What are the general characteristics of West African music?

The music of West Africa is characterized by two main aspects: rhythm and melody. The rhythm is generally the most important, and West African songs are polyrhythmic featuring two or more conflicting rhythms.

What is the musical characteristic of African music?

Characteristics of African Music:

Melodies are usually short and simple. African music uses short bits of melody that are repeated over and over. Singers or instrumentalists may change them at will, so that the performance becomes a theme with many variations.

What are the 5 most important features of African music?

Aerophones (wind)

  • Flutes (bamboo, horn)
  • Ocarinas.
  • Panpipes.
  • Horns from animal tusks.
  • Trumpets wood or metal.
  • Pipes being single or double reeds.
  • Whistle.

What is the main focus of traditional West African music?

Rhythm is the foundation of West Africa’s traditional music, so percussion instruments play a major role in constructing its sounds. Traditional music of West Africa incorporates the use of a variety of percussive instruments, the most popular of which is the djembe.

What are the eight characteristics of African music?

There are eight characteristics that define African music: Polyrhythms, ostinato, the use of percussion, background shimmer, close connection with the music and language, participatory nature of the arts, a close connection with the performing arts, responsorial form.

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What is the most important element of African music?

The music of West Africa is characterized by two main aspects: rhythm and melody. The rhythm is generally the most important, and West African songs are polyrhythmic featuring two or more conflicting rhythms.

What are the 5 kinds of African music?

There are five groups of Sub-Saharan African musical instruments: membranophones, chordophones, aerophones, idiophones, and percussion.

What are the key features of African drumming?

Features of these elements include:

  • polyrhythms are created by layering different rhythms together.
  • dynamics are changed depending on the force with which the drum is hit.
  • dynamics are not written down on a score – the leader signals changes in dynamics during the performance.

What is the most distinctive feature of African musical instruments?

Falling between rhythmic and melodic instruments, the largest and most distinctive member of the African struck-idiophone family is the slit drum, made from a hollowed log. By careful thinning of the flanks at certain places, the instrument may be tuned so as to yield as many as four distinct pitches.

What makes African music unique?

African singers use a wide variety of sounds. The melodies are short, repeated over and over, also include whistles and yodels which is peculiar to African style of music. Soloist often improvises new melodies while the chorus continuous with the original melody creating a polyphonic structure.

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