We will explore the relationship between African music and the kinds of culture that produce it
They use vocal choirs, flute duets, trumpets made from tree bark or ivory, and the musical bow
BaMbuti vocal music: “Alima Girls’ Initiation Music.” Textbook CD 2, track 12
The Ewe of Ghana have club organizations that maintain semiprofessional drum and dance troupes
The Buganda Kingdom desecrated musical instruments after the 1962 insurrection
Greetings and Praises Performed on the Yoruba Dùndún DrumTextbook CD 2, track 15
Popular music in the twentieth century includes West African highlife brass bands
“Chitima Ndikature” Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited Textbook CD 2, track 18
Despite the diversity, a few underlying principles characterize the music of the whole region
Interlocking is the practice of fitting pitches into spaces between other parts
Hocket is the interlocking pitches between two or more sources.An example is Pygmy vocal music
Dense, overlapping textures and fuzzy timbres in overlapping drum rhythms is common
The importance of rhythmic complexity is not to be underestimated
Sub-Saharan Africa is a huge area.There are, however, some common general musical characteristics
Key instruments include lamellaphones (the mbira), strings (the kora), xylophones, trumpets, flutes, musical bows, and drums
During the 20th century, cosmopolitan musical influences have been incorporated into the African musical scene
Is there an equivalent to African interlocking in Western music, and how might it work?
Is there an equivalent to African interlocking in an Asian music studied thus far, and how does it work?
Why would Pygmy nomadic life prevent Pygmies from using many musical instruments?
Does our popular music use drumming in the same manner as African drumming, or is it different?
What might befall an African court music tradition in the event of political insurrection, and how could it be guarded?
How have traditional African musical instruments and styles survived in the rapidly changing world?