Yiri by KOKO

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  • Created by: Robert
  • Created on: 26-04-13 09:23
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Koko: African music ­ Yiri
Koko are
Madou Kone, vocals, balafon, flute
Seydou Traore, vocals, balafon
Jacouba Kone, djembe
François Naba, vocals, tamtam, dunun, maracas
Keresse Sanou, talking drum
Tidiane Hema, vocals, bâra (?), maracas.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso also known by its shortform name Burkina, is a landlocked nation in
West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to
the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west. Formerly
called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed on August 4, 1984, by President
Thomas Sankara to mean "the land of upright people" in Moré and Dioula, the major native
languages of the country. Literally, "Burkina" may be translated, "men of integrity," from the
Moré language, and "Faso" means "father's house" in Dioula. Independence from France
came in 1960. Several hundred thousand farm workers migrate south every year to Côte
d'Ivoire and Ghana in search of paid labour. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as

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Historical Context of African Music
The music of Southern Africa shows an influence from Western music, mostly from the
colonialist occupation that occured ­the influence of the slave trade and missionaries on the
music of this region, have influenced the music, which is often is acapella, though richly
harmonic and reminiscent of western church music.
African Instruments
African Vocal Music
All SubSaharan musical traditions are centered round singing. Many Africans
believe that the music serves as a link to the spirit world.…read more

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The balaphones is a lamellophone with wooden keys. There are many different
balaphones in Africa. They fall into two main categories: the freekey type, in which the keys
are independent of one another and of their supports, and those with fixed keys, in which the
keys are permanently strung together and attached to their support.
Drums & Percussion
A djembe is a skin covered hand drum, shaped like a large goblet, and meant to be
played with bare hands.…read more

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Polyphony and Polyrhythm are also important. Polyphony has many musical parts
or rhythms interweaving with each other. Polyrhythm is the simultaneous sounding of two
or more individual rhythms (e.g. 3 against 4). In West Africa, drum ensembles have 35
players, each with a distinctive method of striking their drum and playing interlocking or
polyrhythmic patterns. Sometimes other percussion instruments join in, creating a thick
musical texture.
Callandresponse is very popular particularly in African singing.…read more


Samuel Richardson

A set of notes with great detail included here. There is some useful background information on Burkina Faso included as well as a map and some good pictures. 

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