New PDF release: African Musical Symbolism In Contemporary Perspective:

By John Collins

ISBN-10: 393826215X

ISBN-13: 9783938262153

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Additional info for African Musical Symbolism In Contemporary Perspective: Roots, Rhythms and Relativity

Example text

An equivalent expression used by Western musicians is “rubato”, which means when one note robs some time from the succeeding one: a time so tiny that, like swing, it cannot be notated divisively and is left to the feel of the virtuoso performer. In spite of what has been said, the bracketing of rhythmic sequences into tiny time-intervals or “density referents” is useful for analytical illustration. In subsequent TUBS Figures, therefore, I shall continue to use these interval lines, but they will be dotted to show their imaginary quality: as in the case of the agbadza kidi drum rhythm depicted below.

However in actual practice the second low note of the basic three-note phrase being bounced as a double one breaks up this rather mechanical procedure. The kagan rhythm takes its cue from the third stroke of the bell pattern on interval five. The hand claps. The audience claps three times coordinated with the feet, the third corresponding to the beginning of the bell pattern. The feet. Denoted by a square. The feet move earthwards on each of the four felt, rather than on just two as in the case of the adowa.

The adowa bell pattern appeared in Figure 2 in connection with the children’s Akoko Funu game. Converted into TUBS graphical form it looks like the Figure below. To this I have added the four evenly spaced onbeats that fall within the time-lines of most African music. This is not usually beaten by any drummer but is rather an internally felt hidden beat. However it does give the cue to the downward movement of the dancers’ feet. M. Jones used as many as seventy-two of them to provide the necessary framework for the more intricate master-drum rhythms he was studying.

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African Musical Symbolism In Contemporary Perspective: Roots, Rhythms and Relativity by John Collins

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