The Music of Sub

MUSI 207
Chapter 7
The Music of Africa
Chapter 7 Presentation
General Principles of African
General Principles of African Music
Interlocking is the practice of fitting
pitches into spaces between other
parts, alternating pitches or phrases of
one part with those of another to create
a whole part. An example is the whole
melody created by a mbira player’s two
General Principles of African Music
Call and response is the alternation or
interlocking of leader and chorus, or of a
vocal and instrumental part. Hocket is the
interlocking pitches between two or more
sound sources to create a single melody or
part. An example is Pygmy vocal music.
General Principles of African Music
Dense, overlapping textures and buzzy timbres
manifested in a preference for overlapping drum
and percussion rhythms. An example is Ewe
drumming. Wind and string instruments
incorporate percussive elements: strings are more
often plucked than bowed and wind instruments
are often played with a breathy sound quality. An
example of a percussive string sound is the kora.
General Principles of African Music
Cyclical and open-ended forms involving
one or more repeated melodies/rhythmic
patterns (ostinatos) as the basic foundation
of a performance.
Ostinato is a repeated melodic or rhythmic
pattern that forms the basic foundation of a
piece or musical section (sometimes called
“melorhythm” or “ensemble thematic cycle”).
General Principles of African Music
Community participation. The participation of nonspecialists is facilitated by long performances with
much repetition and by the close association of
music with dance.
Importance of rhythmic complexity. This can occur
at many levels: juxtaposition of duple and triple
patterns (hemiola), multiple layering of different
rhythmic patterns, and interaction between core
foundation and varied/improvised elaboration
For next class
Chapter Exam 7 is due Friday
Comment on the D2L
PowerPoint presentations
Read Chapter 7 (pgs. 221237) on African music
A man should hear a little
music, read a little poetry,
and see a fine picture
everyday of his life.
- Goethe
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