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By orlik
#36229
Hi,
i hope i'm posting in the proper section of the forum;)

I'm currently working on my MA thesis, in which i'm analyzing commodification of djembe music, and raise of global djembe community, and i hoped You can help me a bit with my work, by answering one question.
I adress it mainly to non-african djembe teachers and students, but i'm really interested in what do Afican musicians and dancers think about it as well.
- Do you feel reposible for keeping Mande drumming traditions (or, in broader perspective culture) alive?
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By djembefeeling
#36230
It's not that simple to answer.
I do not directly feel responsible for keeping Mande drumming traditions alive. Although I try really hard to get as much information as possible about those traditions, I am - after all these years - still at a loss about what traditional djembe music of the Mande is.
Tradition is already a problematic concept as you might know. There are many traditions, the village music that has changed a lot in the last decades and is different in many villages, the ballet tradition that has a history of more than 50 years by now, the concert music with a history of over 30 years and, last but not least, the workshop music.
I never really know how "traditional" the music I am playing and teaching really is.

And yet I have the motto "sowing the seeds of west african drumming" in my logo and I always try to provide lots of cultural background when I teach a rhythm and try not to teach versions that I know are invented - with the rare exception when I really like this invented version musically or for pedagical reasons (it's teachability).

best, jürgen
By davidognomo
#36243
I really don't feel that's my role. That's the role of the african drummers, musicians, griots and masters. If I talk to someone about what I do with west african drumming, I always try to point out some fundamental aspects such as: the djembe is this specific instrument, not every drum is a djembe, wich is a common mistake. The role of the dununs and of the djembe in the ensemble, the function of these rhythms being played. The role of the ballets in this history. I think I do this so that people realize that what I do is not random playing on a drum, but that I study a specific culture.
What I feel is mine and everyone's responsability is to do it out of pleasure and joy, with consciousness, some ground knowledge, but to do it for fun, not to prove anything to anyone, not to show off, not to do some folkloric recreation, but for fun, with my humility at its place conscious of what I know and what I don't.