Drummers playing the tama (small talking drum) in Dakar, Senegal. (Photo by Prof. Patricia Tang.)
This course features an extensive listening
This course is an introduction to selected musical traditions of West Africa. A variety of musical practices and their cultural contexts will be explored through listening, reading, and written assignments, with an emphasis on class discussion. The course includes in-class instruction in West African drumming, song and dance, as well as lecture-demonstrations by guest artists.
After an introductory unit, the course will be organized around four main geographical areas: Senegal, Mali, Ghana, and Nigeria. An in-depth study of music from these countries will be interspersed with brief overviews of Southern, Central, and East Africa.