African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective

November 1, 2020
African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective

The distinctive quality of African music lies in its rhythmicstructure and scholarly work on this music has usually stresseddrumming as the site at which 'complex' rhythms are cultivated.Kofi Agawu argues that drumming is only one among several modes ofrhythmic expression and that a more fruitful approach to theunderstanding of African music is through spoken language. In thisbook, he constructs a soundscape of the Northern Ewe people ofGhana which demonstrates the pervasiveness of a variety of forms ofrhythmic expression in their daily lives. He then devotes a chaptereach to an analysis of rhythm in language, song, drumming anddancing, musical performance and folk narration. A concludingchapter addresses some of the ideological factors that haveinfluenced the representation of African rhythm. An accompanying CDenables the reader to work closely with the speech and songdiscussed.