Ethnomusicologists Cultural Perspective
|African musical form can be best understood within African Social Situations. To clarify this point if we think of a joke which we heard before, maybe often, but a good comedian could still make us laugh at it. However, we would miss the point if we analyzed or thought of the joke merely as an arrangement of words about a particular theme or of the music and merely a structure of sounds.|
|People quietly listening to classical music v. people dancing whilst listening to African music|
|It is a mistake to sit and listen to African Music, because then it is set apart from its social and cultural context.|
There are very few important things which happen without music - the sheer amount of musical activity in Africa.
|Ashanti (Ghana) children sing songs to cure bedwetting|
|Hausas ( Nigeria) pay musicians to compose songs to court lovers or insult rivals|
|Song singing whilst working|
|Hutus ( Burundi/Zaire/Rwanda) paddling canoes sing different songs depending on whether they are going with the current or against|
African music making is a group activity.
In many African cultures musicians are the acknowledged authorities on history and myth.
J.H. Kwabena Nketia, African musicologist A village that has not organised music or neglects community singing, drumming, or dancing is said to be dead