There are eight characteristics that define African music: Polyrhythms, ostinato, the use of percussion, background shimmer, close connection with the music and language, participatory nature of the arts, a close connection with the performing arts, responsorial form. To give you better understanding:
The first is rhythm, a repeated pattern in music and the defining aspect of West African music. West African songs are polyrhythmic , which means that they feature two or more conflicting rhythms.
Title: Characteristics of African Music Created Date: 20160802040514Z
Common features of African music. ... African singing often includes ... There are many different instruments in African music and they vary from region to region. The many different types of drum are called membranophones (because they have a skin). The other main types of instruments can be categorises as shown below:
When discussing African music, the term "traditional music" is used to refer to the characteristics of African music prior to the colonization of the continent by European countries, which was most widespread during the late nineteenth century. This pre-colonial period was full of social changes and dynamism.
The main characteristics of heartless music include sexism, racism, and swear words. Heartless music was created for the sole purpose of making money, rather than the love of music.
African music traditions exhibit so many common features that they may in some respects be thought of as constituting a single musical system. While some African music is clearly contemporary-popular music and some is art-music, still a great deal is communal and orally transmitted while still qualifying as a religious or courtly genre.
Many of the instruments historically used in African American music, including the banjo and the drum, have antecedents in African musical instruments, and many features common to African American music likewise have roots in African musical traditions, such as the call and response song form and an immersive approach to singing.
cabrillo.edu/~mstrunk/Music12/Wk09/Music of Africa.htm
Although the music of these cultures appears to have developed some characteristics of its own on the African continent, it belongs to the Oriental family of modal music. Its classical, folk, and popular idioms are so distinct from those of the rest of Africa that it cannot, on stylistic grounds, be included in the family of indigenous African ...
Page 3 of 19 !BlackMusic_AFRAM330_MCM_Winter2014.docx 30 Aug 2014 Common Characteristics of Black Ethnic Music The distinctive and recurring features of black ethnic (vernacular) and popular music include:5 (1) Polyrhythm