Presentation on theme: "African music in society Rich, colourful and diverse Covers 50 different nations, each with their own musical traditions and language Plays an important."— Presentation transcript:
African music in society Rich, colourful and diverse Covers 50 different nations, each with their own musical traditions and language Plays an important role, used to express emotions and feelings Part of every social gathering i.e. celebrating the harvest, birthdays, weddings, funerals, imprtant meetings. Often combined with speech, dance and vibrant costumes Falls into 3 strands - Drumming, Choral music, instrumental music.
Common features of African music Repetition: Improvisation: Polyphony: Call and response:
African Drumming Considered the most important instrument A means of communication, with certain rhythmic patterns meaning different things.e. slow beat could signify a sad occasion such as a funeral. Hundreds of drums and names vary between each region. Most common is the Djembe – a single-headed drum, made in a range of sizes to produce different pitches Frequently heard on their own but also in ensembles Ensemble is made up of a master drummer playing a solo drum and a set of accompanying drums Famous group = The Royal Burundi Drummers
Playing techniques Hands on the skin – different sounds are made by opening/closing fingers, using different parts of the hand etc Hands on the wooden edge of the drum Using sticks to make short, staccato sounds Stretching the drum membrane to produce a range of pitches
A typical performance Master drummer in the centre of the ensemble, responsible for directing the performance and will be surrounded by other drummers and percussionists The master drummer will signal to the performers when he is ready to start, often with a vocal cry followed by a rhythmic solo to set mood/tempo Response is an exact copy or a different rhythm entirely by the other performers Call and response = main feature of tribal music
A typical performance Master drummer will signal to the other players to perform a solo. This will be a variation or development of the original pattern A steady, continuous beat is played by the master drummer, called the timeline. There may be percussion instruments playing as well. The complex rhythms create polyrhythms, often with stresses that conflict with eachother, resulting in polyrhythmic texture.
A typical performance Piece increases in tension as the piece progresses Tempo and dynamics will vary from section to section to provide interest and variet. Master drummer is responsible for controlling the changes and making sure that the music does not become too monotonous. Some performances can take up to 5 hours or even longer! As well as solo drumming to show off the soloists skills of improvisation, there is often movement and dance
African choral singing Sub-saharan musical traditions are often centred around singing Believed that it serves as a link to the spiritual world Vital part of everyday life, like drumming Unites communities, everyone is involved in singing regardless of ability Means of communication - Use of tone like in language. Melodies and rhythms fit the pitch and rhythm of the speech to convey correct meaning.
Common Features Call and response Short, simple, repeated melodies using scales of only 4-7 notes Melodies are changed by different singers giving a theme and variations effect Performers improvise melodies over the main melody resulting in polyphonic textures Music often sung in rounds (i.e. Zulu choral music, overlapping ever-changing textures). Harmony varies from tribe to tribe, some only using octaves and unison, with occasional 5ths, other using lots of harmony i.e. 3rds and 6ths.
African instrumental music Many instruments which vary between regions. Instruments are selected according to nature/mood of the music. Instrumental music has more complex tuning and is capable of playing more demanding rhythms and melodies. Lots of overlapping of melodies to create polyphonic textures. Families of instruments Membranophones - With a skin or membrane, like a drum Aerophone – Using air, a woodwind instrument Chordophones – String instruments Idiophones – resonant/solid instruments, this includes the Balaphone or Xylophone, the most common African instrument.
African instrumental music IdiophoneAerophoneChordophone Rattle/ShakerFlutes (Bamboo/Horn)Zithers BellsOcarinasLutes (Kora) MbiraPanpipesLyres XylophoneHorn (From animal tusks) Musical Bows Clap sticksTrumpet (Wood and metal) Slit GongsPipes (Single and double reed) Stamping TubesWhistle Body percussion is also used i.e hand clapping and foot stomping, also vocal effects such as shouting and vocables (eh, ah, oh)
Xylophones (Balaphones) Most common african instrument Many sizes with a variety of pitches Wooden bars on a frame, allowing them to resonate, using a piece of rubber or dried fruit as a membrane to help this.
Common features of African instrumental music 1. Repetition (including ostinato) 2. Improvisation 3. Cyclic structures 4. Polyphonic structures 5. Intertwining melodies
Background to Yiri - Musicians Madou Kone – Vocals, Balaphone, Flute Sydou Traore – Vocals, Balaphone Jacouba Kone – Djembe Francois Naba – Vocals, Tam-Tam, dundun, maracas Keresse Sanou – Talking Drum Tidiane Hema – Vocals, Maracas
Background to Yiri From Burkina Faso Landlocked nation in West Africa. Surrounded by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote D’Ivoire Renamed by president Thomas Sankara in 1984 Burkina = Men of Integrity, Faso = Father’s House Inhabitants are called Burkinabe
Background to Yiri Main themes for music from Burkina Faso bring images of mankind’s greatest battles Fight for survival Need to look after the environment Creation Also community celebrations and friendships
Background to Yiri There are 3 clear strands in this set work The Balaphone ostinati – Combinations produce complex polyphony The Drum ostinati – They play a relentless one-bar pattern (with only a tiny variation) The vocal line – this is a simple pentatonic, call-and- response structure.
0’00-0’18 Begins with free tempo High balaphone playing an improvised solo at a soft dynamic Sets the scene with a monophonic texture Solo is a melody in Gb Major with fast high and low rolls on every note. A simple, repetitive idea.
0’18-0’34 Moderato established by the first balaphone. Second balaphone enters at Bar 9, playing mostly and octave below. Strong sense of Gb Major as the opening notes are Db and Gb (V-I). Strong rhythmic basis to the melody, built on 2-bar phrases. Second balaphone plays the same melody but with a few different pitches (see bars 11-12). Makes a heterophonic texture Rhythm is mainly semiquavers and quavers with some tied notes
0’34-1’09 Large and small talking drum and djembe enter playing an incessant half=bar ostinati Balaphones continue melody Lower balaphone plays an ostinato figure in bars Occasional djembe fills in this melody Melody has lots of syncopation and octave repetitions on Gb and Db (I-V) From bar 21, melodic phrases are repeated with slight variation in 2 bar phrases
1’09-2’01 Chorus A1 = Voices in unison, short, simple, repetitive melody. No Harmony. Followed by a balaphone break (solo) with drum ostinati as before Chorus A2 = same as before mostly
2’01-2’45 Voices out, lower balaphone break. Some variation on the melody this time (continuous semiquaver Gb) Solo with choral responses. Long held or short punctuated notes on ‘Yiri’ Drum ostinati continues Vocal melody incorporates triplet now (adding variation to original melody Lower balaphone plays same ostinati from bar17-20 Voices in unison to call at bar 63. New melodic riff on balaphone, based on the original.
2’45-3’14 Solo voice call again, featuring long notes Drums continue as before Balaphone plays rhythmic 3-note semiquaver melodic figure, creating cross-rhythms Bar 71- another variant of the melody in the vocals Triplet figure, syncopation and semiquaver-quaver rhythms have all been heard already in the piece
3’15-4’31 Vocal responses from the choir in unison Solo voice with varied balaphone rhythms in break Instrumental solos continue.New melodies on the balaphone. Short 3-beat (one bar) rest before next chorus. Chorus B1 = Full choir in unison, singing ‘Yiri’ with short instrumental interjections to break up the vocal lines.
4’31- 5’20 Dialogue effects between voices and instruments Instrumental as a balaphone break. Riff with variations This is extended and based on the original melody with variations More virtuosic, rapid figures with octave leaps and demisemiquaver and semiquaver patterns
5’20-6’24 Chorus A3 = Full, unison choir with instrumental interjections Instrumental ending played as a balaphone break Very syncopated. Drums re-enter at bar 153, one bar before the coda
6’24-End = Coda 5, 2-bar phrases Mostly in octaves, with dramatic rests by all instruments Strong sense of riff Some differences in notes occasionally, creating a heterophonic texture. Drum provides ostinato from Bar 153 Piece finishes with a final ‘ting’ on a bell