Andy Carvin

There is perhaps no island more beautiful that Mauritus. It is rich in tradition and beauty. The music of Mauritus is more intricate and fascinating than that of many other vacation islands.

There are many musical traditions flowing through the beautiful island of Mauritius. Some of the music is part of local long standing traditions, other types of music are new introductions to the island or newer hybrids. Sega music is the most original and traditional music that is popular on Mauritus. Sega music is somewhat folkloric. It utilizes two major musical instruments, the ravanne, the maravane and the triangle. The ravanne is a drum covered in goat skin and is the most recognizable instrument of sega music.

Sega music evolved from a traditional form of European music called quadrilles and from polka music. These two unlikely forms of music are combined with local rythms to create what is now known as sega.

Sega music has also been influenced by reggae music, soukous music, zouk music and other traditional latin musical styles. There are many well-known and accomplished sega musicians. Some of the nation's most beloved sega artists are Clarel Betsy, Les Windblows, Serge Lebrasse, Cassiya and Tri Frere. Marie-Jose Clency and her husband Roger Clency have been making sega music for a combined 30 years. There most famous hits were, "Reprend Mo Marie Anglais," and "Ostensia." These beautiful hits are beloved Mauritrian favorites and tourist favorites alike.

There are other forms of music that enjoy some popularity in Mauritus. The second most significant musical style is Seggae. As it's name suggests, Seggae is a musical hybrid of traditional Mauritian music combined with reggae music. Seggae is considered traditional since is a fusion of sega and reggae. Though Sega is known as the traditional music of Mauritus. It is also known as the traditional music of the entire set of Mascarene Islands. Seggae music was invented by Mauritrian Rastifarian musical artist Joseph Reginald Tropize. Tropize invented the musical style in the 1980's. The style grew in popularity by leaps and bounds in the years to follow.

Joseph Reginald Tropize was very active in fighting for the rights of Creoles. Tragically he died in prison in 1999. His death was shrouded in confusion, and mystery. He was arrested for allegedly consuming marijuana at a rally for the legalization of the herb. The rally was sponsored by a local political hopeful. His death was followed by a news blackout and a three day riot. Another popular seggae musician Berger Agathe was also killed in the chaos. Despite these bloody historical markers the musical tradition of seggae lives on and gains consistent followers, artists and fans everyday.

There are some other unlikely musical traditions that have a growing Mauritrian audience. Traditional reggae music is often played throughout the bars and entertainment establishments in Mauritus and the adjoining Reunion Island, and Soukous music is also very popular.

Mauritus even has a growing rock music culture. Though rock music is not nearly as popular as sega or seggae music, there are some rock bands that are gaining lots of popularity in Mauritus. These bands are XBreed, Reborn and Supersoul.

Indian and Chinese people have also contributed greatly to the music scene in Mauritus. Indian immigrants have created their own style of music called Bhajpuri. Traditional Indian instruments like the tibla and the sitar are used in Bhajpuri music. Artists like the Bhajpuri Boys and Neeraj Gupta Mudhoo have brought Bhajpuri music to the Mauritian music mainstream with hits like "Langaroo," and "Dragostie Din Te." Bhajpuri music can best be described as traditional Indian lyrics and singing style combined with sega beats and Bollywood style elements. The Chinese immigrants have also contributed some traditional Chinese musical stylings to the mainstream Mauritrian audience.

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