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Notes from 1-22 and 1-29

by: Casey Kampegaard

Notes from 1-22 and 1-29 MUS102

Marketplace > Music > MUS102 > Notes from 1 22 and 1 29
Casey Kampegaard
GPA 2.7
African American Music
Donald James

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About this Document

Hey everyone! So these are the notes from the past week that we've had class. That is why there are only two sets of documents at the moment. There was that snow day, you know. So yeah, here you go!
African American Music
Donald James
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Casey Kampegaard on Thursday January 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MUS102 at a university taught by Donald James in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 297 views.


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Date Created: 01/29/15
African American Music The AfricanAmerican Experience and the Black Atlantic 0 The AfricanAmerican Experience 0 Phrase that describes the experience of being black in the US 0 Used often to refer to the effects of institutional racism on cultural and ethnic identity of black Americans 0 Maultsby the institution of slavery did not destroy the cultural legacy of AfricanAmericans 0 The Myth of the Negro Past 0 Persistent myth of 19th and 20th centuries that African Americans were disconnected from cultural history 0 Countered by many scholars thinkers and writers In academia the most important work to counter this was Melville Herkovits 1941 book The Myth of the Negro Past 0 Melville Herskovits O Anthropologist who studied black cultures all over the world 0 Primarily focused on Africa America and Suriname 0 The Myth of the Negro Past argued that African American cultural legacy and heritage was not lost but was evidenced in retentions from Africa in the new world 0 Herskovits work was an important step and it was important that it come from a white scholar at the time 0 Few black scholars in the social sciences would be effective making the same claim because of institutional racism and the lack of credibility afforded them 0 However in Herskovits39 work there39s a totalizing principle at work that some would use to criticize the concept 0 AfricanAmerican Culture 0 AfricanAmerican Culture is not a culture of retentions from Africa 39 As Maultsby points out there were a variety of ethnic and cultural identities amongst slaves prior to the Middle Passage 0 If anything AfricanAmerican culture developed as a set of practices that meant to cover over the ethnic differences of a variety of African peoples in an effort to forge a new culture based on shared experiences in the US 0 Agency 0 The ability to act and to invent cultural traditions practices and meanings was crucial to African Americans during the institution of slavery I This is agency 0 The culture of African Americans was not subject to a set of retentions from Africa and was not solely in response to subjugation and oppression I AfricanAmerican culture is not heteronymous It is actively de ned and practiced Irony and Parody 0 As Maultsby points out African American culture was rife with parody I Defusing or lessening the power of slave masters and white owners through the act of parody O A few examples I 39Lection Day I Cakewalk I The Trickster 0 The Souls of Black Folk 0 O O 1903 work by WEB Du Bois Series of essays on topics related to the articulation and meaning of a number of AfricanAmerican cultural practices For Du Bois this was an important moment because it was forty years after the abolition of slavery and he saw the 20th century as a time when African Americans would experience a greater degree of cultural and political independence 0 WEB Du Bois O O O Theorist and writer on AfricanAmerican culture and race at the turn of the 20th century Known primarily for two theories that were primary contributions to understanding the relationship between race and culture in the US double consciousness and talented tenth I Talented tenth any cultural group 10 are talented enough to lead said group will lead in art and society I Double consciousness constantly negotiating The Sorrow Songs Music is inextricably bound to cultural experience I As a potentially less formalized cultural practice and one that was harder to codify and ban the AfricanAmerican experience of the US lived in music quotThe true Negro folksong lives in the hearts of those who have heard them truly sung and in the hearts of the Negro people 0 Paul Gilroy O O O Sociologist and theorist of black culture AfroBritish descent so his focus is not on African America but on the broader Black Atlantic Commentary and engagement with history of institutional racism in the UK 0 The Black Atlantic 0 O 0 Africa and black diaspora are inextricably linked through cultural practices in the Black Atlantic Culture is not determined through essences or via static tradition Music is particularly illustrative and constitutive of AfricanAmerican and black identities Essences and pluralities are each wrongheaded ways of approaching the study of cultural identity Day One NOtes Intro to Black Musics What is music 0 John Blacking s def Humanly organized sound 0 Humans make music an art birds sing but humans still take those songs and interpret it as music Humans are unique in demonstrating universal competency with musical sound 0 How that competency manifests is culturally determined 0 Recognize different meters and rhythms thus all people can at least basically interpret music 0 Not every culture uses music theory majorminor scales syncopation etc like the western culture in say America and Europe Music Concepts and Vocabulary How does music have meaning 0 Not a single answer 0 Most meanings are associative and learned 0 Some may be more instinctual but even those are guided by our own experience and learning with respect to music Context affects musical meaning 0 Where and how we listen is important intention reception Describing Musical Sound 0 In the global west we start by conceptualizing music in terms of pitch space and time Maultsby further distinguishes between structural characteristics and musical processes What does she mean Time in Music Rhythm is the time temporal aspect of music 0 All musics have rhythm even if they don t have a quotbeatquot or pulse 0 Most musics admit a sense of regularity a pulse or beat 0 The pulse often has different quotfeelsquot to it based on how we group the pulses 0 Certain pulses are accented which allow us to feel a grouping Meter the grouping and organization of pulses in a piece of music 0 Meter 0 Simple meters duple triple and quadruple 0 Compound meter 6 9 12 o Irregular meters 5 7 11 Syncopation when accents occur in expected places against the meter 0 Tempo How fast or slow a piece of music is moving Maultsby on time in Black Musics African and AfricanAmerican musics demonstrate a mastery and highlydeveloped sense of rhythm o This is not an innate or racialized characteristic This is a cultural practice in that African and Africanderived musics tend to hold complex rhythmic constructions to a higher aesthetic value than European and European derived musics Offers several examples to the complex relationships rhythmic layers have 0 The rhythm section Bass articulates 1 percussion 2amp4 with other parts interlocking Call and Response formal technique that demonstrates responsiveness unity and at times improvisation and or a sense of communion in musical performance 0 Between Voices Buzzard Lope 0 Between voice and instrument Mannish Boy 0 Between instruments Jumpin At the Woodside Space in Music Pitch is the spatial aspect of music Pitch occurs when a sound vibrates at a given frequency perceived by humans We then order different perceived frequencies as quothigherquot or quotlowerquot than other pitches and name them using letters of the alphabet We recognize 12 de nite pitches We theorize categorize these 12 pitches by organizing them into scales and keys 0 Major Scale WWHWWWH 0 Minor Scale WHWWWHW Melody Playing pitches one after another results in melody Melodies can be from one scale diatonic or can stop outside of that scale chromatic o The home scale of a melody and piece of music de nes the key of that piece of music 0 The key can change within the piece This is called modulation Melodies often are performed in phrases o Conjunct motion steps vs disjunct motion leaps Harmony When pitches are performed simultaneously we refer to it as harmony Some pitches work well together consonance some sound intense or clashing dissonance The distance between pitches is an interval 0 Some intervals 3 5 6 are consonant Some 2 4 7 are dissonant Triad the most fundamental type of chord Three pitches from the same key scale We can extend beyond triads to have chords with more pitches and with more complicated relationships between the pitches The Blues o The blues is at the heart of many AfricanAmerican musics because of certain ways in which the blues uses musical materials that are then translated into other African American musics 0 Blue notes Lowering certain intervals 3 5 7 by 12 step to create a more intensegritty sound 0 Dominant 7th chords as a fundamental sound of harmony Texture Monophony One voice Homophony Same voices Many voices singing different melodies in the same rhythm Polyphony Many voices Many voices singing different melodies in different rhythms Heterophony Different voices Many voices singing the same melody in slightly different rhythms and in slightly different ways Uncommon texture for most musics in the global west Other qualities of Musical Sound Timbre The color or quotstampquot of a musical sound 0 Dynamics How loud or soft a given piece of music is performed Organology Organology the classi cation of musical instruments 0 Two systems Traditional classi es instruments to varying characteristics Sachs Hornbostel quot quot according to how they produce sound 0 Traditional system 0 Strings violin viola guitar bass banjo dulcimer Brass trumpet trombone tuba euphonium Woodwinds saxophone clarinet oboe bassoon Percussion drums cymbals triangles Keyboard organ harpsicord Electronic synthesizer computer 0 Under the traditional system a piano could be considered different sections of 00000 instruments such as strings keyboard or electronic so they came up with the Sachs Hornbostel method to clear up this confusion Sachs Hornbostel o Chordophone produces sound from a vibrating string Aerophone quot quot vibrating column of air Membranophone quot quot vibrating membrane Idiophone quot quot as the instrument itself vibrates Electrophone quot quot electrically or electronically OOOO Instruments in AfricanAmerican musics Ensembles will use standard western instrumentation most of the time though with varying emphases and arrangements depending on style or ensemble Rhythm section drums bass piano guitar Lead instruments brass woodwinds vocals guitar and piano


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