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Amadou Kouyate Essay

Amadou Kouyate Essay - Not only does he maintain the jeli...

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Rosenblum Ethan Rosenblum MUET200-0112 Boden Sandstrom Elizabeth Goldman September 20, 2009 Amadou Kouyate When Amadou Kouyate and his brother began playing their instruments, the audience could immediately tell they were expressing their identity and maintaining the jeli tradition. The balapho, “wood that speaks” was made when the French came to West Africa and used wood called Hadi. Kouyate’s has 21 keys, on top of a bamboo and wooden frame held together with goat and antelope hide. On the underside are gourds called halabash which act as resonators. His father taught him how to play this traditional instrument, which acts as the epitome of his jeli routes. Jeli’s are musicians, singers, and oral historians and by playing a traditional instrument that has been taught for generations speaks volumes of how his jeli lineage is still strong. He played many different instruments, sang beautiful lyrics, and even spoke to the audience about where his sound came from and what his instruments were.
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Unformatted text preview: Not only does he maintain the jeli tradition but also Kouyate expresses who he is by singing in his native tongue as well as English. What moved me the most was watching the brothers get into the music they were making because I was really able to feel what they were playing. A quick glance at each other and the rhythm would change and they would remain in perfect harmony. Subtle changes in volume, beat and speed of their songs kept my emotions and feelings turning. My heart would pound faster as the drummer banged louder and then I would feel a 1 2 calming sensation when the balapho took over with a slow, soft tone, almost like a lullaby. Each instrument brought a unique, new sound to the table and I could imagine generations from centuries before playing as the Kouyate brothers were. It was a special performance that I will always remember....
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  • Spring '08
  • Zelensky
  • English-language films, Musical instrument, Amadou Kouyate, jeli tradition, Boden Sandstrom, Ethan Rosenblum

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Amadou Kouyate Essay - Not only does he maintain the jeli...

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