STYLE: West African Music
Features of West African Music:
Call and Response
Musical knowledge is passed down through oral tradition *
Layered, polyrhythmic textures.
The country from which this piece comes from is Burkina Faso, West Africa. *
Koko is a group composing of 6 musicians, led by Madou Koné, the singer and balafon player. *
Yiri is the 4th track of Burkina Faso: Balafons et Tambours d’Afriquereleased by Koko in 2002. *
‘Yiri’ means wood in the local dialect, referring to the wood used in the making of drums.
Main metre of the piece is 4/4/, although a few bars are in different metres (eg. Bars 27, 94 and 120 use the metre ¾ and bar 47 uses the metre 5/4) *
A change in metre- from 4/4 to a bar of ¾ then back to 4/4 is used to signal the start of new sections (eg. Bar 95) *
The introduction is free tempo, and a steady pulse is maintained throughout the whole piece.
Within vocal and balafon parts, syncopation is frequently used (for example in bar 34 during the balafon break where every bar is syncopated) *
Cross rhythms are created in bar 66 during the vocal solo as the balafon plays semi quavers in groups of 3 (cross phrases) against quavers. *
Triplets are often used by the vocal soloist
A rhythmic ostinato consisting of a quaver and two semiquavers is repeatedly played by the drums throughout the entire piece *
The djembe plays occasional fills
Piece is polyrhythmic- more than one rhythm at a time *
Simple rhythm ostinatos are found throughout the piece (for example bar 14 and bar 17 with the balafons)
The piece is in the key of Gb major
The music is hexatonic (based on a 6-note scale, without the note F), but pentatonic at the beginning. *
Short patterns, falling from high to low are...
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