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Bugandan Royal Court music

Africa Lives on the BBC. Lucy Duran brings to an end the Africa Lives on the BBC season with two programmes recorded in Uganda. The breathtakingly complicated music of the Bugandan Royal Court.

Africa Lives on the BBC

Lucy Duran brings to an end the Africa Lives on the BBC season with two programmes recorded in Uganda.

After decades of civil war and strife, the south of the country at least, is now becoming more stable. This week she goes in search of the breathtakingly complicated music of the Bugandan Royal Court and tries to get an audience with King Ronald.

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1 hour

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Music and featured items

  • The source of the Nile

    Near the opening to Lake Victoria

    Duration: 06:49

  • Music Played

    • Royal Akadinda Ensemble

      Nandi kulamudde

      • BBC recording on location.
    • Ludowigo Sserwanja and John Ssekitoleko

      Tumwagala nnyo Ssabasajja

      • BBC recording on location.
  • Bugandan court musicians

    The musicians role as prophets in Buganda and the pleasures of performing for the king. Instruments include the ancient and rare 8-string harp which is made of cow, goat and lizard skins.

    Duration: 04:11

  • Albert Ssempeke

    Legendary court musician

    Duration: 06:12

  • Music Played

    • Albert Bisaso

      Ganga

      • BBC recording on location.
    • The Buganda Music Ensemble

      Tegenda Badda

      • BBC recording on location.
  • The royal drums

    Their history and a rare performance.

    Duration: 06:34

  • Music Played

    • Ad hoc group of Entenga drummers

      Mubandusa

      • BBC recording on location.
  • The Planets - Buganda's most famous group

    Playing at a wedding

    Duration: 03:56

  • Annette Nandujja and The Planets

    Baksimba rhythm

    Duration: 10:18

  • Music Played

    • Annette Nandujja and the Planets

      Tulimuknzunga

      • BBC recording on location.
    • Annette Nandujja and the Planets

      Essuula

      • BBC recording on location.
  • The Akadinda xylophone players

    An organic xylophone made of banana stalks

    Duration: 08:38

  • Music Played

    • Royal Akadinda Ensemble

      Ebijja Bisamba

      • BBC recording on location.
    • Royal Akadinda Ensemble

      Atalaba Nga Mindu

      • BBC recording on location.
  • The royal Akadinida musicians

    Demonstrate playing and talk about their history.

    Duration: 07:53

  • Music Played

    • Royal Akadinda Ensemble

      Untitled Demonstration

      • BBC recording on location.
    • Royal Akadinda Ensemble

      Omusangu Gwabalere

      • BBC recording on location.
  • Kampala

    After an interview with the king

    Duration: 03:55

  • Music Played

    • Albert Bisaso

      Ganga

      • BBC recording on location.

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