The Rhythmic Imagination in African Music [Lecture]
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The Rhythmic Imagination in African Music [Lecture]

The Rhythmic Imagination in African Music [Lecture]

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Montpelier Room

James Madison Building - 6th Floor

101 Independence Ave SE

Washington, DC 20540

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“The Rhythmic Imagination in African Music”
Kofi Agawu, PhD
Professor of Music, Princeton University

Professor Agawu will speak about his new book, The African Imagination in Music, with a special focus on chapter 4, “The Rhyhmic Imagination in African Music.”

About The African Imagination in Music:

The world of Sub-Saharan African music is immensely rich and diverse, containing a plethora of repertoires and traditions. In The African Imagination in Music, renowned music scholar Kofi Agawu offers an introduction to the major dimensions of this music and the values upon which it rests. Agawu leads his readers through an exploration of the traditions, structural elements, instruments, and performative techniques that characterize the music. In sections that focus upon rhythm, melody, form, and harmony, the essential parts of African music come into relief. While traditional music, the backbone of Africa's musical thinking, receives the most attention, Agawu also supplies insights into popular and art music in order to demonstrate the breadth of the African musical imagination. Close readings of a variety of songs, including an Ewe dirge, an Aka children's song, and Fela's “Suffering and Smiling” supplement the broader discussion.

The African Imagination in Music foregrounds a hitherto under-reported legacy of recordings and insists on the necessity of experiencing music as sound in order to appreciate and understand it fully. Accordingly, a Companion Website features important examples of the music discussed in detail in the book. Accessibly and engagingly written for a general audience, The African Imagination in Music is poised to renew interest in Black African music and to engender discussion of its creative underpinnings by Africanists, ethnomusicologists, music theorists and musicologists.

[Description from Oxford University Press]

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Seating is first-come, first-served for patrons with a reservation. For best seating options, patrons are encouraged to arrive half an hour before the scheduled start of the event. Walkups are encouraged, as additional tickets may be available at the door. At five minutes before the start of the event, all empty seats will be available on a first-come, first served basis to all patrons. For patrons unable to obtain a reservation, we still encourage attendance—while there is no guarantee of seating due to the intimate size of some spaces, patrons are almost always able to be accommodated.

Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.

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Montpelier Room

James Madison Building - 6th Floor

101 Independence Ave SE

Washington, DC 20540

View Map

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