‘Yiri’ by Koko
African Music falls into three main areas:
· Choral Song (tribal singing)
· Instrumental music
All feature in this set work.
Common features of African Music
· Repetition = the restatement of a section of music, can be a few notes or a whole section.
· Improvisation = music is made up spontaneously.
· Polyphony = two or more independent parts that weave in and out of each other. A multi-layered texture.
· Call and response = usually a solo followed by a group answering phrase.
Oral tradition = music that is learned by listening and repeating, and passed on orally from generation to generation (not written down).
Cross-rhythms = rhythms that literally cross the pattern of accented and unaccented beats creating irregular accents and syncopated effects.
Tone languages = in African music, languages made up of only a few pitches, called tone languages. The pitch level determines the meaning of the words.
Common features of African songs:
· Call and response
· Short melodies, often repeated. Ostinato.
· Simple scales. Often only 4, 5, or 6 notes.
· Rounds = voices enter at different points in a continuous cycle. Creates an overlapping and ever-changing musical texture.
· Harmony = varies between tribes. Can be parallel (4ths, 5ths) or unison or octaves, or even more complicated parts.
Common features of African instrumental music:
Membranophones = posh name for drums because they have a skin.
Balaphones = xylophone type instruments.
· Repetition (including ostinati)
· Cyclic structures
· Polyphonic textures
· Intertwining melodies
Our set work!!!! Finally. . . . . . .
Has three clear strands:
1. The balaphone ostinati – in combination these produce a complex polyphonic texture.
2. The drum ostinati – they play a relentless one-bar pattern.
3. The vocal line – a simple pentatonic call and response structure.
There are some constant features of the music:
· The tempo doesn’t change
· The beat is regular and unvarying
· The drum ostinato persists throughout the music
· The pattern of voices followed by instrumental breaks
· The dynamics are largely constant.