The Guitar improvisations of Mwenda Jean Bosco


  • David Rycroft Lecturer in African Languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London



Jean Bosco Mwenda, -1992, Guitarists -- Zaire


Mwenda Jean Bosco’s improvised guitar songs—particularly his Masanga—are by this time widely known and appreciated. This has been due, initially, to the wide circulation of his records after he became one of Hugh Tracey’s “discoveries” and, as a direct result of this, to his popularity as a radio personality in Central and East Africa. This initial article has been confined to consideration of two of Bosco’s earliest recorded works, Masanga—both in its guitar-accompanied song version and as a guitar solo—and Bombalaka, a guitar song. Attention will be paid to the guitar music rather than to the vocal line. A later article will provide transcriptions of ten more of his works, all of them guitar songs, and attempt a comparative treatment of his style.




How to Cite

Rycroft, David. 1961. “The Guitar Improvisations of Mwenda Jean Bosco”. African Music : Journal of the International Library of African Music 2 (4):81-98.

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