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Week 3 Notes - Africa

by: Bridget Dixon

Week 3 Notes - Africa MUSI 3583 503

Bridget Dixon
OK State
GPA 3.9

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About this Document

These notes cover this weeks readings and can be used while taking quizzes.
World Traditional Music
Kunzel, Stephen N
Class Notes
Traditional World Music
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bridget Dixon on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUSI 3583 503 at Oklahoma State University taught by Kunzel, Stephen N in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see World Traditional Music in Music at Oklahoma State University.


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Date Created: 01/30/16
Traditional World Music Week 3 Africa – Exploring the Landscape of African Music Introduction o Africa is the second largest and second most populous country o 1000 languages o Lying to the north of this vast continent is the Mediterranean Sea, which separates Africa from Europe. At the northeastern border sit the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The Indian Ocean lies to the southeast, while the Atlantic Ocean forms the western border of the continent. o Sahara Desert separates N. Africa from S. Africa o North Africa is home to Arab countries such as Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, while the area south of the Sahara (usually referred to as Sub-Saharan Africa) is inhabited by a predominantly black population living in countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. o Western instruments – piano, trumpet, organ o Christianity and Islamic influence both important o Movement of people from rural to major cities Music in the Sande Initiation o Girls are initiated into the Sande female society, while boys are admitted into the Poro male society.  Girls camp in special building for months  Circumcised  Educated about sex and marriage African Instruments o West Africa – slit drums and skin drums dominate o N. Africa – String and wind instruments  Used as solo instruments by herdsmen to entertain themselves  Imzad – string instrument played by Tuareg women of nobility o E. Africa – range of instruments that reflects a mixture of cultural influences  Varied wind instruments, stringed instruments, drums, gongs, and xylophones  amadinda xylophone (played by two), and its bigger sister, the akadinda xylophone (played by four) of the Baganda people of Uganda 1  stringed instruments include the ntongooli, an eight- string bowl lyre often played by virtuosic soloists, and the endingidi, a Ugandan one-string fiddle.  Wind instruments include the endere, a notched flute with four holes and the cone-shaped esheegu flute made of "clay, wood or short lengths of bamboo." This instrument is associated with traditional royal institutions in Uganda.  Central Africa - various types of harps, as well as flutes, skin drums and xylophones  Three types of xylophones o manza, - uses banana stem resonators, longo - uses gourd resonators, kponingbo, - consists of at least twelve slabs or keys. o S. Africa – variety, but less membrane drums  Important musical instruments from this region include the timbila xylophone of the Chopi people of Mozambique, and the mbira of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. o Instruments have symbolic functions  Niger, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria - kakaki brass trumpet and the alghaita oboe both symbolize royal authority and aristocratic status.  Baganda people of Uganda – drum symbol of royal authority  Drums indicate some religious deities  Ex. Yoruba people of Western Nigeria - each of the main deities is associated with a specific instrumental ensemble  igbin cylindrical drums – Obatala, the arch- divinity  mbira believed to have the power to break thru to the heavens among the Shona people Vocal Music – Call and Response o Call and response pattern – calls ( usually varied) are answered by the audience (usually the same verse each time)  Call = movement, response = stability Lesotho Circumcision Songs o Overlapping call and response o Involuntary counterpoint is common in African music o Speech, chant, and song included 2 o Ululation ends the song African Drum Language o All membrane drums “talk” by imitating human speech patterns o African languages are tonal languages – meaning depends on how the word is said o Drums imitate the speech contours of words o Takes skill to know what the drums are saying and it is important to understand African music Yoruba Dundun Music Yoruba people, whose population is about 30 million, live in South Western Nigeria and parts of Benin Republic also found in Brazil, Cuba, The Caribbean, and the United States dundun drum ensemble Dundun drum – usually played with wooden beater ( sometimes with hand) The capability of the hourglass drum to generate an extensive range of pitches makes it the most talkative of all West African skin drums. o All drums, except the gudgudgu, have an hourglass shape (the gudgudgu is globular)  Isaaju – supplies an unchanging pattern with each musical piece or dance  Atele – “follower”, the only drum that may improvise, but this is very limited  Gudgudgu – globular, lacks pitch-varying strings; a black mixture of tree sap is applied to the center of 3 membrane, allowing it to produce 2 different pitches; beaten with two leater string beaters; dry and piercing sound  Iyaalu – leading drum played by most knowledgable; deepest and most powerful; keeps a steady beat Mbira Music of the Shona People o Shona people are the largest ethnic group in Zimbabwe o Strong belief in ancestral spirits o Categories of ancestral spirits among the Shona include vadzimu (family ancestral spirits), mhondoro (ancestral spirits of chiefs) and makombwe (the guardian spirit of the Shona people) o Mbira music is the best way to communicate with spirits Physical Features of the Mbira mbira davadzimu, an instrument that is associated with spirit possession ceremonies, known as the bira communicate with ancestors for assistance mbira is played to facilitate spirit possession and open a line of communication between humans and spirits There are two distinct parts in mbira music: a leading part and a follower part Leader = kushaura, Follower = kutsinhera Popular because its melodic phrases outline harmonic patterns that sound similar to those of Western music 4


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