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3: Batá in the Revolution

Vaughan, Umi Indiana University Press ePub

3

Batá in the Revolution

*  Umi  *

In 1959, Cuba began to reinvent itself under the direction of Fidel Castro's revolutionary socialist government. Historically in Cuba, poor people – especially Afro-Cubans – were marginalized. Now after centuries of colonial and neocolonial rule, poor people and blacks gained access to the delights of the nation. The debate has raged since Cuba's first independence struggle (from 1868 to 1878) about whether blacks are mere beneficiaries of white benevolence who should be thankful for their freedom, independence, education, opportunities, and so on, or co-authors/owners of all of Cuba's revolutionary history – as soldiers, thinkers, and perhaps the truest carriers of the spirit of freedom in Cuba. Carlos's grandfather was a mambí (rebel soldier in the Cuban War of Independence, 1895 to 1898) and his father was a founding member of the Cuban State Security after the revolution of 1959. Despite some improvement in conditions for black Cubans, the denigration and repression of Afro-Cuban religions has persisted even under the new Castro regime. The revolution has passed through several moments, each with its own consequences for Santería and batá.

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10. Rock since the 1970s

S. Kay Hoke INshort ePub

INTRODUCTION

Since the end of World War I the history of popular music in America has been one of interplay between musical styles and technological advances in sound reproduction. Of the many influences affecting the popular music scene, two are especially noteworthy: the introduction of microphones and amplifiers, allowing performers to project their sound without mastering the same techniques used by performers of art music; and the movement of mainstream popular music from a European-inspired written tradition to a vernacular style derived from oral tradition.

Until the 1920s the primary consumers of popular music were the literate middle and working classes, who had both the ability to read music and the means to buy a piano on which to reproduce it in the home. The emergence of affordable electronic sound reproduction made popular music accessible to a broad audience unconstrained by geography or the necessity for formal musical training. By 1925, control of the popular music industry had begun to shift from publishing houses to radio stations, record companies, and manufacturers of sound reproduction equipment. Popular music in the United States has always been dominated by styles directed toward and listened to by the so-called mainstream audience: urban, middle-class whites. In the first half of the century that music was the product of Tin Pan Alley; in the second half it has been rock. But styles particular to other groups in the population have sometimes attracted broad-based audiences as well—for example, the music of rural whites, first known as hillbilly and later as country, and the music of African Americans, which includes blues, jazz, and gospel.

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8. The Local and Global in Kenyan Rap and Hip Hop Culture

ERIC CHARRY Indiana University Press ePub

JEAN NGOYA KIDULA

In 1996, I was invited by a bossa nova musician to participate on his album by rapping in Kiswahili alongside a Brazilian rapper invoking Angola using a genre known as maracatu. The idea in part was to demonstrate the reciprocal interconnections that have marked developments of popular music between the African continent and its diaspora. Africans on the continent have appropriated genres born in the diaspora, such as reggae or rhythm and blues, to globalize themselves, while people of African descent outside the continent constantly draw on African continental forms, textures, structures, and performance practices to invoke cultural and artistic heritage. I was therefore invited to represent the African roots of rap and to reinvent them in an African lingua franca.

With my street Swahili and an ambivalence to the niceties of the language as it was taught to me in high school, I enlisted the help of a Kiswahili Ph.D. student to suggest, correct, and guide my poetry. His suggestions were in such difficult and correct idioms that I dismissed them and rewrote the text in a semiliterate form, first to suit the poetic style I had selected and also to fit in the musical framework constructed by the producer and main DJ—a Brazilian jazz pianist. In the process, I realized that my “composition” was informed not just by the general structural characteristics of rap but also by Kiswahili poetic structure and delivery, and concerns I felt were important to a musician from Kenya. The Brazilian rapper, in Portuguese, invoked maracatu, a genre associated with ceremonies of African diasporic groups in northeast Brazil. The rhythms and instruments used in maracatu evoked its African musical roots and cited the continent for lyrical inspiration. Both of us summoned local Afrogenic musical underpinnings to propel our product into the global space whose most potent genre at the time was rap.1

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10. Contemporary Ghanaian Popular Music since the 1980s

ERIC CHARRY Indiana University Press ePub

JOHN COLLINS

The development of Ghanaian transcultural popular dance music from its origins in the 1880s can be divided into three broad historical epochs. First, as a result of colonialism there was, in southern Ghana, the introduction of foreign regimental brass band music, the classical and ballroom music of Western orchestras, and the guitar and accordion music of foreign seamen. There was a gradual Africanization of these genres up until the Second World War, sometimes linked to the spread of popular music genres from the coastal urban centers to the provincial and rural hinterlands.1 This resulted in transcultural music forms such as adaha and konkoma marching band music, the coastal osibisaaba and more inland and rustic odonson guitar styles, and street music by local elite ballroom dance orchestras that by the 1920s was being referred to as “highlife” (i.e., high-class life) music. By the 1940s, highlife became the generic term for all these new forms of Ghanaian music, whether played by brass bands, guitar bands, or dance orchestras and bands.

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6 The Spirit of Experimentalism: Since the 1960s

Aida Huseynova Indiana University Press ePub

I wanted to prove that even within the rigorous application of all the rules of twelve-tone technique, it is possible to preserve the national spirit of music.

GARA GARAYEV, “Tol’ko v rabote chelovek vyrazhaet aktivnoe otnoshenie k zhizni” (Only through work one can express an active attitude toward life)

Gara Garayev’s Third Symphony (1964) and Violin Concerto (1967), both based on twelve-tone technique, marked the beginning of a new period in Azerbaijani music: the era of atonal composition. These works were recognized not only as the first manifestations of twelve-tone technique in Azerbaijani music, but also as among the first in the Soviet Union. The Third Symphony and Violin Concerto were met across the country with cautious enthusiasm. Nobody could deny the high artistic value of these pieces. Nonetheless, even in the relatively liberated social and political climate of the Soviet Union in the 1960s, dodecaphony was treated with suspicion and was perceived as a tribute to the music of the capitalist West, according to the Soviet ideologists. Despite these challenges, Garayev continued his efforts, and the idea of “Azerbaijani dodecaphony” powerfully resonated in his mind for years. According to Karagicheva, Garayev studied Schoenberg’s scores and translated Anton Webern’s Der Weg zur neuen Musik (The Path to the New Music) from German to Russian. He experimented with creating a “serial mugham” in the 1970s.1 Garayev used twelve-tone methods even in his last opus, the Twelve Fugues (1982), completed in the year of his death.

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