By John Blacking

ISBN-10: 0295953381

ISBN-13: 9780295953380

This crucial learn in ethnomusicology is an test by means of the writer -- a musician who has turn into a social anthropologist -- to check his reports of music-making in numerous cultures. he's right here offering new details caused by his learn into African tune, specially one of the Venda. Venda tune, he stumbled on is in its method no much less advanced in constitution than ecu song. Literacy and the discovery of country could generate prolonged musical constructions, yet they convey transformations of measure, and never the adaptation in variety that's implied by way of the excellence among ‘art’ and ‘folk’ song. Many, if no longer all, of music’s crucial techniques could be present in the structure of the human physique and in styles of interplay of human our bodies in society. hence all track is structurally, in addition to functionally, ‘folk’ song within the experience that track can't be transmitted of have which means with out institutions among people.

If John Blacking’s wager concerning the organic and social origins of tune is true, or maybe basically partially right, it can generate new rules concerning the nature of musicality, the function of tune in schooling and its basic function in societies which (like the Venda within the context in their conventional economic climate) may have extra relaxation time as automation raises.

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Additional resources for How Musical Is Man? (Jessie & John Danz Lectures)

Example text

H o w ever, a n a l y s e s o f language b e h a v i o r b y Eric L e n n e b e r g and b y N o a m C h o m s k y and his a s s o c i a t e s point t o features that HOW MUSICAL IS 22 MAN? h a v e parallels in music. I do n o t refer so m u c h to t h e o b v i o u s fact that the sound si can h a v e different structural and s e m a n tic significance in different l a n g u a g e s , and that even in English the words sea, see, and see are different, as to t h e variety of structures that c a n be embedded in the surface structures of a language, that is, in the patterns of words w h i c h we hear and to w h i c h we respond.

T h e song was not, in fact, a grinding s o n g , b u t a song sung while grinding. It h a p p e n e d to be a mankuntu dance s o n g that was currently popular, and the w o m a n ' s use of it while grinding was comparable to a performance of " H a r k , the Herald A n g e l s S i n g ! " over the washing-up a t C h r i s t m a s time. People's classifications o f s o n g s b y form and b y function m a y provide i m p o r t a n t evidence o f musical and e x t r a m u s i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n processes t h a t are a c c e p t a b l e in a culture.

T o describe these differently organized p a t t e r n s o f sound as the s a m e " s o n i c o b j e c t s " simply b e c a u s e they sound the s a m e would be grossly misleading. Even to recognize the w a y in which the sounds are produced and to describe s o m e of t h e m a s e x a m p l e s o f p o l y r h y t h m would b e inadequate i n the c o n t e x t o f V e n d a music. T h e y m u s t b e described first i n terms of cognitive and behavioral p r o c e s s e s that b e l o n g to the pattern o f V e n d a culture.

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How Musical Is Man? (Jessie & John Danz Lectures) by John Blacking

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