'Yiri' - All you need to know

  • Created by: esumner
  • Created on: 30-03-15 11:09


- Koko originated in Burkina  Faso, West Africa

- Released 2002

- 'Yiri' = Wood

- West African Music is a result of the slave trade: call and response, complex layered percussion, repetition, improvisation - all in Yiri

- Music isnt written down, but passed through generations

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Forces and Instrumentation:

- Djembe

- Balafon

- Talking Drum

- Singers

- Bell

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- Has 3 short sections:

1. Introduction - short, has a balafon solo played tremolo

2. Main Section - drums play an ostinato, strong and clear pulse, alternates between balafon solos and choruses, vocal solo in the middle with s call an response

3. Coda: short phrase for balafon played 5 times, each varies, drum ostinato is interrupted by rests and a bell is sounded to mark the end

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Melody and Word Setting:

- Balafons mostly play short melodic patterns, falling from high to low pitches

- Choir echos in a call and response

- Balafon has solo breaks inbetween choruses - more virtuosic

- In choruses, choir sings in unison, with short, falling phrases. They emphasise tonic and dominant notes of the key

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Rhythm, Metre, and Tempo:

- 4/4

- After intro (metre is not clear), steady pulse is maintained

- Frequent syncopation

- At one point, balafon plays semiquavers in 3's, creating cross rhythms

- Vocal solos use triplets

- Rhythmic ostinato is played by the drums, consisting of a quaver and 2 semi-quavers repeated

- Djembe plays occasional fills

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Harmony and Tonality:

- Gb major

- Hexatonic

- The tonic Gb and dominant Db are emphasised heavily throughout the piece

- In chorus A1, there is no harmony between the different parts

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- Layered texture

- Monophonic texture at the start

- Some heterophonic textures created by the balafons

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Dynamics and Expression:

- Stay constant throughout piece - little change

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