By Simha Arom
During this certain examine Simha Arom takes a brand new and unique method of the certainty of the advanced and complicated styles of polyphony and polyrhythm that characterise African track. contemplating particularly the harp, sanza, xylophone and percussion tune of relevant Africa, Simha Arom develops a rigorous approach for the research of the track and for the recording and interpreting of the numerous strands of polyphony and polyrhythm. via a scientific breakdown of the numerous layers of it seems that improvised rhythm he finds the basic constitution which underlies this wealthy and intricate song. encouraged additionally by means of linguistic thoughts, Professor Arom regards the song greatly as a grammatical procedure.
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Extra resources for African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology
Senghor 1958, rev. edn 1964: 238) This is a clear statement of the premisses upon which any consideration of African music must be based. Indeed, these relations between the multiple aspects of the world, and this search for union or unity is displayed in every activity in which a material aim may only be reached by appealing to the spiritual dimension, or through the intervention of supernatural forces. And music is the very means man has to make contact with these forces, and to maintain that contact, to have some purchase on them and to render them favourable to him.
As with many other concepts pertaining to African culture in general and music in particular, it is not expressed or verbalised. 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.
Whatever is a part of the musical domain necessarily entails a strict division, whether physical or virtual, of time, into regular pulsation. 5 LANGUAGE AND MUSIC Music and language are very closely interconnected, the phonemic structure of the language having a powerful constraining effect on the melodic structure of the songs. Senghor has this to say of Central Africa: The languages are themselves pregnant with music. For these are tone languages, in which each syllable has its own pitch, intensity and duration, and in which each word may be given a musical notation.