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THE MUSIC OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

THE MUSIC OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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THE MUSIC OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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  1. THE MUSIC OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

  2. Sub-Saharan Africa is extremely diverse

  3. We will explore the relationship between African music and the kinds of culture that produce it

  4. A Shona Mbira performance in Zimbabwe is our first case study

  5. Mbira music: "Nhemamusasa" Textbook CD 2, track 11

  6. The Pygmies are nomadic hunters and gathers of equatorial Africa

  7. They use vocal choirs, flute duets, trumpets made from tree bark or ivory, and the musical bow

  8. BaMbuti vocal music: “Alima Girls’ Initiation Music.” Textbook CD 2, track 12

  9. The Mande of West Africa come from Senegal and Gambia

  10. Kora music: “Ala l’a ke” Textbook CD 2, track 13

  11. The Ewe of Ghana have club organizations that maintain semiprofessional drum and dance troupes

  12. “Gadzo” Textbook CD 2, track 14

  13. The Buganda Kingdom desecrated musical instruments after the 1962 insurrection

  14. Greetings and Praises Performed on the Yoruba Dùndún DrumTextbook CD 2, track 15

  15. Musical Bow Played by a BaMbuti Pygmy Textbook CD 2, track 16

  16. Popular music in the twentieth century includes West African highlife brass bands

  17. I.K. Dairo and The Blue Spots, “Salome” Textbook CD, track 17

  18. “Chitima Ndikature” Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited Textbook CD 2, track 18

  19. Despite the diversity, a few underlying principles characterize the music of the whole region

  20. Interlocking is the practice of fitting pitches into spaces between other parts

  21. An example is the whole melody created by a mbira player’s two hands

  22. Call and response is very common

  23. Hocket is the interlocking pitches between two or more sources.An example is Pygmy vocal music

  24. Dense, overlapping textures and fuzzy timbres in overlapping drum rhythms is common

  25. Ostinatos are the basic foundation of a performance

  26. Community participation is key

  27. The importance of rhythmic complexity is not to be underestimated

  28. Summary

  29. Sub-Saharan Africa is a huge area.There are, however, some common general musical characteristics

  30. African music favors ostinatos, polyphony, and interlocking parts

  31. Musical performance is often a communal participatory activity

  32. Many musical performances accompany religious or civic rituals

  33. Social structure and conditions influences music and performance

  34. Key instruments include lamellaphones (the mbira), strings (the kora), xylophones, trumpets, flutes, musical bows, and drums

  35. During the 20th century, cosmopolitan musical influences have been incorporated into the African musical scene

  36. Is there an equivalent to African interlocking in Western music, and how might it work?

  37. Is there an equivalent to African interlocking in an Asian music studied thus far, and how does it work?

  38. Why would Pygmy communal living bear an influence on vocal hocket?

  39. Why would Pygmy nomadic life prevent Pygmies from using many musical instruments?

  40. Why do the words of the jali have as much importance as writing?

  41. Are there equivalents to the jali in Western music, and what do they say?

  42. Does our popular music use drumming in the same manner as African drumming, or is it different?

  43. What might befall an African court music tradition in the event of political insurrection, and how could it be guarded?

  44. How have traditional African musical instruments and styles survived in the rapidly changing world?