Sub-Saharan Music of Africa

Topics: Music, Popular music, Melody Pages: 2 (608 words) Published: November 13, 2008
In the Shona mbira example, the mbira plays a single melody then shifts to focus the bass line. The player will then elaborate the melody as to continue the piece. In the background, percussion interlocks with the melody and fits in between. In the BaMbuti singing example, male and female voices interlock to form complex music. The leader sings a melody and is immediately responded to creating the larger melody structure. Also others will sing various ostinato throughout the piece creating a dense musical texture. In the Mande kora example, the kora player uses an interlocking technique by playing alternating notes with the left and right hand. A melody will arise, interlocking the two parts. In the Ewe dance drumming example, the bell introduces the beat at the beginning with a rhythmic ostinato. The other drums join in, playing established and improvised patterns in between the ostinato of the bell, interlocking the parts. Also the voices repeat a main phrase throughout the song adding to the interlocking dense mixture. In the Baganda akadinda example, two rhythmic melodic ideas are played together, alternating together while playing off of each other. A third part comes in, but is a simple rhythm, only accentuate the interlocking parts. In the BaMbuti example, the music is highly communal and cooperative, just as their lifestyles indicate communal hunting and no real form of leadership. It is a relatively egalitarian society in which in the music, the whole tribe participants in the singing and dancing with equal parts. However, some individuals have more expertise and will lead the group by singing the opening melodic sequence. In the Mande example, the singer (jali) plays the kora. This would be a professional musician singing about a noble king or great deeds. They are hired as oral historians and were regarded with great respect, having a middle place in the extremely hierarchical society of the Mande, consisting of the kings and other slots below. In the...
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