African Music Essay

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African Music When trying to compare and contrast the music-culture and society of the Mbuti and that of the Venda, it becomes difficult to comment on sound when we haven't heard any Venda music. It's easy to recognize that for the Mbuti the music embodies the heart of the forest, and for the Venda the relation to nature is the act of a mother giving birth. Thinking about concept and behavior this makes the music performed by the two cultures separate and distinguishable. This is where culture and environment become important factors. How noticeable is this when listening to the music of both peoples? When given the opportunity to listen, without a trained ear, it would be difficult to find differences in the sound of the music.…show more content…
In both societies there is a visible comparison between the separation males and females when performing ‘rights of passage.' In both cultures we see a universal participation in music as a common thread to survival, and an individuality is kept within the music as it's being performed. The Venda believes that all human beings have the capacity to be musical. Blacking solidifies this thought when stating that, "The Venda may not consider the possibility of unmusical human beings, but they do recognize that some people perform better than others." The same general concept may hold true with the Mbuti, the concept that we are all somehow children of the forest. The relationship that the Mbuti has with the outside villages for provisions and the treatment they receive in these villages can be viewed as a distinction. How close does the Venda come to resembling the village groups sited in Turnbulls research? Is this where most of the distinctions can be made? The Mbuti is primarily a forest dwelling group, relying on the forest for most of their subsistence. The Mbuti uses the molimo as their main instrument, when an elder dies, ceremonies take place using this instrument by the men. The Venda is more complex socially, and they use more instruments. Even the attitude the Mbuti has toward daily life and music seems much more relaxed and simple. Are there the same circular flow or looping patterns in the music of both cultures? Do both cultures have a
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