This study, THE SIMILARITIES AND THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN WESTERN AND AFRICAN MUSIC contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.
The aim of this study is to find out the similarities and the distinctions between Western and African Music as a whole and with their function and importance inclusively. However, the research work has been able to extensively workout the differences as well as the similarities that existed within the two music. Hereby showing that the proposed inferiority complex between the duos is falsehood. Moreover, the research work has been able to reveal that African music is more rhythmic than Western music and on the other hand Western music is more easily accessible and easily read and preserved than African music and more structured. It is therefore on the note that each music has its own special feature which is in conformity with their geographical placement favoured by their weather condition, climate and natural disposition.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Music is a universal phenomenon which had greatly influenced people for ages, enjoyed and appreciated by all and sundry all over the world. This phenomenon has been noted to have a great influence on man, plants and animal because it constitute a great deal to their development and also life cannot exist without it.
Music can be viewed as a medium of sound (what can be heard) which is pleased to man’s hearing. It is therefore could be described as combination of sound which is agreeable to the ear.
Omitogun (2005) defines music as “A pleasing sound or harmonious and melodious combination of sounds that are beautiful and putting them together in a beautiful, pleasant or interesting arrangements”.
Ekwueme (2008) defines music as a “phenomenon using the medium of sound which is organised and manipulated into socially accepted pattern that communicate intelligibly and meaningfully, verbally or non-verbally, ideas, feelings emotion and events to people.
Thomas (1978) defines music as “ordered arrangement of sound and silences whose meaning is preventative rather than denotative.
Although, music in history is dated to the creation Kehinde et al (2001:7) submitted that those hours God performed those wonders, there were heavy communication of sounds, hence, it may not be over-emphasized that “Nature” ordained the first music.
Why nature? Insect hums, the birds sings, wind blows, rain makes gentle music when falls on leaves and on rocks, the tricking of waters from mountain creeks and the dramatic sound of the thunder across the sky are musical in way, thus, we can assume that, it is these various sounds that the primitive man tried (imitated) to make the organised music we know today.
He alters the pitch of his voice while speaking to his fellow being, from his game (hunting) he experimental, on stretching the skin of an animal across a hollow to log or gourd to get a drum for accompaniment to the more ordered sound he later evolved.
The beating of the drum is intended to stimulate both his action and thought. The primitive man, later, in his experiment discovered that it is possible to limitate sound that comes from vibration of reed blow by wind, by twanging tightly, stretched stripes of skin. He also learnt making varied sound through blowing of a pipe pierced at interval with hole.
However, at about 2,500 years ago, Pythagoras, investigated, the principle of sound by ringing of a blacksmith Anvil.
So also, the Egyptian and the Babylonians invented what is known today as orchestral, by blending several instruments together. Therefore, the evolution/history of music according to Kehinde (2003) could be attributed to God through nature with emphasis to the account of the creation of Heaven and Earth to which the holy bible gives the account of.
The effect and significance of music can therefore not be overemphasized as it expressed the features of each tribe, race, nation and country, thereby showcasing what their inheritance and what they have in stock.
It is in this regard that Africa as a continent and the entire Western continent share a wide range of difference, both in physical, psychological and social respect, which reflect in culture, custom, religion, amongst others which are finally expressed in their music.
Although, African continent is the second largest continents in the world with about one thousand languages. Thus, proving larger number of ethnic groups with a great of customs and culture dominating it thereby making the continent complex and has therefore given scholars to manage to offer a conclusive perspective about Africa. African culture and music and with this, African has been a great giant so far to which no other continent has been able to contest with it but in their, many of these has one way come down to the continent have a feel of what the continent has in bank or reserve and have successfully been able to just witness or see few out of the very many deities to steal up these deities but many has been unfortunate to have been tried down by means of Africanism and have had their remains buried in African here.
To note that African deities determines most of the festivals and celebration done in African which made African a natasly distinct continent amongst other.
Western music also on the other end is a reflection of Western culture and civilization and technology advancement. Western music in its own has its peculiarity in that it is a simple made music with measure of storage.
The music, Western music, can be however traced to the medieval time (450 – 1450) with the introduction of charity which was later termed Gregorian chant into the catholic services as the music originates church music which later therefore starts becoming more of art form with the advances in music and station and more focus on secular themes that occurred in renaissance period (1450 -1600), which then leads to expansions of range and complexity as it goes into Baroque ear (1600 – 1750) and on and to classical era (1750 – 1820), Romantic era (1820 – 1900), which exhibit more of individual stylization and until modern era.
Although, there are difference between the two music emerge from their geographical location tradition, cultures, development, festival and economic activities. Moreover, they share some basic similarities.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
With the dynamics feature of African music and that of Western music and the fact that African music is been viewed by many people both black and white as inferior to Western music, moreover, African music remains the best when compared with other’s.
This study is therefore set to compare and look for the distinctive features between the two musics (African and Western Music), thereby seeking for the features making both musics similar and different.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study to examine
- African music at a glance.
- Western music at a glance.
- See the similarities between the two music.
- Find out the differences between the two music.
- Recommend way of erasing the inferiority complex in people’s mind about African music and therefore promoting African music.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is of great significant as many category of people will greatly be of benefit from it. Beneficiary from there study will include:
African themselves generally
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions are raised to give direction to the study.
- How relevant is African music?
- How relevant is Western music?
- What are the features common of Western and African music?
- Are there distinct between African and Western music?
- Are the similarities between African and Western music?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will cover randomly few Nigerian music as a study case as well as general Western music.
Keywords:THE SIMILARITIES AND THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN WESTERN AND AFRICAN MUSIC
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