West Africa Griot - Epics are said to be sung only by men I...

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Patrick Flynn Lisa Mott Experiencing Music 14 th December 2007 Section I Griots, Kora, Balaphone The Griots are considered by many to be masters of musical word. They are superior to many in their ability of deep analysis. Historically the griots held some of the most prominent positions in society, but in modern day they can be heard on the television or radio of their local communities or nation. Today they are in high demand and many of them translate older songs into newer, more acceptable modern terms. The griots are unique because their abilities are passed down from generation to generation. They are so secluded as a cultural identity that people both fear and embrace them in West Africa. Rather than accept a particular fee for their services, griots accept gifts in exchange for their work. One form of song griots specifically sing is called an Epic. Epics are extremely long forms of song that tell stories of historical value. They talk about politics, marriage, life, death, and the ideas that come along with each.
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Unformatted text preview: Epics are said to be sung only by men. I think that these unique people we call griots need to continue their paralleled existence with us on earth. It allows for an outsiders point of view in the sense that their view of reality has been passed down within a tight knit community. Section II Cora Connection The Kora is a West African harp lute, popular in Gambia and Senegal. The Kora has a skin stretched across a large gourd, a wooden neck and gut or nylon fishwire strings stretched across a tall bridge. Played somewhat like a harp, the Kora is one of the most popular instruments of its culture. Then there is the Balaphone, which is simply a West African xylophone: set of three: bass, mid range, and a high one for soloing. There are not many instruments similar to a Balaphone but I suppose if there were some they would be the xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and the vibraphone. These are all examples of he idiophone family of tuned percussion....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MUS 101 taught by Professor General during the Spring '08 term at The University of Oklahoma.

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West Africa Griot - Epics are said to be sung only by men I...

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