-Has roots in Liberian sailors who traveled between various ports in Africa and the main ports of the Caribbean, South America, and North America
-By the 1920s, developed a hybrid style called palm-wine music. Named for the taverns where the music was played
-Ensemble consists of guitar (one or two), bass, percussion (knife and bottle, conga, bongo, or whatever they could get). But the ensemble was very flexible and could include mandolins, accordions, pennywhistles, etc. It could also be very small, including only the vocalist and a guitar.
-Bass stresses downbeat
-There were two distinct styles of ensembles in the 1920s, the guitar-based, smaller ensembles, and the brass-based dance bands. The brass bands played primarily for elite circles while the guitar ensembles handled grass-roots entertainment needs.
-This changed in the 1940s, when palm-wine highlife came to be played by brass bands
-The 1950s brought the beginnings of electric guitars and, by the 1960s, the style reached its peak.
-The rise of Congolese music (like soukous) in the 1960s, signaled the end of highlife's golden era.
-Highlife has continued to inspire new ideas and sounds. A good example of this is the Bürger Highlife movement in Germany.
-Today gospel highlife, local reggae and American black pop are the main staples of music in Accra.
-Guitar highlife is really popular in rural areas where "concert parties" are all-night affairs of music, dance, and theatre.
-Grew out of palm-wine as well
-In the 1930s Tunde King (T.K.) was the first performer to coin the term juju music and to popularize it
among the elite.
-Typical early juju ensemble was a trio (banjo, tambourine, and sekere rattle)
-The characteristic rhythm played on the sekere is (short, short, long)
-Juju bands did not incorporate the brass band sounds in any way. That is one major difference between highlife and juju.
-They did, however, incorporate Yoruba percussion much more prominently, featuring talking drum, agogo, sekere, and other more hybrid drums like the samba (square frame-drum...Brazilian origin), ogido (like a Cuban conga), and double toy (like a Cuban bongo), prominently in the mix.
-By the 1950s, juju had entered into elite spaces and the praise songs of artists were lavished on rich patrons and against their patron's enemies.
-The word Pygmy is an outsider generic term applied to social groups found in the equatorial forest area stretching from Gabon and Cameroon in the west to Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east (They self-identify by more specific terms like BaMbuti, Bibiyak, and Baka)
-Known as forest people; they see the forest as extremely important and spiritual
-Keystones of Pygmy society: egalitarianism, consensus, and unity
-Very communal life, because survival depends on cooperation rather than competition; all of these aspects strongly influence their musical activities
-Communal singing is very important; musical performance involves anyone in the band who wants to sing
-->Molimo: a Pygmy ceremony for the forest; men are the primary singers for these ceremonies
-->Elima: a Pygmy puberty ceremony for; women are the primary singers
-Pygmy musical style and practice grows from, and reflects, the specific egalitarian nature of Pygmy social and economic life, just as certain features (ex: ostinatos, density, and interlock) are consistent with African musical practice in other societies
-dance drumming is the most important type of musical activity
-voluntary dance clubs: primary institutions through which the all-important dance-drumming traditions are performed
-organized by individual villages, wards, or age groups, these clubs may serve as the basis for social networks and support systems
-the drumming, dancing, singing, and hand clapping in an Ewe performance must be thought of as a unified whole; if any individual part is modified, the perception of the whole changes, because each part is heard as relative to and dependent on the others
-this characteristic, common to many african musical traditions, is a result of the practice of interlocking multiple parts
-China 1.3 billion people
-90% are of Han ethnicity
-The remaining 10% are spread across 55 ethnic minorities
-Opera (Cantonese and Beijing), vocal music (solo and ensemble), and instrumental music of staggering variety accompany life in China
-Pop styles and rock increasingly a part of the musical scene
-Musical ideologies extend back to Confucius, who advocated that music should be used to civilizing purpose within China
-Confucius believed in a hierarchical social structure based on moral leadership and, as such, also believed in music used in service of a deity, in praise of a ruler, or for the calming of passions
-These uses of music were, according to Confucius, capable of bringing about universal harmony within China
-Music thus became an integral part of the pursuits of the Chinese scholarly and intellectual community
-Qi (Chi) is often translated as life force or energy, but it is intimately connected to pitch, timbre, and resonance as well. This connection was made as early as Laozi (Taoism, 6th century BCE).
-Almost all material sung or performed instrumentally comes from composed and texted, pre-existing material
-performers may or may not be aware of the meaning of the text, but they do know that their performance is connected to a specific text
-much of the karnatic repertory was composed by three major composers during the late 18th to mid 19th centuries
-->These composers are collectively referred to as the Trinity of Karnatic Music and include: Saint Tyagaraja, who devoted himself to Rama, and his contemporaries, Syama Sastri and Muttusvami Dikshitar.
-This emphasis on compositions sets the Karnatic repertory apart from the Hindustani tradition, which is more thoroughly improvised.
-Developed somewhat separately from Hindustani music from about 13th century on, from which point on it was less influenced by Islamic belief and law
-Although studying with a guru was important and although the prestige of the guru was a factor to keep in mind, Karnatic musical guardianship does not incorporate the secrecy and power struggles associated with the gharanas (families/schools of musicians) of Hindustani music
-In a sense, prestige and lineage traces back to Tyagaraja for Karnatic musicians, and Tyagaraja was not associated with any court, not bound by anything other than his bhakti or devotion to Rama. As such he didn't need to protect his musical creations but rather shared them freely
-As we will see, the Hindustani tradition traces back to the court musician Tansen, who needed to illustrate his professionalism in order to escape charges of emotive and sensual musical performance within the Islamic context of the Mughal empire
-This set in motion the gharana system of families and their much more intense approach to guardianship and lineage as compared to Karnatic student-teacher relationships.
-A scale and its associated musical characteristics such as the number of pitches it contains, its manner of ascending and descending, its predominant pitch, and so forth
-So, for example, the arohana (ascending version) may be the same or different from the avarohana (descending version).
-some ragas are vakra (crooked), starting in one direction, reversing course, and then continuing in the original direction
-Certain notes are able to carry gamaka (ornamentation) whereas others are not. Gamaka is also considered integral to the svara to which it is attached. In other words, it's not something extra that you tack on, but it is part of what makes that svara work properly in the context of the raga
-A particular note tends to be the focus of the most attention and this is not necessarily the lowest or highest note. This is often called the jiva svara (life-giving or soul-giving svara)
-Ragas are associated with landscape types, seasons, time of day or night, color, and rasa (taste).
-A solfege system, called sargam, helps to organize and learn ragas.
-The svaras are: sa ri ga ma pa dha ni (these correspond roughly to our moveable: do re mi fa sol la ti).
-The indigenous population were Lucayan Arawak Indians.
-Today scholars are estimating that there were approximately 20,000 Lucayans spread out over the archipelago living in villages of no more than 150 people.
-Because of the lack of natural resources, the Bahamas were totally unattractive to the Crown.
-And yet, there was a resource that the Crown could put to use in other places—people.
-So, starting in the mid-1490s a systematic depopulation of the Bahamas took place.
-By 1513, just 20 years after Columbus showed up, the process was all but complete. Many of the Arawaks had been pressed into service in Hispaniola and were dying in droves due to the harsh labor and exposure to European diseases.
-Because of their reputation as excellent swimmers, many Lucayan Arawaks were moved from Hispaniola to man the pearl beds just off the coast of Colombia. On the island of Cubagua they were mercilessly used to collect the pearls. Stories about the human tragedy they endured are sickening. Put into incredibly deep waters in the morning and left there until the evening with very short breaks to eat meals that never filled them up. As soon as they surfaced with their prizes, they were shoved back down by their handlers. Sharks killed many, others drowned from exhaustion.
-After this gruesome opening chapter to the colonial encounter, the Bahamas lay barren for the best part of 300 years, providing a home for pirates and an assortment of really tough customers along the way, but not to any real settlement.
-Then, in the years between 1783 and 1785 a remarkable change took place. The revolutionary war in the colonies had not gone Britain's way and their supporters in the now former colonies (called British loyalists) were, as you can imagine, not particularly welcome there.
-So, Britain relocated a whole mess of them all over the Caribbean and a good number of them wound up setting up shop in the Bahamas.
-This is a huge demographic moment for the Bahamas because a total of 6,000-8,000 people showed up and each family brought 10-100 slaves with them. So the makings of the modern Bahamas were in place by about 1785.
-Colonial rule started in earnest from that point on and the Bahamas remained a British possession for roughly the next 200 years.
-The Bahamas finally secured independence from England in 1973.
-Today the Bahamas are home to about 300,000 people of which 90% claim African heritage and the remaing 10% hail from various locations around Europe.
-Goombay originally designated social dance music (18th and 19th centuries)
-But migration out of what were called the Family Islands toward Nassau and Freeport led to the decline of these dance practices and rake-n-scrape had to survive on its musical and entertainment value alone.
-The name goombay was appropriated by nightclub musicians in Nassau during the 1940s and 50s, but the music was no longer the same as it had been in the 19th century.
-In the 1960s, a radio personality coined a term "rake-n-scrape" to describe the traditional sounds of the music that used to accompany social dances in the 19th century. This basically folklorized the style.
-Traditional rake-n-scrape ensembles these days usually add an accordion to the mix (this was the case from the early twentieth century on).
-The saw pattern and the emphasis on the two AND were the characteristic markers of the rake-n-scrape sound.
-Goombay, as you might guess, features goombay drums and is the Bahamian version of calypso, really hitting its stride in the 1950s and 60s.
-It was often accompanied by guitar and/or banjo but larger ensembles came to dominate the style.
-In fact, ensembles fronted by a piano and sounding a lot like a mix between an American jazz band and a calypso band characterize the genre from the 1950s on.
-The influences on this music came from Trinidad, Cuba, and the US and are apparent in that a lot of the most famous recordings of goombay music are:
1) re-makes of calypsos
2) with clave patterns incorporated into them
3) influenced by jazz and big band styles from the U.S.
-The distinctive Bahamianness of the sound is traced to the goombay drum and to the rhythm played on the maracas (from rake-n-scrape).
-In the late 1960s, Ronnie Butler codified the popular rake-n-scrape sound. He transferred the saw to the hi-hat of the drum kit, had the guitar match that rhythm and made the bass guitar play the 2 AND of each measure. This is a very important distinction in comparison to junkanoo, where, as we'll see, the emphasis falls on straddling the bar line (i.e. AND 1 ... we'll get to that soon).
-Goombay, and all of the music happening in Nassau during the 50s 60s and 70s is particularly tied to the nightclub scene in the Bahamas. The important thing to remember is that tourism was increasing quite rapidly during those days and the demand for what Bahamians call "native" music was growing.
-Goombay artists met that demand, but they also had their own performing spaces in a section of town called "over-the-hill". This meant that the, predominantly white, and foreign-owned hotels and nightclubs along Bay Street in Nassau were counterbalanced by a Bahamian-owned string of clubs that catered primarily to Bahmians but also to those tourists curious enough to want to see Bahamians performing in a less show-cased environment.
-These days, there has been a return to a more explicit incorporation of rake-n-scrape sounds into popular music...basically a roots move.
-Junkanoo is a festival and a popular music
-The festival is held on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Years Day and was traditionally held
all across the Bahamas.
-It started as a night-time festival during which slaves would get together to visit and socialize together (granted these two times a year by the slave-holders).
-After emancipation in 1838, you can imagine that things took a turn for the worse in terms of public reception of junkanoo.
-It was associated with loud revelry and violence (more imagined than actual) and generally disparaged.
-It gradually became associated with drumming of the kind we heard (complete with goombay drums, whistles, cowbells, saws, and whatever else people could get their hands on).
-The characteristic rhythms of junkanoo developed over the course of some decades but, by the early 20th century, things had codified to some degree into roles for the various drums.
-The festival was variously banned, threatened, and limited throughout the 19th and early 20th
-The elites felt threatened by it and the best injunction against the festival was the Street Nuisance Act of 1899
-Ironically, we see a similar pattern of gradual acceptance emerge here.
-As tourists began to frequent the Bahamas more regularly during WWII and thereafter, they began to express real interest in junkanoo.
-Merchants along Bay Street in Nassau (the capital city) took the opportunity and began to institutionalize the festival
-During the 1950s there was a gradual recognition that this festival could generate tourist revenue and that it must have some merit if tourists liked it so much.
-The drive toward independence began in earnest around the same time and junkanoo began to factor as a measure of Bahamian identity.
-By the time independence became a reality in 1973, junkanoo was a totally different festival than it had been prior to WWII.
-It was now a festival that took place in Nassau on Bay Street.
-It was an official competition, with rules and regs and judges
-It was now broadly "Bahamian" and was sponsored by the state (the Masquerade Committee had been absorbed into the Ministry of Tourism).
-It had become a source of identity instead of a scourge of society.
-It also tried to construct the Bahamas as a society that is equal and junkanoo served as a metaphor for this unity. -This, however, isn't the case at all:
o Women do costume arts
o Men do music
o Grass roots play drums
o Whites play mas, not music
-Scrap groups don't listen to or care about any of these rules, performing their dissent (their act of social poetics) by interrupting the parades in rag-tag- fashion (no costumes, no practice, just having fun).
-Popular junkanoo developed during the 1980s as a response to the cultural vacuum that settled in
hard after independence.
-By turning to culturalisms that could be considered strictly Bahamian (mail boats, iron pots cooking, junkanoo, foods, etc...) popular artists were trying to recapture something of the "good old days" and turn these to their advantage.
-So, to compare festival junkanoo to popular junkanoo for a minute: they both have recourse to the past, but festival junkanoo forgets the undesirable (claiming unity) while popular junkanoo only remembers that which is good and or desirable.
-By turning the sounds of festival junkanoo to their advantage, these artists began to explore a
unique Bahamian pop sound.
-The most famous band is the Baha Men (perhaps infamous now for their remake of the soca tune
"Who Let the Dogs Out").
-They hit big in 1992 with an album titled Junkanoo
-Their basic approach to the past is to posit it as a time during which Bahamians were more truly Bahamian.
-More to the point, the band makes it clear that a person can physically be in the Bahamas without actually being home.
-This leads us to think about the possibility of a temporal diaspora (as opposed to a physical one)
-In other words, if I feel like I'm in diaspora (i.e. cut off from my home) it doesn't really matter where I happen to be.
-Sentimentality/nostalgia, then, comes to exert a great deal of influence on the formation of national identity.
prohibited junkanoo during the hours of 4AM to 9AM on celebration days (or, to put it another way..."no junkanoo is allowed during the hours that you normally do junkanoo")
-Created a festival for junkanoo
-The festival became more and more institutionalized: contests, sponsorship for bands, barricading off the festival, selling tickets, selling VIP passes, etc
-In 50s and 60s you could hop in and participate in the music making if you wanted to, now you can't
-Institutionalization of junkanoo because it started as a party, but turned into being something controlled by shop keepers, the government, etc. rather than by the people
-Took away from what junkanoo is supposed to be about: tradition, having fun, the people getting together
-Now there is some contention on the issue