, and their friends to discover new music. They also turn to online fan communities for inspiration and collaborations with their favorite creators.

This generation eschews labels, whether musical or identitarian. That’s why it makes sense that they would enjoy a TikTok-famous black queer rapper producing a megapopular country music song.

Gen Z’s love for playlists

Gen Z is a generation that values the individuality of audio. They want to hear from their favorite creators in the ways that best reflect their personalities and tastes. This includes music festivals that allow them to connect with artists in person, as well as online communities where they can talk about the latest content.

This is one reason why Gen Z is rekindling the vinyl revival trend, as they seek experiences that can better connect them with their idols and other fans. For example, digital streaming platforms are now enabling creators to sell physical editions of their music directly to fans.

This generation is also very connected to the world’s cultures, and they listen to more international music than any other demographic. They also trust social media accounts and online fan communities as sources for discovering new music, ahead of recommendations from friends or a radio station. The global nature of this generation’s music habits makes it a valuable market to target for brands.

Gen Z’s love for vinyl

From their parents’ wardrobes to retro video games, Gen Zers have a fascination with all things older. This same mindset has brought vinyl back to life, with sales increasing year over year. According to MRC Data, Gen Zers have been credited with the revival of this classic format.

As a group, this generation prefers hip-hop and rap music. They also have a taste for EDM artists such as Martin Garrix and Marshmello. They like songs with catchy beats and energetic performances.

Besides these genres, this generation loves bands and singers that are creative and unique. This is reflected in their music, where you can find lyrics that discuss mental health and personal experiences. They appreciate artists who are honest and authentic, such as Billie Eilish and H.E.R. They also like to attend music festivals and events. This gives brands a chance to connect with them and gain their loyalty. However, brands should keep in mind that these activities must be authentic and genuine.

Gen Z’s love for social media

While there are many different things that distinguish Gen Z from their parents’ generations, the most important thing is that they are a social media-centric generation. They believe that they can better themselves through the content they consume, from watching makeup tutorials to finding new clothes and beauty products on Instagram.

They also love when their favorite artists reach out to them directly on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. They are 1.3x more likely to get fashion inspiration from macro-influencers on Instagram than from fashion magazines or traditional TV shows.

In addition to listening to music through streaming services, they also enjoy getting into the groove with live musicians by attending concerts. Gen Z is drawn to artists who are not afraid to blend genres and break traditional boundaries. This trend is evident in the genre-fluid styles of Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo. Gen Zers prefer playlists to albums, 89% to 45%. This reflects their preference for genre-switching, as well as the desire to “bottle” specific feelings.

Gen Z’s love for music

Gen Zs want music that is authentic, and lyrical themes such as mental health struggles, heartbreak and personal experiences resonate with them. It’s not uncommon for this generation to go to the source to discover new artists – they’re turning to their favorite artists’ social media accounts, online fan communities and streaming app recommendations.

The late Juice Wrld’s unique emo-rap style is one example of this. Gen Z also favors genre-blending and bending. Artists like Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo use pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music to create their own distinctive sounds.

As a result, Gen Z is spending more time with music than any other age group. And while listening to the radio remains important, this generation prefers discovering music on their own terms – on social media or via a streaming service like Spotify. This makes it an ideal audience for emerging talent to reach and engage with.

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The Universal Language of Music

The Power of Music in Cultures Around the World

As the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said “music is the universal language of mankind.” Scientists are now confirming that music is indeed a global cultural phenomenon.

Researchers have discovered that musical behaviors such as infant care, healing, dance and love songs tend to have similar features in different cultures around the world.

1. Music is a way of communication

Music is a way for individuals to express themselves and communicate feelings that they may not be able to describe with words. It can also bring people together, whether it be at a concert or a jam session in the park.

Music can be used in religious ceremonies, celebrations, or to pass down traditions and history. It is often used to accompany epic poems and stories, as well as to help with teaching and learning languages. It can also be a form of entertainment, with concerts and festivals being popular amongst many cultures.

Research has shown that musical behaviors are universal, yet highly diverse in their structures and roles. Some researchers have proposed several evolutionary explanations for these differences, such as music’s pleasure-producing potential, its ability to temper anxiety about mortality, or its role in facilitating social glue and caretaker mobility. Others have argued that music is a complex social construct, and that it cannot be reduced to a single function.

2. Music is a form of celebration

Music is often seen as a way to celebrate. It can be used to mark important events like births, weddings and funerals. It can also be used to help people relax and enjoy themselves. Many people exercise to music, using songs or rhythms to enhance their workout.

In some cultures there is no distinction between performance and listening, with all music being considered music. Other cultures have different ideas about what constitutes’real’ music, from the concept of performing material conceived beforehand to the idea of free improvisation. Jazz is a good example of this, where artists such as Miles Davis were improvising even though their music was clearly arranged and written.

Music is an incredibly diverse art form, and it is found in every culture around the world. This diversity points to universal neurological and cognitive foundations, while demonstrating the powerful ways in which organized sound can communicate, connect and inspire human beings. Music is woven into the fabric of all societies, serving social, ceremonial, emotional and creative needs since prehistoric times.

3. Music is a way of healing

Music has therapeutic effects both psychologically and physiologically. It has been shown to reduce stress and blood pressure, increase the production of endorphins, and boost mood and immune function. It can also distract people from pain and discomfort.

Whether played live or on a device, music can help bring communities together through shared experience. It can communicate cultural knowledge and history, facilitate emotional expression, and coordinate activities such as marching or dancing. Music can even heal at a physical level, with researchers finding that rhythmic stimuli can allay symptoms of certain conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

For some cultures, the act of making music is a sacred process that requires great skill and dedication. Many musicians have to work hard to sustain their careers, often sacrificing their health and family life. Despite these challenges, the importance of music as a way of healing cannot be overstated. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine that has been used for thousands of years to help heal the body and soul.

4. Music brings people together

Music is one of the most powerful ways to bring people together. It can help people overcome language barriers, connect people from different backgrounds and cultures, and unite them through a shared love of a song or genre.

The exact origins of music are up for debate, but we know that it was one of the first forms of human social bonding. It’s also thought to be a precursor to verbal communication.

Throughout history, as cultures have come into contact with each other, their musical styles have often merged into new forms. This is known as world music and has included everything from Classical to salsa.

Music can also be used to bring communities together through events like music festivals. These events can bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate their common love for music. They can also serve as a way to bridge the gap between diverse races and nations, which may ultimately lead to global peace.

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The Reliable and Diverse Online Gaming Platform: 메이저사이트

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Firstly, the importance of a secure gaming environment cannot be understated. Imagine stepping into a virtual casino, the digital chips stacking up high, the roulette spinning, your heart racing. Now, amplify that thrill with the assurance that your personal information is fortified behind layers of digital security. 메이저사이트 assures this level of protection, becoming a trusted name amongst enthusiasts.

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Music Videos: Cultural Appropriation, Rock Hall of Fame Induction, Verzuz Battle, ’90s Pop-Rock Hits, Janet Jackson’s Captivating Visuals

Top 10 Music Videos of All Time

Culture is an anthem that promotes the idea that diversity should be cherished. It also highlights the importance of staying true to oneself.

However, many of the music videos associated with the song contain blatant examples of cultural appropriation. Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna, and Ke$ha all profit off combining Egyptian, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and Indian cultures, animals, and dress into their music videos.

The Foo Fighters

Since Dave Grohl’s self-recorded debut single turned into a hit, Foo Fighters have evolved from a drummer’s side project into one of the biggest bands in modern rock. Their ferocious work ethic has resulted in a slew of hit albums, multiple Grammy Awards, and a 2021 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The band continues to push the boundaries of their sound. On their latest album, Medicine at Midnight, they incorporated dance and funk elements into the familiar distorted guitars and howling vocals.

The accompanying music video is equally impressive. Set in an oppressive nursing home where a Nurse Ratchet character runs the show, the video pays homage to classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Meanwhile, the slickly-produced track itself showcases Foo Fighters’ penchant for rockers that split the difference between relatable emotional heft and the thrum of a coming storm. This is one of those songs that will be in jukeboxes and Spotify mixes for time immemorial.

Brandy & Monica

Back in 1998, Brandy and Monica released their hit single “The Boy Is Mine.” The duo reunited 22 years later to compete in the webcast series Verzuz.

The duo fought it out for the honor of being the first pair to complete a full music-and-more battle on the platform. Fans loved every moment of the face-off between two music icons who are still going strong in their respective careers.

Despite rumors of beef in the past, the Moesha alums made sure to put all the drama behind them and were cordial throughout the livestream. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a Verzuz battle without some shade thrown here and there.

Celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Keke Palmer and even vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris tuned in to witness the women rap their hearts out and sing some of their most memorable hits. Besides singing their anthems, the ladies also talked about their lives and pushed for civic engagement.

Smash Mouth

Smash Mouth may not have hit the mainstream like their contemporaries, but their infectious pop-rock hits remain a stalwart of the ’90s. Their 1999 album Astro Lounge spawned their biggest hit, “All Star,” which remains a bouncy motivational anthem to this day. The song’s cross-generational popularity was further boosted when it was featured on the soundtrack of 2001’s kid classic Shrek.

Many musicians cite Smash Mouth as an inspiration, thanks to their catchy hooks and energetic performances. The band has also had their music featured in popular video games, including the wildly popular Lego Rock Band.

Though the band broke up in 2006, guitarist Greg Camp remained active on his solo project as well as contributing to a number of film soundtracks. Drummer Urbano was also cast in the sixth season of VH1’s celeb-reality show The Surreal Life, where he made some unsavory comments about his co-stars. Lead singer Steve Harwell was involved in a cancer research charity and died of lung disease in 2021.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson is one of the most legendary pop and dance superstars in history. She’s a queen in every sense of the word, from her iconic music to her jaw-dropping performances. Her videos are as captivating as her songs, and they’re packed with culture!

For “Nasty” Janet wears billowing African prints and enlists gorgeous dancers from Ghana, Nigeria, and Trinidad to join her in this breakdance-worthy visual. The Dave Myers-directed video is a nod to afrobeats sound, fashion, and culture.

Released in 1993, this sepia-toned visual evokes warmth and nostalgia. It’s a perfect fit for the song’s lyrical theme of appreciating life’s fleeting moments. It’s also a testament to Janet’s ability to captivate her audience with even the most simple concepts.

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