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The SampleBar Kenya

The SampleBar Kenya



The SampleBar Kenya

The SampleBar Kenya is an interactive ethno-musicological exhibit aimed at preserving and showcasing Kenya's cultural heritage through digitized music recordings. The project entails archiving, documentation and exhibition of sounds and melodies of the diversity of Kenyan traditional instruments that are facing extinction, while relying on an innovative digital technology product.




 Swedish company Libido Music AB and   supported by a grant from Ignite Culture

 This is a partnership project developed with a Swedish company Libido Music AB and supported by a grant from Ignite Culture: ACP-EU Culture Programme (Eastern Africa). This fund is being implemented by HEVA, in partnership with the British Council Kenya with the financial contribution of the European Union, and with further support from the Organisation of ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) States. It is part of the global ACP-EU Culture Programme.

The ongoing project

The ongoing project consists of research and fieldwork across Kenya, field and studio recording of a variety of traditional music, and content development in terms of appropriate ethnomusicological and cultural information on the recorded instruments and musical styles, and documentation of the same. The team is equally collecting musical instruments to compliment the digital exhibit with an authentic physical component.

The final objective is to permanently exhibit the SampleBar installation at the Bomas of Kenya cultural centre with a total of eight (8) SampleBar tables to cover the musical diversity of 8 regions of Kenya (Central, Coast, Eastern, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western Kenya and Nairobi city). While the different regional tables will focus on traditional instruments from specific ethnic communities residing in these regions, the Nairobi table will represent the blending of cultures, showcase the contemporary development of Kenyan musical identity and feature popular music genres and instruments.



SampleBar is a fun way of exploring Kenyan traditional

 Due to its ludic and intuitive nature, the SampleBar is a fun way of exploring Kenyan traditional music, regardless of previous knowledge or skills, that should be particularly attractive to our younger visitors. It is also an effective tool for teachers to demonstrate to students Kenya’s musical heritage and for music professionals to (re)discover the unique traditional sounds of Kenya. Thus, this project offers more than just a novel and effective way to document traditional music.

 It will equally encourage young Kenyans to utilize the traditional musical elements in their contemporary creations. In this way, we hope to change the negative perception of traditional music in the minds of Kenyan youth and encourage them to take this music with us into the future.




 For more about the project and current updates, follow the project  social media pages: