african music_Essay

african music_Essay - 5/8/08 AS & RC 205 African Music...

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5/8/08 African Music Music in America can have very little or very much importance in people’s lives. Some listen for the melodic pressure, others for the meaning of the words. Some in America digest the song, for others music gets taken for granted. But in Africa, music is often a way of life. It is included in so many aspects of a community, that it is metaphorically as if there is no beginning or end to music in African culture, but as if it sweeps through every moment. Music is indifferent to happy or sad times, as it acts an overseer throughout African society. While in many places around the world political messages in music are considered taboo, they are certainly not missed in African music. “Griots, professional praise and criticize singers, convey messages for their rulers as they have since before the time of Sunjata (1230-1255), the first emperor of Mali,” (233, Stone). African music also mentions messages about religion and other subjects that people may feel personally about elsewhere. But if music is truly everywhere in Africa, it must discuss everyone and everything. To prove that music is really necessary as a part of African life, never is it more evident than at funerals. While funerals are morbid periods for most places, and even so in Africa, Music is there to remind people of the sorrow time, but to also lift everyone’s spirits. Funerals become festivals, and people poor their hearts out through music during them. Unbelievably, memorable people can draw thousands to their funerals. Furthermore, these spectacles can go on all day and through the night, with musical performances lasting seemingly forever. While there are necessary breaks to these festivals, “…the cancers move around their circle, twisting their waists
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This essay was uploaded on 02/20/2009 for the course AS&RC 205 taught by Professor Bekerie, a during the Spring '07 term at Cornell.

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african music_Essay - 5/8/08 AS & RC 205 African Music...

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