“Agbekor” – culture?
Ewe of Ghana, W. Africa
“Agbekor” – complete media?
female and male voices, bell, drums in different sizes, rattle
“Agbekor” – context?
These songs celebrate the invincibility of the Ewe warriors and invoke ancestral power. One song announces the warrior procession, one is sung for motivation on the sunrise of the day of battle, and another denigrates opponents.
“Agbekor” – musical features?
polymetric ensemble, call/response, fixed (ostinato) and free components, kaleidophonic, mother drum lowest and most variable sound, some indigenous harmony, speech playing
“Nhemusasa” – culture?
Shona of Zimbabwe, E. Africa
“Nhemusasa” – complete media?
mbira (linguaphone, lamellophone, or “thumb piano”) plus hosho rattle
“Nhemusasa” – context?
It’s a very old, very important Shona tradition. Played at a bira to call on the spirit Chaminuka, who protects the warriors and indeed the whole Shona nation. The title means “cutting branches for shelter,” as in war marching.
“Nhemusasa” – musical features?
kaleidophonic, fixed (ostinato) plus free components, interlocking parts
“Nyarai” Afro-pop – culture?
Shona of Zimbabwe, E. Africa
“Nyarai” Afro-pop – complete media?
male vocal, lead guitar, bass guitar, drum set, cymbals, horn track
“Nyarai” Afro-pop – context?
Title means “Be Ashamed.” It was recorded after Robert Mugabe’s government came to power. Celebrates victory of the warriors and chides those who fear change. Praises warriors, their leaders, the family, etc.
“Nyarai” Afro-pop – musical features?
European meter + African call/response, fixed vs. free, ostinato
“Makala” (net hunting song) – culture?
BaAka Pygmies of Central Africa/Congo
“Makala” (net hunting song) – complete media?
female and male voices, drums, sticks, body percussion
“Makala” (net hunting song) – context?
Performance dance/music for net hunting. The event can take two days. It’s a big cultural happening. People sometimes go to neighboring camps and exchange dance moves. The lyrics to this song are sparse and cryptic, and there are lots of vocables.
“Makala” (net hunting song) – musical features?
hocketing, yodel, simultaneous improvisation, kaleidophonic