Lesson 13 : Vocal Music
Africa- home to approximately 80 million
people from different cultural
backgrounds and tradition.
-this content is the birthplace of one
of the world’s most unique musical styles.
Music- an integral part of the lives of the
African people. It is closely related to any
aspects of their lives. It goes much deeper
than just singing songs for rituals
Traditional African Music
-it is used for worship and courtship, for
easing hard work, and simply for giving
pleasure or entertainment.
The Griots- a highly skilled musicians
- pass on tribal history through oral
African music developed through the
blending influences of the following:
- Middle Eastern
Soukous- the congolese guitar band music
- one of the most influential styles of
popular music in Africa.
-Characteristics of African Music-
Characteristics of predominate African music:
- Rhythmic patterns / movements
- Percussive sounds
Polyrhythmic- means they perform two or
more basic rhythms simultaneously.
Vocal style- another important element of
Call-response Technique- in this technique,
the lead singer who is highly trained, sings a
line or a phrase which the rest of the group
sings or echoes back.
Most commonly observed musical practices
in Vocal Music:
Lesson 14: African
African Vocal Music- polyrhythmic and
- its music is predominantly rhythmic
Handclapping- the basic rhythmic
accompaniment of nomadic tribes.
African Rituals and Ceremonies- on the
musical accompaniment of drums, which id
believed to help summon spirits.
Music- used as a means to communicate
everyday tasks, religious events and calls to
Some prominently known instruments:
-Talking drums- of West and Central
-Talking xylophones- of the Jabo tribe.
-Talking flutes- of the Nigerian tribe.
Important as the playing of musical
-Dancing, singing, clapping
Most commonly used in Africa. These are
commonly played by societies that did not
1.Rattles- made of dried gourd from the
calabash tree and are covered with beads to
create rattling sounds when tapped or shaken.
Two kinds of Rattles:
Primary Rattles- held by the hands.
Secondary Rattles- are worn by the
performers on their bodies and activated
through bodily movements.
2. Clappers- reproduce the sound of hand
clapping for ceremonial purposes.
Scrapped and Stamped Idiophones- some
sounds are produced by rubbing a gourd
against a board by scrapping a bottle with a
Mbira (Sansa or hand piano)- this melodic
idiophone is made from graduated series of
wooden or metal strips that are arranged.
Xylophone- Made up of a series of wooden
slabs or keys mounted on a clay post or on a
-Used to emphasize the rhythmic and
percussive nature of their music.
Drums- carved out of wood or made of strips
of wood that are bound together.
-Come in various size and shapes. The most
common instrument throughout Africa.
Flutes- usually made from bamboo, stalks of
millet, the tip of gourd, and the husk of cane.
Reed pipes- it is played by inhaling and
exhaling through the slit around its opening.
Trumphets and Horns- made from animal
horns, elephant tusks and wood. Used for
conveying signals and messages as well as
Musical bows- the simplest of all African
Zither- are stringed instruments that are
Lutes- instruments with strings that run
parallel to their necks and are played through
plucking or bowing.
Lesson 15: Latin American
Latin America- refers to the countries found
on the South America Continent, as well as the
-Latin American Musical Styles-
Calypso- a form of music and dance popular
in the Caribbean. It originated from the pre-
Lenten carnival in Trinidad where musicians
played their music nightly.
Rumba- an Afro-Cuban song and dance
music that is polyrhythmic and is natural and
spontaneous in its movements. It exhibits to
Three part form:
1. improvised verses
2. repetitive call
3. response singing
Merengue- well known vocal and dance
music that was adopted from the Dominican
Tango- emerged at the end of 19th
from Buenos Aires. This dance was probably
derived from the Milonga, a lively suggestive
Salsa- a musical style that was developed in
New York City by the Urban Caribbean
Lesson 16: Musical
Instruments of Latin
Latin American Music- one of the most
influential kinds of music in the world.
Different Musical Styles:
1. Tango 4. Rumba
2. Cha- cha 5. Salsa
3. Samba 6. Merengue
Maracas- a pair of dried gourds with wooden
handles. They are played by shaking.
Claves- pairs of round, hardwood sticks that
are tapped together. They are used to play a
special on going syncopated rhythm.
Bongo Drum- pair of drums struck by the
Congo Drum- single extra tall bongo, struck
with the players hand.
Cabasa- looks like a wooden spool with metal
beads wound around it and a wooden handle.
Steel Drums- tuned metal barrels.
Puerto Rican Cuatro- small four-stringed
instruments similar to the largest ukulele.
Tiple- it has four double/triple sets of strings
that are used to accompany a certain music.
Charango- lute-shaped instrument with five
pairs of string.
Panpipes- known as antaras, a type of
wooden instrument from the Andes Mountain,
Trumpets- wind instruments that are made
from conch shells, tree barks and bamboo.