Folklore | Ritual Music in West Africa
F609 | 24912 | Reed


Requirements: Graduate standing or approval of instructor.
One term paper, and 2-3 reports.

Ritual Music in West Africa: Ritual serves as an experimental arena
through which people both situate themselves in relationship to their
pasts and give birth to new possibilities.  Music frequently plays a
central role in ritual performance.  This course will explore uses of
and ideas about music in ritual contexts--especially religious ritual
contexts--in West Africa.  We will comparatively analyze numerous
issues including roles of music and musicians in sacred rituals,
theories about and concepts of music involving religious belief, uses
of music as a means of communication with spiritual domains, uses of
music in the negotiation of religious boundaries, intersections
between popular culture and religious ritual, and relationships
between ritual music performance and negotiations of identity. Along
the way, we will consider the meanings of the
words "ritual," "religion," and "music" when applied cross-culturally
in West African contexts.  Course requirements will include one major
research paper, synopses of each weekıs readings, and contribution to
class discussions.