How do language and music combine and reinforce one another in the kinds of music you listen to?

Choose one of the questions from the list below.

1)      Reflect on the question by writing a 2-3 paragraph response.

2)      Include the reference (APA Formate) to an educational website other than Wikipedia that helped you to form your response, with a 2-3 sentence description of how this website enhanced your learning for the week.

3)      Select and add an image to your post that reflects your learning, including the specific reasons you chose the image.



Questions are:

  • An integral relationship between language and music is a feature of many styles and traditions of music worldwide. How do language and music combine and reinforce one another in the kinds of music you listen to? Can you think of instances in which the line between what constitutes speech and constitutes music blurs?
  • So-called musical Africanisms are pervasive features of many music traditions outside of Africa, especially traditions that belong to or have been influenced by African diasporic culture. Listen to and discuss a range of music that is familiar to you. What Africanisms do you hear in the music from our course materials? What effect do they have on how the music sounds and makes you feel?
  • The American musician Taj Mahal has made a career of breaking down conventional musical boundaries and redefining world music as worldly music.  Do some research on Mahal and locate recordings and videos of his that represent the range and diversity of his music.  Write a report describing how Mahal has combined his musical founding in blues music, his broad conceptions of “African” music as encompassing all forms of African and African diasporic music expression, and his cosmopolitanism as a world music adventurer and pioneer.
  • Locate videos and recordings representing several different African and African diasporic music traditions such as Brazilian samba, Trinidadian calypso, American funk and hip-hop, Ghanaian highlife and South African mbaqanga. What distinctive features do you hear in each?  Are there any underlying elements that cut across some or all of them?
  • What role does a jeli serve in Mande society? What does he or she sing about, and what is the principal musical instrument in our course materials that is used in the jeliya art form?