Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rhythmic Procedures and Rudimental Drumming :: essays papers

Rhythmic Procedures and Rudimental Drumming In history, drumming and the use of percussive instruments have had a significant role in people’s lives. Not only do the people who play these instruments enjoy them, but it is said that "there is as much pleasure participating in, as listening to and admiring an expert drummer’s improvisations". The use of drums has been recognized as being able to put people into spiritual trances throughout history. The drum is a musical instrument with great power and presence that gives the "pulse" or backbone to the music it is incorporated with. There are three rudimental rhythmic procedures that have been known in drumming for the use of communication, entertainment and both communication and entertainment together. These are; (1) the use of a drum as a speech surrogate or a "talking drum". These methods of playing were used for communicative purposes and often codes were used to be played over long distances for the sending and receiving of messages. (2) The use of both iconic and symbolic dimensions of communication within music and dance. Throughout many festivals in Africa, depending on the event being celebrated, drumbeats are used to dictate the type of dance to be done by the listeners. For example, at the time of a birth of twins there is a different dance done than at a birth of a single child and the beat of the drum instructs the listeners to do the appropriate dance. (3) This rhythmic procedure is most commonly used today and is the pure musical play of rhythms in dance. There are no communicative obligations within this type of music, which allows for free-form dance and unlimited use of improvisational strategies by the musician. The third rhythmic procedure will be most emphasized throughout this report for a few reasons. One reason is that it is not possible to make generalizations about drumming as a whole, used as communication devices because every society in early Africa had it’s unique fingerprints on sounds of the rhythmic beats they have played. Another reason for the emphasis on this rhythmic procedure and not the first two is the accessibility of rhythmical facts pertaining to each. Unfortunately, much of the known facts about rudimental African rhythmic procedures is stored within the minds of the tribal musicians themselves. One phrase I learned from researching this topic is that "the life and energy of the drummer lives half within the drummer’s soul, and half within the drum he plays".

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