Cameroon’s music regions reflect the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity. The music of the Bantu-speaking people in the south is characterized by two voices in parallel and the use of split drum and xylophone. Influences from European, Latin American and Congolese music are evident in newer forms of xylophone music and Africanized church music. In the southeast, the influence of pygmy people is particularly marked, with rich vocal polyphony and features of a distinctive juggling technique. In the plain and in the north, oboe and horn type instruments testify to the cultural ties of people in Nigeria.
Mvet is called a two-resonator bar sitter; the same name is also used for the music form, pantomime, dance, and lyrics that are presented for accompaniment on the instrument. This form illustrates how music is integrated into a complex of different forms of expression. Harp, chord (thumb piano), drum and rattle are also widely used.
Several Cameroonian musicians are central to contemporary West African music. Particular mention must be made of the poet, singer and guitarist Francis Bebey, who among other things. uses elements from the pygmy music, and saxophonist and composer Manu Dibango.
Theater in Cameroon
No real professional theater has developed in Cameroon, but there is some dramatic tradition in the languages of the colonial powers that have occupied Cameroon, ie German, French and English. Alexandre Kuma N’Dumbé wrote Kafra-Biatanga (1973) in German. However, French has become dominant, as represented in the plays by G. Oyôno-Mbia and Nicole Werewere-Liking. Since the 1940s there has been a run for theater performances in the local languages, and since the 1970s a popular entertainment theater has developed. However, the state does not support theater operation, but in the mid-1980s, French woman Jacquelingen Leloup led a group at the University of Yaoundé, based on Cameroonian ritual traditions.