African Music

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African Music When trying to compare and contrast the music-culture and society of the Mbuti and that of the Venda, it becomes difficult to comment on sound when we haven't heard any Venda music. It's easy to recognize that for the Mbuti the music embodies the heart of the forest, and for the Venda the relation to nature is the act of a mother giving birth. Thinking about concept and behavior this makes the music performed by the two cultures separate and distinguishable. This is where culture and environment become important factors. How noticeable is this when listening to the music of both peoples? When given the opportunity to listen, without a trained ear, it would be difficult to find differences in the sound of the music. There are obvious differences in instrumentation between the two cultures. While the Mbuti mainly performs music with their voices, the Venda use drums, flutes, and various other instruments. There are similarities between the two groups with ‘rights of passage.' The Venda girls perform the Domba, and the Mbuti girls practice and perform the Elima. Clear. Cultural distinctions can be made between the two groups concerning ‘rights of passage.' When it is time for the Mbuti girls to perform the Elima, they go into a hut and are secluded from the rest of the world. The boys of the clan try to push their way into the hut to find the woman of their choice. The Venda girls performing the Domba, are out in the open and visible for the men and everyone around to see. Since the Mbuti is of the forest, and the Venda is a village-based group, there are probably many cultural traditions and practices that are very different. These differences may be difficult to distinguish with the materials available to us ... ... middle of paper ... ...own source. If it's unknown then how can it be misconstrued in a Western social context as primitive? We tack on our own societal and cultural biases to what primitive means. Primitive doesn't necessarily mean less technically developed when concerned with music. If music that is considered by some to be primitive could actually be more advanced in a human spiritual realm, how would we know? Is it within the perception of something that can pass in the blink of an eye that only trained developed listeners are capable of tuning into? Or possibly the knowledge and answers to these questions may be found in a spiritual enlightenment phase where time, because a trance state exists, becomes fluctuated and distorts. If it takes entering these states to gain a broader understanding, how can a person remember the answers to the questions? Music is capable of many things.
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