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African rhythm : a Northern Ewe perspective /

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The distinctive quality of African music lies in its rhythmic structure and scholarly work on this music has usually stressed drumming as the site at which 'complex' rhythms are cultivated. Kofi Agawu argues that drumming is only one among several modes of rhythmic expression and that a more fruitful approach to the understanding of African music is through spoken language. In this book, he constructs a soundscape of the Northern Ewe people of Ghana which demonstrates the pervasiveness of a variety of forms of rhythmic expression in their daily lives. He then devotes a chapter each to an analysis of rhythm in language, song, drumming and dancing, musical performance, and folk narration. A concluding chapter addresses some of the ideological factors that have influenced the representation of African rhythm. An accompanying CD enables the reader to work closely with the speech and song discussed.

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