By Simha Arom
During this unique examine Simha Arom takes a brand new and unique method of the certainty of the advanced and complex styles of polyphony and polyrhythm that characterise African song. contemplating specifically the harp, sanza, xylophone and percussion track of principal Africa, Simha Arom develops a rigorous procedure for the research of the song and for the recording and interpreting of the numerous strands of polyphony and polyrhythm. via a scientific breakdown of the numerous layers of it sounds as if improvised rhythm he finds the basic constitution which underlies this wealthy and intricate tune. encouraged additionally by way of linguistic suggestions, Professor Arom regards the song greatly as a grammatical approach.
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Extra info for African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology
Together with the Congo, of which it is a tributary, the Ubangi (which is navigable as far as the capital, Bangui) connects the country to the Atlantic. Two mountain masses, to the east (Fertit, whose highest point is 1,400 metres) and to the west (Yade, 1,420 metres), frame a vast plateau, whose attitude averages 600 to 700 metres. Separating the two basins of the Congo to the south, and of the Chad to the north, this plateau is traversed by numerous important watercourses, which serve as channels of communication and, in former times, of migration.
The basic and fundamental characteristic of this country's musics concerns their mode of temporal organisation. I shall therefore propose the following definition, which I have arrived at after a series of enquiries, lasting several years, among a range of different tribal groups. In this context music is a succession of sounds capable of giving rise to a segmentation of time during which it flows in isochronous units. In other words, there can only be music inasmuch as it is measured, and 'danceable'.
D) Litany pattern preceded by a short through-composed passage. (e) Any litany involving more complexity than the simple repetition of one or two phrases should be coded complex litany. (Lomax 1968: 58) In contrast to strict repetition, there is variation. Whereas the response is clothed in a form that is nearly always invariable, the antecedent, given by the soloist, would seem to be, for its part, extremely variable. From one utterance to the next, the soloist will change, by improvising, either the notes or the words.