Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

The folk & traditional music of Europe, Africa & the Americas explored.

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example 7-6. South African choral song with musical bow, from Charles M. Camp and Bruno Nettl, "The Musical Bow in Southern Africa," An-throposh (1955), 80.
This gives rise to a sort of drone relationship between the voices.
There is also a relationship between the voices that could be called real counterpoint, but this seems to appear most frequently in instrumental music, where the structure of the instrument may in itself be conducive to certain melodic patterns and devices. Thus the accompaniment of singers on a harp, a xylophone, or a mbira (see page 138) may have nothing to do melodically with the tune of the singers. In the case of accompaniment, an "ostinato" relationship between voices and instruments is frequent. A short bit, perhaps a two-measure phrase, is repeated (with variations) by the instru­ments, while the singer or singers perform a longer melody which,

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III