Dugafola wrote:It does trouble me that MK hasn't singled out any Malinke teachers from Senegal as keepers of the flame - at least, not that I know of. (I'm sure he knows some for whom he has high regard.)
I've asked both Famoudou and MK this exact question and they didn't offer any names. MK said that maybe there's probably a few old guys in the village that are still upholding the tradition. FK didn't say anyone...not even his sons or nephews. there are a few Masters that i think are doing an incredible job, but it's definitely not my place to say.
One of the problems we are tackling is the issues that come up in trying to make generalizations about this variety with incomplete information at best. The approach that I like, and incidentally this is the one that MK himself uses, is to say "I learned this rhythm/song/dance from so and so, it's played with such and such instruments, and this is when or why it's played."
I think FK is very clear about this re. dunun rhythms.
e2c wrote:To a certain extent, I think there's a marketing thing going on with Western students...whoever claims the most "authenticity" wins, or something like that.
(I truly find it hard to believe that all the Senegalese teachers - there and over here - are "wrong"...)
Some western guy probably started using it, thinking it sounded cool (or used it out of sheer ignorance).
But, keeping all this in mind, I think the line needs to be drawn somewhere.
e2c wrote:So there are no Malinke drummers from Senegal who play their own local versions of Malinke rhythms correctly?!
That strikes me as being a ridiculous conclusion.
e2c wrote:While we're on the subject of spelling and pronunciation, I think "djembe" could be called into question - might be better written as "jenbe" on "jembe," but much depends on where the speaker comes from.
e2c wrote:We are taking one or two peoples' word for it rather than going over there and investigating for ourselves... which might be the only way anyone is ever going to get this straight. (Though I think Michel has some important things to say, a few posts up.)
The lack of distinction here in the West is a problem... see previous posts in this thread re. arrangements of traditional rhythms for the stage, etc. I see no problem with doing that, but it's just not the same thing as what's played in the village Back Home.
e2c wrote:michi wrote:But, keeping all this in mind, I think the line needs to be drawn somewhere.
Well, the question is, who gets to draw that particular line? One or two teachers who have made a career in the West, or people Back Home who have never left for Europe, the Americas, etc.?
e2c wrote:I am also highly suspicious whenever the term "master" comes up - do they have some kind of board exams Over There? Who gets to decide who can legitimately use that title and who can't? Is playing in a ballet for a decade or so the gold standard - or is it something else, or...???
e2c wrote:Again, I think there is marketing going on - to some extent, anyway - here in the West, and "master/master drummer" is bankable.
e2c wrote:that's *not* to say that I disagree with the use of it in some cases, but... I'm not sure that a "master" whose primary work has been in the ballets is the same thing as a "master" who's spent most (or all) of his time playing fêtes.
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