africanroots - is here conceptualized as an intensification...

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African Roots . “Musical expression (or, essentially, rhythmic expression) is not divorced from other forms of communication – speech, gestures, greetings, and dance – but derives directly from these. . . . A unitary conception informs the variety of ways in which they express themselves rhythmically.” (Kofi Agawu) The domain of rhythmic expression in West Africa: Stage One Stage Two Stage Three Stage Four Stage Five Gesture Spoken Vocal Music Instrumental Dance (Stylized Word Music Gesture) | | | tone, rhythm stylized speech rhythms from stylized speech (“talking” drums) This continuum – from gesture to stylized gesture – demonstrates “the major elements of rhythmic expression and suggests a causal or organic relationship between its contiguous stages. . . . Gesture [is] the primordial rhythmic event, gesture being a physical manifestation of a more fundamental communicative urge. . . . Note that the spoken word
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Unformatted text preview: is here conceptualized as an intensification of gesture, that is, as the result of the transformation of non-verbal into verbal communication . . . Rhythmic expression may therefore be conceptualized within the framework of a continuum or circle which originates in gesture and terminates in stylized gesture.” (Agawu) A few shared characteristics of West African Music(s): 1. steady pulse 2. call-response 3. melodic accents not where the Western ear might expect them 4. polyrhythms – layers of different rhythms – interlocking patterns of rhythm a. cross-rhythms: where the layers are in different metric organizations 5. close relation of music and dance / gesture 6. use of instruments to emulate the human voice and speech / language 7. improvisation; repetition and variation 8. context specific...
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2010 for the course MUSL MUSL 147 taught by Professor Lovensheimer during the Fall '08 term at Vanderbilt.

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