Humanities Role of Music in Africa Role Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Humanities

Role of Music in Africa

Role of Music and Musical Instruments in Africa

Role of Music and Musical Instruments in Africa

Music has always played an important role in the life of Africans. The oldest record of any musical instrument in the world is also in Africa, namely "bone flute" found in Haua Fteah (McBurney, 1969). In the traditional African Culture, every aspect of life was associated with the specific music that accompanied telling of a story. Unlike people of other countries, African people are not only listeners but almost everyone in Africa sings or is expert in playing musical instruments.

If we look at the history, we find out that music was so important in African culture that it was part of the routine language and talking of the people. There are around 700 languages spoken in Africa due to which the music of Africa is also very diverse (Ammons, 2003). Due to differences in the culture, music is used by different people differently.

In some of the African cultures, the language spoken was in tones and the meaning of the words and sentences changed with the alteration in the tones. Similarly, music was also used to convey information to the people. Songs were use to describe the history, culture, events or for making an announcement and even to encourage group or a team for achieving a task. Due to this significant role of music in African history, music is called the first form of popular culture in Africa that is deeply examined and studied outside the African continent (Barber, 1997).

Even today, music plays an important role in all aspects of African people. Whether they are at home, at work, doing shopping or at a social gathering; music is always with them. In fact, music is also part of African political, ceremonial and even religious activities. It is not only used for happy moments but it is also played in funerals and other sad occasions as it gives healing affect to the Africans.

African Music and Children

Music is not only liked by the adults but it also has a significant impact on the lives of African children. It is played in all the daily life entertainment activities of children like games and gatherings. Excluding the few occasions that children of Africa are not allowed to attend, they take active part in all events. African children not only sing and dance in the ceremonies of their elders but also borrow musical instruments from adults and play them. African adults are experts in singing, dancing and playing instruments because they take interest in music, musical instruments and follow their elders from childhood. The music addicted people of Africa believe that rhythm is something naturally present in their bodies and souls. Music is basic form of communication for them which is also very well rooted in their blood.

Making of Musical Instrument

In African culture, the musical instruments are made from natural materials like wood and animal skins. Turtle shells, horns and other parts of animal bodies are also used very creatively. Moreover, manmade objects are also used for making musical instruments; for instance the scrap material of old vehicles or oil containers and oil drums.

African Blacksmiths are very creative and well trained in instrument making. They even make customized instruments for important people and special groups. These artists not only create fantastic instruments from scrap but are also expert in decorating these instruments in such a way that they look beautiful and seem a work of art.

Musical Instruments of Africa

Unlike America and other places, African musicians hardly stand calmly on the stage. They move and dance with the audience while playing the instrument. African history shows several musical instruments that produce different sounds. The interesting thing about these instruments is that most of them have a definite pitch which gives an affect of instruments talking to each other. Following are some of the world wide famous musical instruments in Africa.

Drums

Africans use a range of different kinds of drums for playing music. Indeed, drum is the fundamental musical instrument for most of the African music, especially in the East and Southern Africa (Agordoh, 2005). Drums can be found in several sizes in Africa. They can be as small as the size of the hand or as tall as 10 feet. Different groups of people use a different type of drum…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Humanities Role Of Music In Africa Role" (2013, June 21) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/humanities-role-of-music-in-africa-98402

"Humanities Role Of Music In Africa Role" 21 June 2013. Web.9 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/humanities-role-of-music-in-africa-98402>

"Humanities Role Of Music In Africa Role", 21 June 2013, Accessed.9 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/humanities-role-of-music-in-africa-98402

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Music Industry and the Internet

    Music and the Internet in order to accommodate these specifications in the number of pages requested (though the paper is 9 1/2 pages as it stands), the paper has utilized ANALYSIS in the article and the discussion section, thereby combining article summary with analysis of sources and thus putting the second point given by the professor "Then write a separate discussion the issue as a whole…" into a proper context -however, as

  • Business Today the Music Industry

    Indeed, neither weather nor economy concerns appear to have deterred travelers to the event, a trend that is apparent for festivals across the world, as mentioned above. The Essence Music Festival runs for three days and includes features such as entertainment activities and seminars at the Convention Center during the day, while the nights are punctuated by concerts. It started in 1995 in celebration of Essence magazine's 25th anniversary. In

  • Religion Sacred Music and Literature

    ...social conditioning was effected in such a way, that any thing that was considered primal, pagan, or unchristian, was frowned upon... [leading to] persecution of the Druids, Witches, Gypsy, and Jewish cultures that still continues today." Curiously, it may be that very historical hostility towards the primal which has corroded the power of Catholic sacred music and turned new catholics and protestants alike against it. In the Jewish ritual, music of

  • Ethnic Music Humanities A Origin and Development

    Ethnic Music Humanities a) Origin and Development of Traditional and Contemporary Ethnic Music My personal experience in learning this subtopic reveals to me that music is a global cultural practice found in every known culture, both in the past and present, but with a wide variation with regards to time and place of practicing it. Since every ethnic group around the world, including some of the most secluded tribal groups, depicts their

  • Effects of African American Literature Music on America American...

    African-American LITERATURE/MUSIC ON AMERICA/AMERICAN CULTURE Music is one of the most important elements among the African-American culture, through songs culture's history was revealed, pass information about events and activities to be done, evaluate and criticize a group effort or tell of some emotional apex. Music also played a significant role in comforting and healing. Africans in America used music in different situations such as; in their labor, sadness, happy moments,

  • Transatlantic Trade and Slavery in

    The problem with European slaves was mainly that they had recourse to legal action for the protection of their rights and redressing their grievances. Like the Native Americans, European slaves were also unfamiliar with the soils and cash crops of the New World. Furthermore, they tended to use their status as slaves only as a vehicle for traveling to the United States, after which they would claim their freedom

  • Rastafarian Movement

    Rastarfarian Movement The Rastafarian Movement started as a religion in the 1930s in Jamaica and the spread of the Reggae music in the 1070s transformed it into a political manifest as well as a social movement among those who were underprivileged young people who found in the Rastafari not just a way of life, but also a mean the express themselves in the a world that was governed by the rules


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved