Musical Genres

African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective by Kofi Agawu

By Kofi Agawu

The particular caliber of African song lies in its rhythmic constitution and scholarly paintings in this track has often under pressure drumming because the website at which 'complex' rhythms are cultivated. Kofi Agawu argues that drumming is just one between numerous modes of rhythmic expression and extra fruitful method of the certainty of African tune is thru spoken language. during this publication, he constructs a soundscape of the Northern Ewe humans of Ghana which demonstrates the pervasiveness of numerous varieties of rhythmic expression of their day-by-day lives. He then devotes a bankruptcy every one to an research of rhythm in language, music, drumming and dancing, musical functionality and people narration. A concluding bankruptcy addresses a number of the ideological elements that experience prompted the illustration of African rhythm. An accompanying CD permits the reader to paintings heavily with the speech and track mentioned.

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How else would he be able to convey accurately the chief's thoughts to the people, or pour libation effectively when occasion demands? In song performances, an expert Dzen~ or lead singer is someone endowed with a cooked tongue (aqe bibit:5): a "cooked tongue" denotes verbal as well as musical prowess. Such a singer composes ingenious variations on standard or archetypal melodies while improvising verbal texts that will touch the hearts of her listeners. In traditional judicial circles, not only wisdom but the ability to speak clearly, effectively, and persuasively are highly valued.

Greeting allows people to inquire about others' health, to thank them for favors done recently, to congratulate them, and to express condolences either in respect of a specific death or in respect of deaths in general. Not all forms of verbal exchange are as formal as these. " School children go into a special lesson called "culture," where they learn about different ways of living. Anything from festival celebrations to funerary r6 Rhythms of society -- J. =92 H IL J J J HA-d~-JOO jl-- J. IJ J J - si, H~ kiI ~ J.

Like the native periodizations of the day, the four-day week is not merely the shadow of a forgotten past, to be retrieved by curious ethnographers or Sankofa ("go back and retrieve") cultural policy makers. It is an active presence, exerting greater or lesser degrees of influence on individual lives. Cyclical regulation also comes from the seasonal patterns of planting and harvesting, a macro-level rhythmic activity that defines agriculture as a kind of performance.? Depending on the crop, there are either one or two seasons for planting and harvesting in the course of a single calendar year.

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