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  1. Section Five: African MusicPopulation over 800 million (2000 estimate); extremely diversified languages & cultures;Continuously changing for thousands of years. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  2. Cultural Groups • Many ethnic groups, languages and style areas throughout continent • Ideally the songs, language, oral literature, instrumental music, theater arts and dance should all be explored together. • Sharing occurs between groups with cultural similarities (language, region, etc.) • Outside influence started long ago, mostly in Northern and Eastern Africa Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  3. North Africa & the Sahara DesertMuch Muslim and Arabic influence Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  4. The SavannahRegionMostly indigenous culture, with some Arabic influence; much sharing of culture between peoples Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  5. The Rain Forest RegionLess influenced by outsiders; Musically diverse Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  6. The Congo BasinStylistically simplified compared to other large regoins Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  7. East and South AfricaCattle area; simpler music; drums less important, much use of xylophones, harps, lyres Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  8. MadagascarSE Asian influence; also French and Indian influence Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  9. Early Instruments • Early history: the musical bow • Also plucked lutes; harps. • Rock engraving of an eight-string harp found 18th century bce (south of the Sahara). Many types of African harps, but no harps south of equator. • 8th to 14th centuries, bells and gongs found. Written accounts in 1586, gourd-resonated xylophones Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  10. Much Research Has Been New • Since the 1930s, an increase of studies, especially interlocking drumming patterns Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  11. Cultural Elements • Music and dance are inseparable • Ancestor reverence (worship?); specialists recounting stories of powerful families and important rulers. • The social roles of the so-called talking drums of West and Central Africa (the pitch can be changed by pushing on or squeezing drum) Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  12. Dance/Music Usage • Dances often serve ritual purposes, marking stages of life involving music (initiation rites, weddings, funerals, ancestral ceremonies, etc.) or trance states • Often, dances are social with only veiled ritual purpose, if any. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  13. Dances Typically in Groups and in Circles or Lines Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  14. Musical Traditions • Generally learned through oral tradition to students deemed worthy of training by virtue of ancestry. • In socially stratified societies, musical professionalism by jalolu (Griot) or by specialized court musicians. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  15. Musical Qualities Found in Much African Music • Repetition • Chorus, some solo • Participation: call-and-response, overlapping, some parallel singing • Rhythm: well-blended, maintained, polyrhythm, polymetric, syncopation • Accompanied by body movement such as hand-clapping, dance and work. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  16. Musical Qualities (cont.) • Forceful approach • Little ornamentation • Pentatonic scales, some hexatonic • Aesthetic often includes buzzing, rattling sounds • Subject matter includes animals stories, love, dance, relationships • Songs are often integrated into story-telling. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  17. African Rhythm Characteristics • Always at least two rhythms going on • 3:2 relationship is central • Cross-rhythms: conflicting rhythmic patterns & accents • Integrally tied to dance, and so in some variety of duple or triple time (4/4 or 12/8) • “Rhythm is to the African as Harmony is to the European” Chernoff, John Miller, African Rhythm and African Sensibility, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1979. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  18. Example: Ake (Nigerian Work Song) Instruments/Voices Function/Importance within Culture Musical Characteristics (Form, melody, harmony, rhythm, etc.) Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  19. Musical Instruments • Idiophones: clap-sticks, bells, rattles, struck/shaken gourds, stamping tubes, xylophones, mbiras (thumb pianos). • Membranophone: drums of all sorts. • Chordophones: musical bow, lute, lyre, harp, and zither. • Aerophones: flute, whistle, oboe, and trumpet. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  20. Idiophones Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  21. Xylophones Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  22. Harps Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  23. Ghana Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  24. Ghana: Geography and Economy • Near equator, coastline, in rain forest, heavily wooded hills, many rivers. • “Ashanti” area; cocoa, minerals, timber. North: low bush, savannah; 64-102 degrees • Agriculture, fishing, forestry. Major cash crop is cocoa, also crops are rice, coffee, cassava, peanuts, and corn. Export cocoa, gold, timber, and various minerals. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  25. Agbekor: Music and Dance of the Ewe People • Originally performed for war • Linked to legend of monkey dance; a monkey beating stick inspired the dance • Agbekor signifies enjoying life, and sacred oath to ancestors to fight bravely; “clear life” Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  26. Learning and Performing Agbekor • Requires special training due to complexity • Rarely performed in villages now, but often performed in societies (mutual aid organizations, school and civic youth groups, theatrical performing companies) • The writer visited Anya Agbekor Society of Accra, dedicated to remembering old family members. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  27. Agbekor: basic drumming patterns The first pattern is played by the double bell: It is ubiquitous to nearly all of Africa. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  28. Agbekor: drumming patterns (cont.) The next pattern to feel is the rattle & handclap pattern. What division of the meter are we stressing? Is it what you thought we would be playing? Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  29. Agbekorfullbackgroundpattern Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  30. A Performance at a Wake • Ten Drummers at one end • Columns of dancers face the drummers • Singers behind the dancers in a semicircle • 300 onlookers Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  31. The actual event • Adzo, dancers sing in free rhythm • Then Vutsotsoe, fast drumming • Various words like “Aa-oo” summon the spirits of the departed ancestors • Dancing shows readiness to act in the manner of the ancestors • Several more songs • The adzokpi section begins; pairs of dancers or groups dance in front of the lead drummer. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  32. The actual event (cont.) • Drummer plays special ending figure. • Groups leaders go to the center of dance and to pour water/libation to call for blessings from deceased member. • Vulolo, or slow drumming • Vutsotsoe, up-tempo section • Final adzokpi section, elders, patrons, etc. enter the dance floor for a while. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  33. Agbekor Instruments Axatse Gankogui Kaganu Kidi Sogo Atsimevu Source: www.dancedrummer.com Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  34. Conclusions about African Music Traditions • African music-cultures strongly linked to community • Construction and playing of musical instruments • Spontaneous performances • Music serves functions • Fosters group participation Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  35. Mande People of Mali Lambango (CD 1:13) Mariatu Kuyateh, Kekuta Suso (kora), and Seni Jobateh Griots (Jalolu) = professional musicians who transmit oral history (of Mande people) through song. Kora = indigenous African “spiked-bridge” harp Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  36. Kora Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  37. Dagbamba of Ghana • Lunsi = hereditary clan of drummers; serve as verbal artist, counselor, cultural expert, etc. • Gung-gong & lunga drums (specific names for double-headed drums) • “Nag Biegu” (CD 1:14) Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  38. Shona of Zimbabwe • Mbira = “thumb piano” • “Nhemamusasa” (CD 1:15) Mbira is often placed inside a Deze (gourd resonator) Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  39. BaAka People of central Africa (Congo Basin) • “Forest People,” “pygmies,” a unique culture • “Makala” a Mabo (net hunting) song (CD 1:16) • Improvised, open-ended polyphonic vocal musical style with all people participating. How does this express the culture? Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  40. Djembe • The Djembe is the drum of the Mandinka people (Guinea), and its origins dates back to the great Mali Empire of the 12th century. • VERY popular drum world-wide • Mamady Keita • http://www.radioceros.com/ondemandvideo/mamadykeita/mamadykeita.htmJuju Music Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  41. Contemporary Musicians Seeking Identities and Names • Many musicians in Africa are fighting Disco and other Western styles, and hoping to keep African elements in the popular music. Introduction to World Music, SMSU

  42. Assignment I. Explain how a cross rhythm works. Give a specific example from a piece we have studied. II. What is a lunsi, and what instrument is he associated with? III. What is a griot, and what instrument are they associated with? IV. How does “call and response” function in an actual social situation? V. What impressed you most about this section (African music)? How and Why? Introduction to World Music, SMSU