By Gerhard Kubik
In 1969 Gerhard Kubik chanced to come across a Mozambican hard work migrant, a miner in Transvaal, South Africa, tapping a cipendani, a mouth-resonated musical bow. A similar software was once visible within the fingers of a white Appalachian musician who claimed it as a part of his personal cultural history. via connections like those Kubik discovered that the hyperlink among those far-flung musicians is African-American song, the sound that grew to become the blues.
Such discoveries exhibit a story of song evolution for Kubik, a cultural anthropologist and ethnomusicologist. touring in Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, and the USA, he spent 40 years within the box amassing the fabric for Africa and the Blues. during this ebook, Kubik relentlessly lines the distant genealogies of African cultural track via eighteen African countries, specifically within the Western and vital Sudanic Belt.
Included is a finished map of this cradle of the blues, besides 31 photos amassed in his fieldwork. the writer additionally provides transparent musical notations and outlines of either African and African American traditions and practices and calls into query the numerous assumptions approximately which parts of the blues have been "European" in foundation and approximately which got here from Africa. specified to this publication is Kubik's perception into the methods present-day African musicians have followed and enlivened the blues with their very own traditions.
With scholarly care yet with an ease for the overall reader, Kubik proposes a completely new thought on blue notes and their origins. Tracing what musical qualities got here from Africa and what mutations and mergers happened within the Americas, he exhibits that the African American culture we name the blues is actually a musical phenomenon belonging to the African cultural world.
Gerhard Kubik is a professor within the division of ethnology and African stories on the collage of Mainz, Germany. because 1983 he has been affiliated with the heart for Social learn of Malawi, Zomba. he's an enduring member of the heart for Black tune study in Chicago and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of significant Britain and eire, London.
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Extra resources for Africa and the Blues
Gipsy style is to be heard in greater perfection among the hordes of Hungary than in Russia. The far-famed gipsies of Moscow—among the most deadly and dangerous sirens a corrupt society has ever encouraged—are, he tells us, made up for show. Of all showy things, show nationality is the worst. The race has favourite instruments of its own. The violin, in some form more or less primitive, goes everywhere. To this the gipsies add the cymbal; not the pair of Mambrino's basins clashed, or quietly thrilled, one against the other, which we call by that name, but a sort of wicked dulcimer whipped by the player.
Ere I have done with this sketch, I must recall another, and the most marvellous, employment of the rude and monotonous Eastern cries or tunes, in conjunction with a busy and inexorable rhythm, made by a master of his art, which stands by itself, because of its wondrous force and felicity. This is in Beethoven's chorus of the Whirling Dervishes in Music from the East. 5 The persistence in diatonic interval, which has been represented in divers forms by Mozart, Weber, Romberg, Gluck (as the airs from his ' Pilgrims of Mecca/ ' Unser dummer Pobel meinte',7 reminds us), and Sigr.
The entire contrast between him and the master with whom illiberal sarcasm has tied him up, could not be better proved than by the 46 National Music of the World. first four bars of his ' Pater Noster,' in the last of which the repose, yet awe, which the words convey is entirely disturbed by the sudden transition or leap in the melody—effective, it may be, but hardly devotional. But let the great qualities and defects imputed to his peculiar people have been ever so strong in the man, I am as unable to find any echoes from the synagogue in his music, as in the music of his great fellow-student under the fantastic and empirical Abbe Vogler, of whom I shall have to speak more than once—Carl Maria von Weber.
Africa and the Blues by Gerhard Kubik