African Drums

  • Category: Music & Movies
  • Words: 425
  • Grade: 100
I really enjoyed Michael Farley's African drum workshop. The discussion reinforced what we had discussed in class and also went into some more detail on a few subjects. Jamming around with the drums was a fun way of learning more about the music and the instruments. We got to really feel the rhythms of the music by playing it. The music and videos Michael played for us greatly added to my understanding of the discussion.
        I thought Michael's explanation of how music is part of community life and the role of griots was really interesting. He also did a good job of explaining how the African notions of music got mixed with Western views here in America. We got to see how a twelve beat African rhythm became the basis for the twelve-bar blues. I also liked learning about how African-Americans liked using stringed instruments so they could hit blue notes that aren't a part of traditional Western music.
        I used to play percussion in high-school. The guitar is the first instrument with notes that I've really played. I haven't been playing long but the workshop made me want to learn some blues. I got to do that for our class this week with Jay and Tamar. The discussion about how African music theory is different from ours taught me some more about ours as well.
        Playing the drums was a lot of fun. I got to try a couple of different instruments. I was surprised that everyone could jam pretty well after getting just a basic introductory pattern. A lot of the bands that I like incorporate African drums and rhythms into their music. One all percussion band in particular, Mecca Bodega, uses some of the same instruments that we played in addition to a hammered dulcimer to make some of the best music I've ever heard.
        I really enjoyed the workshop and our in class discussions about African music. It was pretty interesting to learn about and really fun to play. I think that our class does now have a basic knowledge of African music which will help us see its influence in the American music we listen too both in class and on our own. I was never familiar with blues or jazz until fairly recently. I have liked reggae, which is also heavily influenced by African music, for a long time though. It was interesting to learn about how two very different notions of music came together to create new sounds that evolved into a very influential music style in its own right.
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