Contrasting contexts of Africans and non-Africans musicians performed in New York City
African contexts in New York feature the guitar as the common denominator and assimilator by brokering the musical diversity to non-African audiences. Both embrace objectified purpose on stage. The African context such as Mande concert parties is closely knit praise songs directed from the social interactions. As such, the music-making process features a direct expression of social relations and status. Again, African contexts have blurred boundaries that separate the stage area and the space hosting the audience (Racanelli, 2012). Such differs with boundaries erected between objectified stage and audience within cosmopolitan jazz club by non-Africans.
How can these environments be distinguished from one another? (Please describe in detail in as many ways as possible)
Multiple diasporic and native African contexts are perceived to feature drumming, instrumental playing and singing within a single setting. The performance of African music led by one or several guitarists, thereby leaving the guitar as an integral resource. Again, drumming is highly likely within the African contexts. Mande events and concert parties feature female vocalists backed by bands and drum sequencer (Racanelli, 2014). The absence of drumming is not surprising in non-Africans contexts. The intercultural collaboration witnessed in dance and drum schools has seen a less role for African drums and marginalized drumming in specific settings. Drumming, dancing and vocal aspects characterize African contexts unlike in cosmopolitan club scene where improvised instrument and guitar playing are integral. African drums signify the tradition and rhythm unlike in non-African context where the guitar is the instrument indicating musical adaptation.
Role(s) have African guitarists and the guitar played in bridging these two contexts?
The presence of African guitarists in New York City represented the African music-making in their unique guitar playing techniques. They mediated the musical difference by expressing traditional rhythm to accomplish recurring melodic lines. Guitarists created variation in the rhythmic position through improvisation to deliver a universal structure in Euro-American jazz (Racanelli, 2014). Doing so enabled them to communicate musical ideas by using stock note patterns including recurrent themes and formulas while recomposing specific framework and model.
How does guitar playing compare and contrast with speaking?
Similar to other ethnolinguistic groups in Africa, Mande considers instruments to be human extensions expressing on behalf of instrumentalists. The guitar playing resembles the instrumentalist speaking and not the typical production of sound on the material object. The patterns in the rhythm and tone produced while playing the guitar involves a surrogate speech. The patterns create a conceptual relationship with the player's musical speech and language (Racanelli, 2014). Guitarist learns styles by developing their repertoire patterns and phrases similar to musical talk and speech. As such, the playing styles resemble spoken language eliciting presentation.
Who is Abdoulaye "Djoss" Diabate?
Abdoulaye "Djoss" Diabate is a Malian guitarist who adopted the koni music playing style. The New York based guitarist led the Super Mande group demonstrated instrumental prowess when contracted by Malian vocalist Tapani Sissoko in community events and concert parties (Racanelli, 2012).
Who is Mamady "Djelike" Kouyate?
Mamady "Djelike" Kouyate is a Mande griot guitarist who led the Mandingo Ambassadors while performing in Park Slope-based Barbes since 2008. The Guinean guitarist used formulaic playing and improvisation. Kouyate established the Mandingo Ambassadors in 2004 as a classic band performing Guinean dance to commemorate the awakened musical heritage between the 1960s and 1970s (Racanelli, 2014). Later, he performed in Bembeya Jazz National orchestra using indigenous instruments. The inclusion of vocals by the Mandingo Ambassadors was a bookend to stretch guitar, flute, saxophone, and clarinet (Racanelli, 2012).
What is "Keme Bourema?" How does it differ in African and non-African settings?
Keme Bourema is praise song by Mandingo Ambassadors commemorating the input of Guinean general Ali Samory Toure to resist the French rule in the nineteenth century (Racanelli, 2014). The exclusion of vocals differed in the African settings, thereby making it a template to include instrumental playing.
Who is Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure? How does he decide upon the nature of the lyrics and the style of accompaniment in his music?
Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure refers to a Mali/Niger guitarist who considered the exposure to diverse musical resources confusing, thereby mediated the differences that existed between the African genres and international styles. Lime Atangana, Toure differentiated local African genres and universal styles through the chord-based accompaniment and indigenous guitar playing technique. Often, he adopted the Sahel-Savannah guitar technique through restricted open-positioning of chord fingerings, pull-offs and mobility of index and thumb fingers in the performance of patterns (Racanelli, 2014). He assumed the strummed open-position to create harmonic accompaniment he considered an Afropop while retaining tonal systems to enhance the Songhai perspective.
Who is Martin "Martino" Atangana? How does he compose his original music? By his own account, what was his greatest musical accomplishment? How does he recount the experience?
Martin "Martino" Atangana refers to a Cameroonian bandleader born known as a prolific African jazz guitarist between 1994 and 2014. He defined the cosmopolitan formations creating the universal elements that distinguished local African genres from international styles. Atangana embraced Beti folk genre identified as bikutsi by incorporating African rhythms including mbalax, highlife, juju, and soukous (Racanelli, 2014). His performance presented himself as the tour guide to non-African through a musical safari by transversing the vast musical richness in Africa. His most significant achievement involved representing African music as unified rhythm through series that accommodated diversity in styles. Again, he incorporated juju and mbalax through musical representation as rhythms. They represented African music in recording the Mot Songo album in 2005 comprising Juju Jam and Full-Time songs founded on drum-oriented juju and mbalax. Stylizing his albums on the two juju and mbalax reflected a blend of highlife and soukous albums (Racanelli, 2014). The release of Rhythm of Saints album in 1990 capped his greatest musical contribution by adapting Africaness in the dance and bikutsi pieces. It enabled him to showcase instrumental playing through musical templates improvised during live performances. He recounted the verbal content as superfluous, and it lacked the western jazzy part hence differential local rhythm from universal rock and jazz music.
How does Euro-American and African jazz compare and contrast with one another?
Drum-oriented, rhythm-centric emphasis and guitar playing in African music distinguish it from the Euro-American music. Again, each genre possesses what the other lacks. In particular, the Euro-American music features inferred absence of rhythm while the African jazz misses on chords (Racanelli, 2014). The African jazz features indigenous guitar technique. Here, the guitar technique features restrict open-positioned chord fingerings alongside predominant pull-offs on open strings to attain descending melodic flourishes. Additionally, the articulation witnessed though riffs in the African rhythm music lacks in the Euro-American music. The Euro-American jazz accommodates technical and stylistic elements including chord changes, improvisation, and song forms to attain universal communication in the musical idea (Racanelli, 2014). It aligns to the assumption of music being a fluid-creative process through improvisation.
Who is "Mami Wata?" Why is she a metaphor of contemporary African popular music and jazz?
Mami Wata involves a widely shared griot repertoire indicating formulaic variation procedures during composition. Mami Wata captures powerful water deity that reveals mermaid since first appearing in Ya Amponsah from the palm-wine highlife bands in the 1920s (Racanelli, 2012). Its metaphoric use captures an incipient model derived from popular music in West African. Its use today links the eight-beat harmonic patterns in guitar-playing music to the Guinean Coast amongst other African regions.
What is extended variation? How is it significant in Mande guitar playing and improvisation?
Variation implies the provision of alternatives and additions attained in instrumental accompaniment. Extended variation is accomplished through improvised playing through melodic ideas blend into the existing and recurrent themes. It involves the application of additional notes. Alternatively, variation occurs through improvisation that departs from the theme or substituting with new phases using rapid ornamental formula (Racanelli, 2012). Extended variation enables the guitarist to attain expensive structures using the formulas as an integral resource.
Racanelli, D. (2014). Guitar Playing and Representation in the Changing Locations of New York City's African Music Scene. Ethnomusicology, 58(2), 278-313.
Racanelli, D. (2012). Formulaic Variation Procedures in Mande Griot Guitar Playing and Improvisation. Analytical Approaches to World Music, 2 (1), 152-176.
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