1. What is the role of music and culture in African society?
African people have integrated music in their everyday activities. Music and other art forms are an
inseparable part of their lives. Music is one of the art forms embedded in the diverse cultures of African
peoples and their traditions, beliefs, values, religions and artistic expression.
Most Africans love and appreciate music as an art form. They listen to music, dance to it, and
participate in its making. Throughout these processes, people are involved in showing their love and
appreciation of the music. In most African cultures, these processes draw mainly from the affective
(feelings) domain of the listener, but the cognitive and the psychomotor skills are also utilized in the
appreciation of music. In comparison to Western orchestral traditions where aesthetic judgments are
made in how the piece affects the listener’s mind and emotions, music in various African traditions
demand a physical response (i.e., dancing, clapping, singing along) to show appreciation of the
musical quality. Musical quality itself, therefore, is based on community participation.
Africa is a continent that is characterized by a rich heterogeneity of cultures, traditions, beliefs, values,
religions, and artistic expressions, including music. The rich variety of social, economic, political
structures and activities in the continent differentially influence the musical practices of African
The music traditions in Africa are dynamic. Change within musical traditions can come from within the
tradition as musical forms change through creative artistry and the traditions are articulated inter-
generationally. Change also occurs as a result of contact with musical traditions from neighboring and
foreign cultures. Africa is a continent that has experienced and made contacts with the outside world
through trade, migration, slavery, colonialism and religious expansion. These processes have impacted
musical expression in African cultures.
2. Culture groups vs. Country defined boundaries
3. Ghana-Polyphonic drumming- what is polyrhythm and how does it reflect values and culture
in African society? What types of instruments are used? Is it collective and how?
is the joining of two or more rhythms. The regular and systematic superimposition
over main beats creates a specific sub-set of
From the philosophical perspective of the