KoKo - Yiri

Information on KoKo Yiri for Music Edexcel GCSE

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What is the background of this music?  

  • Music from 'Sub-Saharan' Africa
  • Used in africa for communication --> marriage, funerals etc.
  • Taught by Oral Tradition

Who are Yiri?


  • 'Koko' are from Burkina Faso
  • There are 6 members of the group
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 What Instruments are used?

Djembe (single headed)
DunDun (played with sticks)
Donno (talking drum)
Kagan ( barrel shaped drum)

BALAFON (xylophone)
1st - high pitched, used in intro, 2nd - lower pitch, joins in main section

KORA - 21 strings

MBIRA - thumb piano

Call and Response, Master Drummers lead

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Other Facts

  • What is the time signature ? 4/4
  • Tonality? Gb major
  • Dynamics? Little dynamic variation
  • Texture/Timbre? build during piece
  • How is this peice Happy? upbeat, major key, fast rhythms
  • Harmony ? Hexatonic harmony (6 notes)
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Form - Intro

Describe the intro?
Balafon Solo, Monophonic Texture, Free Tempo

Describe the main section?
2nd Balafon joins, Drumming in Ostinato --> resultant rhythm
occasional drop out of drums for contrast, Short balafon breaks between choruses
1st and 2nd balafon - high + low pitched ostinati +heterophonic texture

Describe vocal line?
Based on pentatonic scale (5 notes), Begins in unison --> vocal response
Triplets in solo vocal part, Chorus: Vocal in unison

Describe Coda?
Balafon played varied sequence 5 times signalling the end, Also rest in drumming

What is played at the end? ting of Agogo bell

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Nice presentation, very helpful :)

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