African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology
In this detailed study Simha Arom takes a new and original approach to the understanding of the complex and sophisticated patterns of polyphony and polyrhythm that characterise African music. Considering in particular the harp, sanza, xylophone and percussion music of Central Africa, Simha Arom develops a rigorous method for the analysis of the music and for the recording and deciphering of the many strands of polyphony and polyrhythm. Through a systematic breakdown of the many layers of apparently improvised rhythm he reveals the essential structure which underlies this rich and complex music. Inspired also by linguistic techniques, Professor Arom regards the music very much as a grammatical system.
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A. M. Jones accents African music African polyphony analysis Banda-Linda beat binary Central African music Central African Republic characteristic combinations commutation conﬁgurations conﬁrmed cont contains counterpoint cultural cycle dance deﬁned deﬁnition dikpakpa drum durations elements ensemble ethnomusicologist ﬁeld ﬁfth ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve given groups hand harp heterophony hocket homophony horn ibid identical intervals interweaving Key phrases Kubik materialised measure metre metric minimal values musicians musicologist Musique Ngbaka ngu'é notation octave orchestra organisation ostinato pattern pellet bells pentatonic pentatonic scale percussion percussion instruments performance period piece pitch played polyphony polyrhythmic positions principle produced pulsations Pygmies realisations recording reference relevant repertory repetition rhythm rhythmic ﬁgures sanza scale score segments semiquaver sequence shown in ex song sounds speciﬁc structure superposed tactus technique temporal ternary tété tion tone colour traditional transcribed transcription units variations vertical vocal music xylophone