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    Along with bible verses you Click stars to rate this APP! Moreover, the music-language conjunction is likely to prove fruitful at a metalinguistic level. For the technical and aesthetic vocabulary used by the Northern Ewe to talk about their language and music, although modest in extent, often reveals interesting correspondences and affinities.

    It is this view of the centrality of language, a centrality enshrined in the claim that "without African languages, African music would not exist,"8 that underlies 2 Prologue the approach taken in this book. I have arranged the contents to progress from the less concrete rhythm as polysemous metaphor, rhythm as a fluid temporal process to the more concrete rhythm as technical concept, rhythm as a precise, quantifiable process and back again.

    Accordingly, Chapter I begins with a "soundscape" of Northern Ewe society, a fictional ethnography which allows us to listen for manifestations of "rhythm" in the spectrum of physical activities that take place during a single twenty-four-hour period. Chapter 2 studies the rhythms of spoken and performed language, seeking to draw out the intrinsic "music" of language in motion. Chapter 3 is devoted to song.

    It begins at the beginning, so to speak, with children's songs and rhymes, proceeds to various adult genres, and ends with a "close listening" to one particularly beautiful Northern Ewe lament. Chapter 4 analyzes the rhythms of drum music, not as a repository of wordgenerated rhythms, but as a set of "temporal spaces" - with apologies for the mixed metaphor - in which performers and listeners play with "pure" rhythms. Chapters 5 and 6 move beyond the "local" to the "global" in musical and verbal performance.

    Chapter 5 contains an analysis of a single thirty-five-minute performance of song, drumming, and dancing by a group of youngsters, the Zlavi Zigi Group, while Chapter 6 examines a folktale performance by Miw:Je Neny6 Hdb:Jb:J, a Cultural Troupe from Peki-Blengo. Chapter 7 revisits a model for conceptualizing Northern Ewe rhythmic processes introduced towards the end of Chapter I, and closes with some reflections on some of the issues involved in notating African rhythm, referring in particular to the work of A.

    It is one of the casualties of disciplinary specialization that because of its subject-matter, and irrespective of its actual method, a book about Northern Ewe music or for that matter "non-Western" music will automatically be classified under "ethnomusicology" rather than "musicology," thus departing from the precedent set by "comparative musicology" during the early decades of this century.

    While I do not think that labels are everything, I am conscious of the fact, and have often been reminded of it by not always hostile critics, that I am not a card-carrying ethnomusicologist.

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    This book, accordingly, is conceived as a contribution to African music study rather than to ethnomusicology. Using my prerogative as author to hide, in one facile distinction, my amateurism in certain areas of scholarship, will not, of course, dissuade critics from asking hard questions.

    I am therefore obliged to say something about the book's overall orientation. Recent appeals to pluralism, eclecticism, and even interdisciplinarity have provided us with a convenient rubric for imposing a new kind of coherence on how we study cultural objects while abdicating responsibility for some of the methodological choices we make. To say, therefore, that my approach is eclectic and interdisciplinary is to avail myself of this convenient, but easily misused, authority.

    Talk of a "soundscape" in Chapter I gestures towards anthropology or ethnography, while the continuing emphasis on language especially in Chapters 2 3 Prologue and 6 points in the direction of linguistics. To assert the validity of indigenous critical, descriptive, and aesthetic language is to align oneself indirectly with the much-maligned notion of ethnotheory. And to speak of "perfect fourths," "linear descents," and "third spans" is to download into an area of European music theory.

    Beyond these superficial and unavoidable points of disciplinary contact, however, the book is musicological and analytical in orientation insofar as my main interest is in the songs that the Northern Ewe sing, their style, structure, and texts, and in the mediating role of rhythm as conveyor of their significance.

    I have little to say about larger "contexts" that do not seem to be organically related to a musical core. In declaring allegiance to the so-called "music sound," however, I do not construe my objects of study as abstract, disembodied patterns of notes, nor as less than concrete embodiments of some social reality or other, but as intentional discourses in which sign complexes provide listeners including singers, drummers, and dancers with innumerable opportunities for the construction of meaning.

    It will come as no surprise, then, that I do not subscribe to the view, however gently formulated, that "it is a mistake 'to listen' to Mrican music"9 if it implies that the songs of the Northern Ewe, for example, need to be propped up aesthetically by something extramusical. I would argue not only that listening to African music can be highly rewarding but that such listening must form the basis of any serious engagement with the repertoire.

    For whatever "listening" means, its application to the behavior of Classical music audiences - a move designed to underline differences between Classical music and African music audiences - often entails a vulgar reduction of the complex processes involved in listening to a Mozart quartet, a Schumann song, or a Mahler symphony to the realm of "passive" activity.

    The ritual absence of visible, externalized movement among Classical music audiences surely stands in reciprocal relation to the busy and sometimes involved process of trying to grasp the meaning of a drama in sound, an "inner" drama the apprehension of which allows the imagination ample exploratory space to indulge in a series of vigorous cognitive movements.

    To insist that it is not a mistake to listen to Northern Ewe music is not, of course, to claim that "listening" is all that this repertoire is good for. In "close listening," however, and without entertaining any illusions about the power of scholarly discourse, one can, I believe, contribute to the empowering of Northern Ewe musicians by bringing to bear on their compositions the same types and standards of scholarly scrutiny practiced on more canonical repertoires. And the fact that the music discussed in this book is made by "ordinary" Northern Ewe people and not by professional musicians says nothing about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of canonical techniques of analysis.

    For what must finally be resisted is the impulse to construct an Mrica that is always different from the West. No doubt some differences cannot be suppressed, but one may be surprised 4 Prologue by the extent to which the need for, and circumstances of, music-making in Africa resemble conditions in other parts of the world, and bespeak a basic human need for artistic expression.

    African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective

    One option is to treat Northern Ewe materials simply as data for a Western audience, to apply "Western" methods of analysis, perhaps even propound a new theory for Western consumption, a theory all the more powerful for claiming to represent what Africans really think. By this "logic of extraversion," to borrow Paulin Hountondji's phrase, I I the musical-intellectual condition of the metropolis is rejuvenated. The other option is to focus on providing reliable ethnographic data with the minimum of theoretical intervention, so that when Northern Ewes see their cultures represented in photographs, recordings, diagrams, and words, they can smile at having been included.

    If this book fails to meet the standards set by either agenda, it is partly because I have not been able to find satisfactory solutions to the dilemmas, and partly because 1 believe the difficulty to be instructive. No doubt I will be asked by my Northern Ewe readers why some names were mentioned and others not, why some pictures were included and others excluded, and why, in one particular case, 1 did not make the exact distinction that a chief had explicitly asked me to make if 1 ever referred to musical life in his village "over there.

    By the same token some of my Western readers will grow impatient at the analytical descriptions given here, wondering why I haven't done the work that will produce a new theory.

    Towards a Northern Ewe conception of rhythm There is no single word in the Ewe language for "rhythm. It is hard to believe that, with all the evidence around him of regular and energetic music-making, Westermann 5 Prologue could have failed to notice the importance of rhythm in the lives of the Mricans whose languages he studied. Perhaps lexicons are meant only to record what is verbalized, not to mirror our patterns of behavior.

    The absence of a single word for "rhythm" in Ewe does not, of course, imply the absence of the concept of rhythm. What it implies is that the semantic fields of the word are broadly distributed rather than lodged in one place. In fact, I would have considerable trouble separating the dimensions of song into rhythm, melody, dynamics, texture, tessitura, and so on, as one routinely does in English, French, German, Italian, and other languages.

    I might ask the singers to "put fire inside" de dzo erne , which might result in both an increase in volume and, often unintentionally, a quickening of pace.

    I might complain about a performance that it is dull, or that it "wears slowness" ew:J gbbd:J:J or edo agbb:J , and this might elicit a greater density of rhythmic events, a swelling in dynamics, perhaps, or an increase in tempo. The context would determine what changes are considered appropriate by the performers. There are, in short, ways of conversing around rhythm without naming it. And it is this "alwaysconnected" or integral mode of rhythmic signification that characterizes the Northern Ewe culture area.

    Nowadays, with the advent of missionary education and culture, it has become necessary for choirmasters and music teachers to invent technical vocabulary for talking about music.

    By contrast, a number of words and phrases used in the context of "traditional" performances do not betray this missionary influence as clearly. The same phenomenon, only this time involving a disparity between singing and instrumental playing, is captured by the phrase ehaa t6 f uj qome, meaning "the song has passed under the drums. While the origins of these words and phrases might be of interest to the etymologist, their continued use by today's Ewe musicians shows that here, as in other realms of post-colonial experience, the mutual existence of "African" and "Western" or "Westerninfluenced" concepts presents no aesthetic dilemmas.

    The absence of a single word for "rhythm" in Ewe suggests that rhythm refers to a binding together of different dimensional processes, a joining rather than a separating, an across-the-dimensions instead of a within-the-dimension phenomenon.

    I have taken a cue from this interpretation to begin the present study of Northern Ewe rhythm on the broadest possible level, the level of the rhythms of society.

    For if the idea of rhythm as "always-connected" is as fertile as I claim it to be, then a proper understanding of rhythmic expression should begin by regarding, however briefly, broader manifestations of rhythm in society, rhythms that could function as a source for artistic borrowing and manipulation - not the only one, of course, since music inevitably refers to other music.

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