What are the features of West African music?

The music of West Africa is characterized by two main aspects: rhythm and melody. The rhythm is generally the most important, and West African songs are polyrhythmic featuring two or more conflicting rhythms.

What are the main features of African music?

Songs include accompanied and unaccompanied solos, duets and choruses. Unaccompanied choruses are an example of a cappella singing. Songs are usually either strophic (split up into verses) or are in call-and-response form.

What is West African music known for?

Popular Music. The sounds of popular music throughout West Africa are comparable to a combination of Western, Latin American and traditional African music. Genres such as Highlife, Afro-Calypso and African Jazz reflect this fusion and have developed upon these styles’ sounds. … Highlife is rarely sung in English.

What is West African music called?

Juju style originally came from Nigeria, a country which has produced many styles that managed to spread all around West African countries, including juju, jaija, fuji, ozzidi, palm-wine, highlife and afrobeat. … The singers are from Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Guinea.

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What is the most distinctive feature of all African musical instruments?

Falling between rhythmic and melodic instruments, the largest and most distinctive member of the African struck-idiophone family is the slit drum, made from a hollowed log. By careful thinning of the flanks at certain places, the instrument may be tuned so as to yield as many as four distinct pitches.

What is the most important element in West African music?

The music of West Africa is characterized by two main aspects: rhythm and melody. The rhythm is generally the most important, and West African songs are polyrhythmic featuring two or more conflicting rhythms.

What are the features of African music that make it unique?

There are other possible characteristics of African music, including lack of coincidence of main beats in drumming, metronome sense, the conception of musical activity as motor activity,39 strong attention to proper and accurate tuning of percussion devices,40 special melodic structures,41 and various others.

What functions did music serve in medieval West Africa?

Music in medieval West Africa was vital in conveying ideas, feelings, and emotions especially communicated by means of a griot .

What characteristics are featured in the rhythmic elements of African music?

Features of these elements include:

  • polyrhythms are created by layering different rhythms together.
  • dynamics are changed depending on the force with which the drum is hit.
  • dynamics are not written down on a score – the leader signals changes in dynamics during the performance.

How do you characterize African music?

African music is also highly improvised. A core rhythmic pattern is typically played, with drummers then improvising new patterns over the static original patterns. Traditional music in most of the continent is passed down orally (or aurally) and is not written.

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Where did West African music come from?

Major and minor migrations of African peoples brought musical styles and instruments to new areas. The single and double iron bells, which probably originated in Kwa-speaking West Africa, spread to western Central Africa with Iron Age Bantu-speaking peoples and from there to Zimbabwe and the Zambezi River valley.

What instruments are used in West Africa?

Instruments Used in West African Music

The djembe, tama and sabar are drums. The balafon is like a xylophone, and there are several stringed and wind instruments, such as the reed flute, thekora and the kontingo.

What are the 4 main categories of African musical instruments?

African musical instruments are classified into four groups namely; idiophones, chordophones, aerophones and membranophones.

What is the primary use of African traditional music?

Traditional African music supplies appropriate music and dance for work and for religious ceremonies of birth, naming, rites of passage, marriage and funerals. The beats and sounds of the drum are used in communication as well as in cultural expression.

What is African music used for?

The music can vary hugely throughout Africa but has similar purposes, eg for storytelling, welcoming heroes, and religious ceremonies. Music is seen to illustrate the importance of human life, to connect people and to support the sense of community. Music and dance are mainly performed by large groups in villages.