African music is fettered by checkered stereotypes thickly as hyleas situated in the same place are covered with lianas. The reality, however, is that in skillful hands anything can tune up in variations of overtones. These were the motives that originated in hot tropics that influenced establishment of bands all over the world.
The most common misconception is that as centuries went by peoples of the hottest continent managed to master only the most primitive ways of extracting sounds. Some say, as opposed to developed Europe and a perfectly up-to-date America they still remain on the level of eccentric amateurs. Thus on hearing combination of words “Africa” and “music” most people picture unpretentious shape of a drum.
Greater part of African musical instruments can be tagged with everybody’s word of choice: “handmade”. The thing that an average German or Frenchman would trifle with and throw to a tray, on the other continent can play and sound as colorful and surrounding as a piece from a symphony orchestra perfomance. And, as we understand, it is far from being a complement towards European snobbery. Wood, metal, tusks and fangs, skin, corns of wild animals and reptiles; osier, clay, bamboo, switch grass and corn stalks, cane as well as dried out baobab and pumpkin fruits and seeds, coconut shuck – and this only a partial list of things with which one can later on play music.
Some representatives of African musical instruments look so extravagant that are not immediately distinguishable against surrounding tropical scenery (image 01). For instance a so called terrene bow is in fact a bent body of a small tree with a cord of convolute fibers in the upper part. A stone, a piece of wood or barque is affixed to the lower part of a makeshift string, it is later on dipped into a hole dug in the ground. In this case it serves as a simple soundboard. In northern Ghana and Uganda this instrument usually performs a role of a child’s play but it is also used by adults for ceremonial reasons. Similar way of extracting sound is used by Mbuti pigmys from Ituri forest (north-west of the former Zaire). Music, or better still to call it musical rhythmic pattern, is created by means of a special “drum” dug in the ground and wrapped in fells.
Admittedly, it would not be entirely correct to describe African tunes and instruments only in contrast to and with emphasis on what is different from our canons. Authentic musical traditions brought to the New World together with slaves had an impact on development of music of the USA and a number of countries such as Cuba, Brasil and Haiti. Otherwise blues and Negro Spirituals would have no chance to be born. Nowadays similar ethnic African color called ‘world music’ is used with enthusiasm by many Indie, soul and funk ensembles. One can hear the sound of mbira or kalimba (African manual piano) not only in latitudes of Central Africa and Antilles but also in tracks of musicians performing on tour around the USA. Perfect example to the point is Earth, Wind & Fire funk band.
Leader of a Russian rock band Boris Grebenshchikov is also no stranger to African aesthetics (he is holding kalimba in the picture).
As opposed to melodic component of tropical tunes it is worth keeping an eye on its contrariety that is music for messaging and ceremonial tunes for entrancement. For instance, regional festival of dancing and singing in the city of Arba Minch in the south of Ethiopia might come as a shock to any melomane. Participants of this “Afrovision”, in addition to representatives of a more conservative approach in this respect, local peoples of Dorzo, Diratie, Gamo and Gidole, are flutists from Dirashe (one of the regions of the abovementioned country). Their ensemble of 15 musicians performs dire cacophony on their musical instruments. It is by definition built on sheer dissonances. Musicians extract sounds in turn and sort of with overlap, gradually building up the air and rising general sounding. Say what you will, but art theorists, having visited the event, would have got much food for thought (non-tempered melody, it only remotely resolves into sol-fa sharp-re) and all the others at least food for hearing. Amusing, curious but the one that is hard to digest. Here, make sure for yourself:
Three years ago Austrian tour operatorslaunched an unusual touristic tourdesigned for fansof singing style called yodel. Hikers wander through the Ziller Valley, a broad trail narrows opening the way for only the most avid travellers, then track leads upwards. Tourists look into the interactive station shaped as a giantsonorous walk-in cowbell, then they go around thelargest alpine horn and head to place where Alpine herdsmen used to have unhurried musical conversations with their flocks.
Small ethnic groupshave been always interesting for scientists and artists, who sought inspiration in their lifestyle. The Bajau Sea Gypsies who formally can be correlated with Malaysia, are one of the most popular ethnic groups today.
When you first hear about them, you do not believe your ears; when you first see them, you do not believe your eyes. Their passports have no photos, they do not pay taxes, do not do military service, they wear plain clothing, drive horse-drawn buggies, insulate themselves from modern conveniences, and, of course, have the most delicious food in the USA. Would you like to learn more?
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A little son came to his father and suggested to run away from mom and granny to the North Pole? Now, do not indulge into tragic speeches of severe frosts, pitch darkness of the polar night and hungry polar bears! Give a conspiracy wink to a little brave one, and give him a real man's job for his school winter holidays that is to learn how to build an igloo, night shelter in ever-frost lands.
Hebron is well known for being the city of 3 [three] religions and 3 [three] civilizations, a real place of power. Perhaps that is why by twist of fate there emerged glass which looks fragile, but is centuries old, the same as Hebron.
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This beverage became so deeply ingrained in the life of humans that we sometimes even fail to notice putting a kettle on a stove. There are thousands ways of best-loved beverage brewing in the world. OUTLOOK offers the best of them to your attention.
When Bahriddin’s mother was getting ready for work, she was assiduously arranging her hair around her tubeteika. It resulted in some sort of a crown. On holidays she plaited special adornments into her black hair with a tinge of blue. When she walked, they were tinkling slightly to create an aura of a dance. And in evenings little Bahriddin couldn’t fall asleep without holding her tight braid in his hands. Even now he recalls her long hair adoringly and believes them to be essential element of female beauty.
During seven years autumn Kyiv is full of the sounds of breath-taking melodies and touching etudes of the prominent Hungarian composer Ferencz Liszt. It has become a kind tradition for the Embassy of Hungary to invite the best musicians in Ukraine as well as the loyal students of maestro before his birthday. This year the famous piano player György Oravecz came to the capital of Ukraine to perform the legendary plays of Liszt…The project OUTLOOK has been lucky to speak to the famous musician.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Unique nature, the main tectonic fault of our planet, flamingos, giraffes and cheetahs at arm's length - all this and much more in our new article about the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi and its environs.
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we'll tell you about art of golden-stitched embroidery: about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and plants do not reach out people remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
The spouse of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Ukraine Anamica Bharti organized a meeting of the club of ambassadors wives Ambassadors Spouses Club in the course of which it was a display of traditional Indian clothes and friendly dinner.
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes. Parts of people’s souls, its history and culture are actually concentrated in national dainties.