This page presents a complete reading list for the course, followed by a table listing the particular assigned readings for each lecture session.

Readings List

Buy at Amazon Agawu, V. Kofi. Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions. New York, NY: Routledge, 2003. ISBN: 9780415943895.

Buy at Amazon ———. African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780521480840.

Buy at Amazon Barz, Gregory. Music in East Africa. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780195141528.

Buy at Amazon Berliner, Paul. Soul of Mbira. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780226043791.

Blacking, John. "Some Notes on a Theory of Rhythm Advanced by Erich von Hornbostel." African Music 1 (1955): 12-20.

Buy at Amazon Charry, Eric. Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780226101620.

Buy at Amazon Chernoff, John Miller. African Rhythm and African Sensibility: Aesthetics and Social Action in African Musical Idioms. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980. ISBN: 9780226103440.

Buy at Amazon Collins, John. West African Pop Roots. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780877229162.

Herson, Benjamin. Fat Beats Dope Rhymes and Thug Lives: Youth, Politics and Hip-Hop in Dakar. Undergraduate Thesis, Hampshire College, 2000.

Knight, Roderic. "Music Out of Africa: Mande Jaliya in Paris." The World of Music 33, no. 1 (1991): 52-69.

Buy at Amazon Nettl, Bruno. The Study of Ethnomusicology: Twenty-nine Issues and Concepts. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1983. ISBN: 9780252009860.

Merriam, Alan P. "African Musical Rhythm and Concepts of Time-reckoning." In African Music in Perspective. New York, NY: Garland Publishers, 1982. 443-461.

Buy at Amazon Nketia, J. H. Kwabena. The Music of Africa. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1974. ISBN: 9780393092493.

Sachs, Curt. The History of Musical Instruments [by] Curt Sachs. New York, NY: Norton, 1940.

Buy at Amazon Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2000. ISBN: 9780393975369.

Buy at Amazon Stewart, Gary. Breakout: Profiles in African Rhythm. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780226774060.

Buy at Amazon ———. Rumba on the River. New York, NY: Verso Books, 2004. ISBN: 9781859843680.

Tang, Patricia J. Masters of the Sabar: Wolof Griots in Contemporary Senegal. Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University, 2000.

Buy at Amazon ———. "Senegal." In The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. Vol. 6, Africa and Middle East, edited by John Shepherd, et al. London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005. ISBN: 9780826474360.

Buy at Amazon Titon, Jeff Todd, ed. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's Peoples. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Schirmer Books, 1996. ISBN: 9780028726120.

Buy at Amazon Turino, Thomas. Nationalists, Cosmopolitans and Popular Music in Zimbabwe. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780226817026.

Waterman, Christopher Alan. "'Our Tradition is a Very Modern Tradition': Popular Music and the Construction of Pan-Yoruba Identity." Ethnomusicology 34, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 48-53.

Buy at Amazon ———. Jùjú: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780226874654.

Assigned Readings

LEC # TOPICS Readings
Unit 1: Introduction: Ethnomusicological Approaches to African Music
1 Preliminaries; Overview of Course  
2 The Field of Ethnomusicology, the concept of "Soundscapes" and its Application to the Study of World Music

Building a Cross-Cultural Musical Vocabulary
Nettl. pp. 1-11.

Shelemay. pp. 1-20.
3 Organology and Instruments: The Sachs-Hornbostel System of Instrument Classification Sachs. pp. 454-467.
4 African Music: A Review of Ethnomusicological Literature Merriam, Nketia. 1974, pp. 3-20.

Agawu. 2003.
Unit 2: Senegal
5 Senegalese History, Culture, and Music

Focus on Wolof Griots, Masters of the Sabar Drum
Tang. 2000, pp. 31-122.

Tang. 2005.
6 Popular Music in Senegal: mbalax and Hip-hop Herson.
7 Sabar Drumming: An Introduction to Basic Hand Techniques, Rhythms, and bàkks Tang. 2000, pp. 158-204.

Sabar Terms (PDF)
8 Sabar Drum Workshop with Artist-in-Residence, Lamine Touré  
9 Interlude: Southern Africa Berliner, Paul (1993). Excerpts.

Turino, Thomas (2000). Excerpts.
Unit 3: Mali
10 Music of the Mande: The jali and his Instruments Charry. pp. 1-27 and 90-145.
11 Guest Lecture - Demonstration by Balla Kouyate, A Balafon Player from New York City Knight.
12 Malian Superstars: Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, and Ali Farke Touré  
13 Midterm Exam  
  Evening Performance by Lamine Touré and Group Saloum  
Unit 4: Ghana
14 Music Cultures of the Ewe and Dagbamba Agawu. pp. 8-30.

Worlds of Music. 1996, pp. 78-101 and 111-118.
15 Case Study: Agbekor (Ewe) Chernoff. pp. 39-88.
16 Urban Music Roots: Highlife and Palm-wine Music Collins. pp. 17-41.
17 Interlude: Central Africa Stewart (2004). Excerpts.
Unit 5: Nigeria
18 Music and Identity: jùjú and fúji Bands Waterman.
19 Music and Politics: Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's Afro-Beat Stewart (1992). pp. 114-123.

Collins. pp. 69-84.
20 Music and Ritual: Hausa Music and the bori Ceremony  
21 Interlude: East Africa Barz, Gregory (2004). Excerpts.
Unit 6: Conclusions
22-24 Final Presentations  
25 Conclusions