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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:Ethnic
  • Language:English
  • Pages:134
  • eBook ISBN:9781483539362

Understanding African Music

Listen, Compose, Play, Learn

by Mandy Carver

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Understanding African Music introduces important African musical concepts to musicians and the general public alike. It is a splendid volume of musical treasures from cultures and countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The book successfully accomplishes its aim to orient readers to the vast expanse of music and musicians, to ways of thinking and behaving musically and to the human capacity for cultural-artistic-social expression. There are critical lessons to be learned about African music and culture through the activities carefully framed by the author in the reading and listening that leads to them. There is nothing like it in the field. It is a textbook, a guide to deep listening, a study of the innovative musical ways of the human mind and body. The book is a shining realization of ILAM’s hope to fulfil Hugh Tracey’s 1960s vision for repatriating the music he recorded to its communities of origin by creating textbooks designed to teach African music in the schools.
Understanding African Music introduces important African musical concepts to musicians and the general public alike. Although it is designed for music students aged 14 - 18, this beautifully produced book serves well as a broad introduction to African music for general readers as well. With chapters based on African elements of music, the text explains key principles of music making in sub-Saharan Africa. Included in each chapter is a straight forward explanation of a musical concept under discussion, a case study of one particular musical practice that illustrates that concept, and several classroom activities which allow students to get hands-on experience with music making the employs the concept. The book is richly illustrated with photographs, 96 audio tracks and 3 video tracks, all drawn from the archives of its publisher, the International Library of African Music (ILAM) in South Africa. The book's unique value lies in the way in makes teaching music from another culture, time and worldview accessible in contemporary classrooms. An understanding of the starting points of the philosophy behind African music making is essential in order to acquire a deeper appreciation for the music. This book provides the means to explore and perform African music in classroom settings, guided by the music’s values, and thereby offers a unique way to develop and enhance students’ musicianship.
About the author
The author, Mandy Carver (MEd University of Pretoria) is Director of Music at the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown, South Africa, and a part-time lecturer at Rhodes University, South Africa, in teacher education.
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