African vocal music is wide ranging in it’s style and use of conventions but generally, African languages are tone languages. This means that the way the words are said can be related to pitches (high or low). Therefore the melodies and rhtyhms of a song often come directly from the way they talk, as the pitches match the meaning of the words.

Another important phrase (other than “tone language”) is “isicathamiya” which is the traditional vocal music of the Zulus in South Africa

Another word that you need to learn is “vocables”. These are effects made by the voice that sound like “eh”, “ah”, “oh”