Comparative Analysis of African and Polynesian Musical Traditions

Comparative Analysis of African and Polynesian Musical Traditions

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Brendan Johnson 9/7/10 Section 740 Comparative Analysis of African and Polynesian Musical Traditions Traditional African music was based around a wide variety of instruments, as well as a long history of singing and dancing. Since, their culture has hundreds of languages, they would rely on the tone of their voice to carry across the message of the song. They used music as a way of teaching traditional culture to their children, as well as religion. It was used to speak to a spiritual world believed to exist beyond our own. Some of the more favored instruments in their bands were the drums, finger bells, xylophones, horns, trumpets, whistles, flutes, thumb pianos, and the musical bow. Another interesting aspect of their culture is the call and response patterns of singing, where a leader sings a phrase, which is then repeated by a group of people. Once the tribes were enslaved by the United States, they began using these patterns of song to ease the pain of their workload. It was
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Unformatted text preview: handed down through generations until it became widely popular amongst Americans within a genre of soul music, which is still used to this day in some churches. Unlike African culture, Polynesian music traditions were mostly lost after the 19 th century. Before then, their favorite instruments included the drum, slit-drum, bamboo pipes, rattles, tapping sticks, pebbles, the nose flute, ocarinas and even the shell trumpet. The dancers would match the rhythm of the instruments by wearing such skirts as the Maori reed skirt made from flax seeds, while the singers chanted on. Ever since the Europeans and Americans opened contact with them, they introduced chordophones, like the guitar and the ukulele, which, became two of the most popular instruments in all of Polynesia. Their old music traditions were westernized, although, there are still small parts where it can be heard today and is used as a tourist attraction....
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Comparative Analysis of African and Polynesian Musical Traditions

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