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African Music

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Miss Isaac

on 16 October 2014

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Transcript of African Music

Make a mindmap or List the musical features of African Music.

Answer these:
- What is an ostinato?
- What is call and response?
- What instruments are typically associated with African music?
- How many world music instrument groups are there?
- What are they called? Why?
- BONUS POINT what is the name of the composer of 'Grasslands' from Lion King or The Rainmaker.
Influence of African Music
Phones families instruments handout
Call and Response
Instrument Groups
African Music
"The Circle of Life"
-Lion King
There is a variety of tuned and untuned percussion used in Africa.
Untuned percussion include instruments such as djembes, rattles, shaker and wood sticks.
Tuned instruments include flutes made of bamboo, the balafon (an African xylophone) and the Kora (an African harp).

These and many others are put into world instrument groups called the PHONES families, depending on how the instrument is played. The groups are: Aerophones, Chordophones, Idiophones and Membranophones with the more recent Electrophones.

Part of everyday activities - everyone joins in clapping, singing and dancing to the music
Part of rites and ceremonies where it is performed by specialist master drummers and court musicians
Not normally written down but passed on through Oral Tradition
[Oral tradition: When music is not written down, but is passed on through word of mouth. ]
Aerophones are wind instruments, meaning that they are caused to sound by blowing air through them.
They include horns made from animal horns or tusks, and whistles and flutes made from wood, bamboo or horn.
Chordophones are stringed instruments, which are caused to sound by plucking, strumming, or bowing. Common African chordophones include zithers, lyres, folk lutes, and musical bows (a single string attached to a flexible stick). The angle harp is also a chordophone. Sometimes a gourd is placed under the strings to amplify the sound.
One of the best-known African drums is the West African
(pronounced zhem-bay). It is shaped like a large goblet and played with bare hands. The body is carved from a hollowed trunk and is covered in goat skin.
Talking drums
imitate the rhythms and intonations of speech.
They are double-headed and belong to the family of hourglass- shaped pressure drums. They are played with a beater. The drums can be used to imitate speech patterns or as signals to make announcements or warnings. The pitch of the note is changed by squeezing or releasing the drum's strings with the arm.
Idiophones are instruments that vibrate as a whole when they are played, and which are caused to sound by striking or shaking. The most common African instruments are the idiophones and include bells, rattles, jingles, slit-log drums, xylophones, clappers, scrapers, and thumb pianos (Mbira)
Kora - a 21 string bridge harp from Western Africa
Angle Harp
Split-log drum
Mbira (thumb piano) or kalimba or sansa.
Axatse Gourd Rattle or Shaker
The influence of African music is widespread. It came over to America with the African slaves and combined with the folk music of the European settlers to produce new styles of music such as blues, gospel and jazz. These went all the way to Contemporary Artists, Film Makers and Dancers influenced by African Music till today!
Waka Waka - Shakira
Oh Africa - Akon
Am I Wrong - Nico and Vinz - Nobel Peace Concert 2013
Afro-American Work Songs in Texas Prison 1966
Kudu Horn
(Wooden Flute)
Udu and Ocarina
Cajon Drum
A Cajon is a very simple box drum.

Usually made from plywood with a thin plywood front or playing surface (tappa).

The cajon box drum is thought to have originated in Peru. In the 16th century, African slaves would make these instruments from old packing crates and use them to replace the native drums of Africa. Also in Cuba cajon drums where made from old drawers and other household box type structures and used to accompany Cuban and Latino Styles of music.

The word Cajon actually means box, or drawer in Spanish.

And the cajon is found as a major player in Spanish Flamenco music and has since been popularised.
Talking Drums
1. To be familiar with the musical instruments of Africa.
2. Classify instruments accurately.
3. Appreciate the simplicity of the musical instruments of Africa.
Listen to these excerpts and identify any African instruments you can hear.
Listen to the vocals, how are they singing?
Listen to the percussion instruments, any familiar ones?
"The Rainmaker"
The Power of One
Full transcript