Folklore | Ritual Music in West Africa
F609 | 13834 | D. Reed


Fulfills Area or Theory

Above class meets at 501 N. Park Ave.

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.