THE MATERIAL CULTURE OF AFRICA THE MATERIAL CULTURE OF AFRICA can best be judged from the view points of the beautiful collections of artifacts , dresses and other materials made of people of AFRICA are kept in the numerous museums of EUROPE . It appears from them that soft velvet was woven out of the yarns of the skins of banana . Shining silks were prepared from the yarns of palm . Pots for worship and blades of swords were prepared out of metal like copper . The beautifully designed bow of AFRICA , kept in the museum of DRESDEN in GERMANY , shows how much artistic mind the people of AFRICA had in the past . Wooden arts of AFRICA show that they were not less than any other countries of the world in such arts . And so far Ivory arts are concerned , they were simply master in that . They learnt how to make ornaments of gold and silver . Similarly , their arts on iron could be seen from the remains of the different pots and arms made of iron . So , presumption that the people of AFRICA were simply a barbarians in the past would just be a simplification of the things as such . To my mind , they were not less civilized than any other civilizations of the ancient world including INDIA as such .
AFRICAN MUSIC & CULTURE .
About the AFRICAN music and culture there is a general belief among people all over the world that there doesn’t exist any short of music among the people of AFRICA . They are culturally inferior to others communities of the world . Especially the EUROPEANS who ruled over the larger parts of AFRICA in 18th and 19th centuries raise such questions like—does there exist anything like music in AFRICA ? If so , do the people of AFRICA a music-loving people ? These questions are generally raised . And the wrong beliefs the world over have been spread , that if anything like music exist among the people of AFRICA , that is uncivilized and has not yet crossed the age of barbarians as such . But such people don’t know that the westerners who are proud of their music , are born out of the wombs of AFRICA . The BLACK BOTTOM DANCE which became popular during 1920s amid the JAAZ AGE , solo or with couples , had originated among AFRICAN AMERICANS in the rural South . The CHARLESTON DANCE , named after the harbor city of CHARLESTON , SOUTH CAROLINA , the mainstream dance and music between 1923 to 1927 of the UNITED STATES & EUROPE , could be said to have originated from AFRICAN-AMERICAN DANCE called JUBA . JAMES P. JOHNSON , a composer and pianist , composed the tune called the CHARLESTON in the Broadway show RUNNIN’ WILD in 1923 . The RUMBA or RHUMBA DANCE , popularized in the early 20th century , was a ballroom dance of the AFRO-CUBAN folk-dance origin .
Like Polyrhythmic music of INDIA , the AFRICAN MUSIC is highly rhythmic . The complex rhythmic patterns follow one rhythm against another to create polyrhythm . The most common polyrhythm plays three beats on top of the two , like a triplet played against straight notes . CALL-AND-RESPONSE nature is the other distinctive form of the AFRICAN MUSIC . 🎶 🎵 It means that one voice or instrument plays a short melodic phrase , and that phrase echoed by another voice or instrument . Here one drum plays a rhythmic pattern echoed by another drum playing the same pattern . Now it has been improvised as a core rhythmic pattern is played with drummers then improvising new patterns over the static original patterns . Thirdly , the AFRICAN MUSIC is used during religious ceremony at the time of the old people which distinguishes it from the western patterns . Moreover , the traditional music in the most parts of AFRICA is passed down orally and is not written . However , the AFRICAN MUSIC most closely adheres to the western TETRATONIC , PENTATONIC , HEXATONIC and HEPTATONIC . The AFRICAN MUSIC includes the genres — JUJU , FUJI , HIGHLIFE , MACOSSA , KIZOMBA and AFROBEAT etc . The AFRICAN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS include the DRUMS OF VARIOUS TYPES , SLIT GONGS , RATTLES , DOUBLE BELLS , HARPS OF DIFFERENT TYPES apart from vocal musical instruments .
The AFRICAN people , however , have faith in human voice more than the musical instruments . That’s why they give less emphasis on the musical instruments as such . DRUMS of different types prevailing in the regions are used only for Taal (clapping) . SWARSAPRAK ( HEPTATONIC ) doesn’t now helps much . That’s why they rely much on DRUMS . They used to deliver dialects through DRUMS’ Taal/Tunes to their fellow men and women of their tribes . One becomes generally confused when beats of DRUMS and human like voices are circulated all over appear to be similar. The EUROPEANS become generally puzzled to hear such voices originating from DRUM BEATS . Thus , the AFRICAN MUSIC AND CULTURE are rich enough to attract the people of the world as such .
NOTE : SOURCES OF MY BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT . IT SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS EXPERTISE KNOWLEDGE OF MUSICAL CULTURE AS SUCH . I HAVE SIMPLY WRITTEN WHAT THE TEXT BOOKS SAY ON THE TOPIC .
THE WORLD CIVILIZATIONS AND INDIA , PART -13 ONWARDS WOULD BE ON THE ANCIENT CHINESE CIVILIZATIONS ………