Read e-book online African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and PDF

By Simha Arom

ISBN-10: 0521616018

ISBN-13: 9780521616010

During this specified research Simha Arom takes a brand new and unique method of the knowledge of the advanced and complex styles of polyphony and polyrhythm that characterise African song. contemplating specifically the harp, sanza, xylophone and percussion track of critical Africa, Simha Arom develops a rigorous technique for the research of the tune and for the recording and interpreting of the numerous strands of polyphony and polyrhythm. via a scientific breakdown of the numerous layers of it appears improvised rhythm he unearths the fundamental constitution which underlies this wealthy and intricate track. encouraged additionally by way of linguistic thoughts, Professor Arom regards the song greatly as a grammatical procedure.

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As with many other concepts pertaining to African culture in general and music in particular, it is not expressed or verbalised. The basic and fundamental characteristic of this country's musics concerns their mode of temporal organisation. I shall therefore propose the following definition, which I have arrived at after a series of enquiries, lasting several years, among a range of different tribal groups. In this context music is a succession of sounds capable of giving rise to a segmentation of time during which it flows in isochronous units.

It consists in the source and social function of these musics, in their mode of transmission, and also in certain structural principles upon which they are based. All of these aspects will be considered in detail in the following chapter. 3 ACCULTURATION AND THE VITALITY OF THE MUSIC ThefirstEuropeans arrived in Central Africa at the end of the last century. Their arrival brought, among other things, the setting up of numerous evangelical missions in the small towns and bush villages, followed by a relatively widespread Christianisation.

Above all, it is meant for the pleasure of the performer, and that of any audience. This form of musical practice leaves much scope for improvisation, particularly where the words are concerned. Taking a popular song as his point of departure, a musician will rapidly jettison all but the melody, which he will thenceforth use as a 'spring-board' from which, by association of ideas, he invents, off the cuff, new words which will tend to reflect his personal preoccupations, his grief and his solitude.

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African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology by Simha Arom


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