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 is the most important element of civilization? what are the characteristics of civilization?.


What is the most important feature of African music?

They tend to use small melodic intervals (lots of 2nds and 3rds) and often use recurring patterns and descending phrases. Basic form of all songs is ‘call and response’. Melodies are usually short and simple and repeated over and over.

What are the elements of African music?

African musical instruments include a wide range of drums, slit gongs, rattles and double bells, different types of harps, and harp-like instruments such as the Kora and the ngoni, as well as fiddles, many kinds of xylophone and lamellophone such as the mbira, and different types of wind instrument like flutes and …

What was the most important West African musical instrument?

Traditional music of West Africa incorporates the use of a variety of percussive instruments, the most popular of which is the djembe. Known also as the ‘magic drum’ or the ‘healing drum’, the djembe is spiritually important to West African tradition as it is believed that three spirits reside within the drum.

Why is West African music important?

Music plays a key role in West Africans’ daily lives for dance, healing, storytelling, and religious practice.

What are the elements of music?

  • Sound (overtone, timbre, pitch, amplitude, duration)
  • Melody.
  • Harmony.
  • Rhythm.
  • Texture.
  • Structure/form.
  • Expression (dynamics, tempo, articulation)
Why are the instruments important to African music?

Musical instruments in Africa are not only used for making music, they are also used to communicate to both man and spirit, translating and emitting daily experiences and events.

How important is music in African culture?

Music is an integral part of the African culture, with various ceremonies being preceded by some sort of music. Music is used to communicate, pass literature, welcoming heroes among other ritual functions. There are diverse genres of music in Africa like hymns, dirge, that create mood and feel for the occasion.

Why African music is important in African people's lives?

It permeates African life and has a function, a role to play in society; songs are used for religious ceremonies and rituals, to teach and give guidance, to tell stories, to mark the stages of life and death and to provide political guidance or express discontent.

What are the three basic elements of music?

  • Three basic elements of music. Melody, Rhythm, Harmony.
  • Pitch. the exact highness or lowness of a note.
  • Interval. the distance between any two pitches.
  • Dynamics. the loudness or softness of a note or a passage of music.
  • Crescendo. …
  • Decrescendo. …
  • Rhythm is a fundamental component of all music. ( …
  • Beat.
What is the main instrument in African music?

Drums are the basic instrument for most African music. Each group of people uses a special type of its own. Though mostly of wood, drums can be gourds, turtle shells and clay pots. Drums have many uses in Africa.

What are slit drums made of?

A slit drum or slit gong is a hollow percussion instrument. In spite of the name, it is not a true drum but an idiophone, usually carved or constructed from bamboo or wood into a box with one or more slits in the top.

What are some of the characteristics 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 musical element is said to be the most distinguishing characteristic of African music tradition?

Rhythm is the most distinguishing characteristic of African music tradition.

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

  • 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.
What musical styles was most influenced by West African call and response songs?

Enslaved Africans brought call-and-response songs to the Americas. Slaves used the songs to ease the burden of hard work, celebrate social occasions, and express outrage at their situation. This African tradition has influenced many American musical styles, including gospel, jazz, blues, rock and roll, and rap.

What is the importance of elements of music?

Why are the elements of music important? They are important for 2 reasons: 1. Performing/analysing Music – An understanding of the musical elements will enable you to understand any piece of music, whether you are trying to perform the piece or analyse it.

What are the four main elements of music?

The Four Elements Of Music –Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, And Dynamics dynamics.

What are the elements of music that make each song unique?

  • Tempo: Overall pace of the song; speed of the music. …
  • Rhythm: In songs, words usually match the rhythm. …
  • Pitch: High or low tones.
  • Timbre: Color of the sound. …
  • Dynamics: Loudness or softness of the sound. …
  • Melody: The tune. …
  • Harmony: The blending of tones or sounds played or sung simultaneously to make up chords.
What events include dance and music as a key element in west African countries?

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 could be the possible reasons why African music is the most influential music in the world?

1. Most African music has scales very similar to those of European music and thus we are arguably considering a unified and indeed accessible style. 2. Many African musics emphasize rhythms and rhythm is arguably the most universal element of music and thus it is relatively easy to export.

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 music came from Africa?

Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, afrobeats, salsa, zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees on musical traditions from Africa, taken to the Americas by enslaved Africans. These rhythms and sounds have subsequently been adapted by newer genres like rock, and rhythm and blues.

What elements are typical of sub Saharan African music?

  • Music made with percussion instruments.
  • The practice of polyrhythm.
  • Call and response singing.
  • A pentatonic pitch system, and bending/sliding pitches.
How many element of music do we have?

For the purpose of this class, we will refer to SEVEN elements of music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Timbre, Dynamics, Texture, and Form.

What element of the music is the most prominent quizlet?

  • Tempo. Basically the speed or rate of the music. …
  • Timbre. The quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.
  • Melody. The most important part of music. ( …
  • Harmony. …
  • Rhythm. …
  • Dynamics. …
  • Form.
What are the 7 elements of music and what do they mean?

There are seven of these: Pitch, Duration, Dynamics, Tempo, Timbre, Texture and Structure. Pitch is the degree of highness or lowness of a tone. Duration is the length of time a note lasts for. Dynamics express how loud or quiet the music should be played.

What do you call the West African xylophone?

The African balafon is the traditional xylophone of the Mande people, which are spread across several countries of West Africa, such as Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Gambia and the Ivory Coast etc.

What instrument is a rattle?

Rattles include: Maracas, widely used in Cha Cha Cha and jazz. Chac-chac, as known in Trinidad, Dominica and the French Antilles.

Which musical instrument is not Membranophone?

Mirlitons, Kazoos and Swazzles vibrate in sympathy with sounds travelling across a membrane. These are the only membranophones that are not truly drums.

What kind of drum is in Moana?

What Was That Drum Seen In Moana? The recent Disney movie, Moana features a beautiful drum from the Pacific Islands, called a slit drum. Learn more about this unique isntrument here.

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 is the harmony of African music?

Traditional sub-Saharan African harmony is a music theory of harmony in Sub-Saharan Africa music based on the principles of homophonic parallelism (chords based around a leading melody that follow its rhythm and contour), homophonic polyphony (independent parts moving together), counter melody (secondary melody) and …

What is the role of music in the lives of the Africans?

In Africa, music is a social activity in which almost everyone participates. Music highlights African values, with various traditions accompanied by a melody. Many events of importance are celebrated with music, whether it is a marriage, a birth, or a ceremonial rite of passage.

How does African music differ from Western music?

– Western Music is, broadly speaking, expressed with emphasis on the downbeat, whereas African music seems to emphasise the rhythm on the upbeat. Sometimes, to the untrained ear, African music appears deceptively easy to reproduce, but once you try it, there seem to be layers beneath layers of rhythm.

Why is notation not used in West African music?

In Africa it is unrealistic to separate music from dance or from bodily movement. … This is one reason African music is less amenable to notation than Western music; for analytical purposes, sound filming (rather than just sound recording) is essential.