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World Music Presentation The Aka Pygmies vs. Guillaume de Machaut

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1 World Music Presentation The Aka Pygmies vs. Guillaume de Machaut
Hannah Youngwirth

2 Who are the Aka Pygmies? Southwestern Central African Republic and the Northern Congo Smaller tribe of Mbenga tribe The Aka are nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes that reside mainly in the rain forests.

3 Data of the Region 15 different tribes, app. 30,000 members total
Tight-knit families, “world’s best dad” The Aka speak their own language (Akais Diaka , along with the Bantu of the surrounding tribes.

4 Influences Main instruments are the enzeko (drum), a harp-like geedale-bagongo, a flute-like instrument known as the Hindewhu, and a single string bow known as the melba. Rhythm: hand-clapping and stomping. Isolation=more singing! Akais Diaka is characterized by three tones

5 Influences Cont. Animistic religion, they worship Jengi and Luma
Religious Ceremonies for various occasions Ceremonies include feasting, dancing, and singing. They model the hunt.

6 Polyphony The complex polyphonic music, combined with the contrapuntal communal improvisation, plays a significant role in the lives of the tribe members. Polyphony: two or more independent melodic voices Contrapuntal: the relationship between two or more voices independent in contour, rhythm, and harmony

7 The Polyphonic Improvisations of the Aka
The Aka tribes sing to entertain and worship Yodeling + polyphonic contrapuntal phrases based on four original voices, all sung at different intervals. Accompanied by most commonly a “2 by 3” rhythm pattern. Each singer includes their own improvisation and different variations.

8 Aka Music Theory Melody: The polyphonic melodies begin to emerge as the song continues, each new member of the song making their own unique addition. Medium: The medium begins with simply flute, then the drums and vocals are introduced. As the song moves on, the vocals take lead in the song. Harmony: The harmonies are not planned, but rather created as the musical improvisations continue. Meter: 2 by 3 rhythm pattern Form: The form is improvised, following the traditional ritualistic pattern Style: The style is tribal gathering instrumental improvisations Context: Tribal chanting in which the vocal variations make use of different techniques, rhythms, and tones.

9 Guilluame de Machaut Leading composer of the Middle Ages
Composed sacred and secular music He was born in Rheims, Champagne He was Secretary/Canon to the king Also a talented poet.

10 His Music Secular work pertains to courtly love
Sacred music is cyclic with no tonal center or extended melodic theme Fueled the Ars Nova Movement

11 Prominent Works His motets showcase his expansion of harmonies to contain more intervals of the 3rd and 6th. Best known for the Messe de Nostre Dame, the earliest known setting of Mass belonging to one composer. This is composed of the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and Ite missa est.

12 Messe de Nostre Dame “Mass of Our Lady”-a polyphonic and isorythmic mass The five movements are the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, followed by the dismissal Ite, missa est. Translates: Cry, Glory Be to God, I Believe, Holy, Lamb of God, and Go, Be Dismissed

13 “Messe” Music Theory Melody: The melody is shared between a four-voiced mass, and Machaut’s use of polyphony leads to each voice singing different tunes, contrasting harmonically. Medium: Voice (4 male voices) Harmony: The polyphony leads to each voice acting as a contrasting harmony to the other Meter: isorythmic pulse Form: Follows the “standard” mass format Style: Mass/Sacred Context: Used to open the Mass Text: Kyrie Eleison (Lord Have Mercy)

14 In Comparison, Both are polyphonic
Akas composes for recreation, Machaut composes for profit Akas have limited resources, Machaut has many different instruments and singers available Machaut has to consider the appeal to the audience Both are polyphonic Aka improvise thorughout the work, the messe singers enter as one body Machaut uses isorythm, Akas have a 2 by 3 rhythm pattern Both write for entertainment as well as religion Music is a way of life

15 Just For Funsies… Learn to Chant like a Pygmy

16 References: "Aka Forest People." Youtube. Youtube, 06 Jul Web. 6 Nov <>. "The Polyphonic Singing of the Aka Pygmies of Central Africa." Youtube. Youtube, 26 Sep Web. 6 Nov <>. "Aka people." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 01 Nov Web. 6 Nov <>. "Mbuti people." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 13 Oct Web. 6 Nov <>. "Pygmy Music." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 12 Oct Web. 6 Nov <>. "Baka people (Cameroon and Gabon)."Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 01 Nov Web. 6 Nov <>. "Messe de Nostre Dame." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 06 May Web. 6 Nov <>. Luis, Mauro. "Aka Pymgies."Pygmies.Org. Pymgies.Org, 07 Nov Web. 07 Nov <>. "Polyphonic singing of the Aka Pygmies." ETHNIKKA. ETHNIKKA, 17 Apr Web. 6 Nov <>. "The Polyphonic Singing of the Aka Pygmies of Central Africa."UNESCO. UNESCO, Web. 6 Nov <>. "Aka ." Countries and Their Culture. Advameg, Inc., n.d. Web. 6 Nov <>. Schmidt-Jones, Catherine. "Music Texture." Music Theory. CNX.Org, n.d. Web. 6 Nov <>. McComb, Todd. "Guillaume de Machaut (c )." Medieval. N.p., 06 Nov Web. 6 Nov <>. Kaplan, Mitchell. "The Fourteenth Century Composer." Classical Forums. Classical Forums, 24 jul Web. 6 Nov <>. "Guillaume de Machaut." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., Web. 6 Nov <>.

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