Yiri - Koko section B

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Instrumentation

Instrumentation:

  • The following 3 instruments are heard in Koko's 'Yiri':

  • The djembe - a drum that is played with the hands.

  • The Balafon - it's an instrument similar to the xylophone but is made up of wooden bars which are all tuned to different pitches.

  • The Talking Drum - a drum played with a hooked stick. Talking drums can be used to imitate speech by creating different slides and pitches.

  • The musicians also sing and are split into a soloist singer and a chorus.


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Structure

Structure:

The piece is in 3 different sections:

  • The introduction, in which the Balafon plays a solo using tremolo(very quick repetition of a single note).

  • The main section which consists of the drums playing an ostinato and a strong clear pulse. Choruses and Balafon solos alternate in this section and in the very middle there is a vocal solo in which call-and-response is used.

  • The coda, in which a short phrase for Balafon is played 5 times but varied slightly each time.

  • The drum ostinato, first heard in the main section, is interrupted by rests and a bell is sounded to mark the end of the piece.

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Melody

Melody:

  • The balafons play short patterns that fall from high to low and tend to emphasise the notes G♭ and D♭.

  • During the choruses, the group sings together and, much like the balofon, they sing short, falling phrases that emphasise the G♭ and D♭ notes.

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Rhythm, Metre and Tempo

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo:

  • The main metre is 4/4, although there are a couple of exceptions.

  • After the introduction, the rest of the piece stays at a steady pulse.

  • Syncopation is used frequently throughout, especially in the vocals and balafon parts.

  • Triplets are used by the vocal soloist.

  • During one of the vocal solos the balafons create cross-rhythms by playing semi-quavers in    groups of 3.

  • Rhythmic ostinatos are created by the drums and continue throughout the whole piece. The ostinato consists of a quaver and then 2 semi-quavers that are repeated.

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Texture

Texture:

  • The majority of the piece has a layered texture, however the introduction has a monophonic texture.

  • Occasional heterophonic textures are created, for example, when the two balafons play different versions of the same tune simultaneously

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Dynamics

Dynamics:

  • There is very little variation in dynamics in Yiri.
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Harmony and Tonality

Harmony and Tonality:

  • Yiri is in the key of G♭ Major.

  • Most of the music is hexatonic (based on a 6 note scale).

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