ISSN 2158-5296
Volume 3, No. 1 (2013)
Call and Response in Ewe Agbadza Songs: One Element in a Network of Musical Factors
David Locke (Tufts University)
Call-and-response has iconic status as a sign of African musical style. The approach to musical form is widespread geographically, frequently used, found in many genres, and employed on most instruments. The form enables collective participation in music-making, which is another oft-noted characteristic of African music. The form's emblematic status in musical discourse entails a risk of under-estimating its sophistication... more >>
Rhythmic Elasticity and Metric Transformation in Tunisian Stambēlī
Richard C. Jankowsky (Tufts University)
Stambeli is a trance healing music developed over centuries by displaced sub-Saharans in Tunisia. It features a monophonic, deeply cyclic, and subtly transformative rhythmic system designed for entrainment. This rhythmic system is characterized by 1) a metric framework of non-isochronous beat patterns and 2) a gradual and normative rhythmic cycle compression that gradually transforms the non-isochronous beat subdivisions into nearly isochronous ones as the tempo increases... more >>
Fractal Harmonies of Southern Africa
Martin Scherzinger (New York University Steinhardt)
At stake in this presentation is a demonstration of the fractal-like logic undergirding harmonic processes found in the archaic lamellaphone music in the region of Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique. Fractal geometric shapes are generally attributed to objects found in opthalmic nature (clouds, snow flakes, frost crystals, etc.) and the visual arts (Giacometti's landscapes, Tuareg leatherwork, etc.). In most accounts, therefore, recurrence relations between geometric shapes (on reduced-size, or magnified, scales) are described in relation to points in space; less often do fractal relations pertain to aspects of time... more >>
Bridging Ethnomusicology and Composition in the First Movement of Justinian Tamusuza's String Quartet Mu Kkubo Ery'Omusaalaba
Charles Lwanga (University of Pittsburgh)
In the twenty-first century, Béla Bartók and other composers inspired a generation of African Art music composers who are preoccupied with the search for new musical idioms. Through formal music education and field research, these composers acquired a richer context for creativity, one that provokes possibilities of bridging existing boundaries between music scholarship and composition... more >>
Building Bridges Between African Traditional and Western Art Music:
A Study of Joshua Uzoigwe's Egwu Amala
Marie Agatha Ozah (Duquesne University)
The use of folk music in western art composition has its roots in the works of Béla Bartók (1881-1945). Motivated by his interest in folk music and contemporary renaissance of attention in rational national culture, Bartók in 1908, collected and studied old Magyar folk melodies, and later incorporated elements of these peasant music into his compositions. His style thus became a symbiosis of oral folk music, classicism, and modernism. Akin Euba has, in recent times, popularized this approach to musical composition through his theory of creative musicology... more >>
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