Sudan’s "whirling dervishes" are famed throughout the world for their spell-binding dances, in which they are accompanied by rhythmic drumming, as they gradually work themselves into a trance. Dervishes are Muslim devotees.
Popular music has had a rather chequered history in recent years, with many artists becoming exiles after the government stamped down on their freedom to perform. Lyrics are all-important in Sudanese music, with new words often made up on the spot for a special occasion such as a wedding. Traditional instruments include tom-toms, rababas (viol-like stringed instruments with a hide-covered body), and the oud (a lute).