African Drum Notes

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The chapter called “The Study of Music in Africa” in the book “African Rhythm and African Sensibility” briefly explains about the Westerners’ perspective towards the African music. In addition, this passage suggests several ways to study and understand the African music in order to enjoy it. After thoroughly reading this chapter, I became familiar with African music through learning the ways to approach to the African music and the cultures behind it.

First, I was able to learn the way to approach to the African music behind the African music that could help me to enjoy the African music that I’m currently learning. In the past, I didn’t have enough opportunity to hear and feel the African music except hip-hop or jazz, which are combined with Western music. Therefore, similar to the Westerner’s common perspective towards the African music mentioned in the passage, I could not understand how people can create music through only singing, drumming and dancing with complicated rhythms. However, in the passage, the author suggests to compare with our own cultures to become more familiar with the African cultures. When I compare the music that we are currently learning during the class with the Korean cultures, we also have traditional music combined with only the drum and singing called “Pansori.” Similar to the African music, the musicians play the drum and sing the song based on the fairytales or the legend. After becoming familiar with the African music, I was able to understand the difference in cultures and enjoy the African music.

In addition, I got an opportunity to learn more about the culture behind the African music. According to the article, Chernoff explains that the Africans express not only their individual life but also the traditional stories such as folklore, myths and proverbs through singing and dancing. In addition, within Africa, each country has different types of music and different story behind the song based on which they believe it is...
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