Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
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By michi
#36240
You need to be careful with ballet dundun because they are only an approximation of the composite melody produced by three dundun played traditionally.

If you look in Mamady's book, you'll find that the sangban for the two rhythms different. The composite melody is quite similar though.

Going back to your question, I realise now that I answered a bit hastily. When talking about a "rhythm", I tend to think not just about the parts, but also the cultural context and the song. In that sense, Moribayassa and Balakulanya are different rhythms. But, you are right, if you want to play ballet style dundun, they are the same indeed.

Michi.
By davidognomo
#36242
That's why I play Morybayassa different in dunun set. I keep the four strokes on the sangban. Two cycles - the first cycle, dunumba does exactly the same as the sangban; the second cycle, it starts a semiquaver, or a 16th note before the 3rd tempo, and hits also the 3rd tempo and then continues as the cycle before, doing the same as the sangban. That's how I've seen Bangaly Bangoura play it on the dunumba, so I adapted it to the set, precisely to distinguish it from balakulanya. I believe in morybayassa you have to give the sangban its right place. Those 4 strokes give it that onward feel, wich is not at the balakulanya version.
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By korman
#36856
I am resurrecting this topic, because balakulanjan is a quite easy rhythm for newcomers to start with. I use it and Djole/Yole as entry rhythms. However, I have been thinking about putting a piece together, and I found that I only have Balakulanjan on learning CDs:
- Rhythms and songs from Guinea, 1997, Thomas Ott and Famoudou Konate (the "blue book", a classic!)
- Djembe, Percussion from West Africa, 2004, Sylvia Franke and Ibro Konate (also very good book, and a really nice long break on dununs for this rhythm)

If we count in soli lent/soliba, I also have the Wassolon by Mamady Keita. Can anyone suggest other albums? I am interested in stealing breaks and solo phrases:)
By JSB
#36863
You can find Sega Sidibe's recording of Soli here:
https://pxprecords.bandcamp.com/album/ni-nan-ko-b-ta-do

This rhythm is traditionally played during the circumcision period. It's a serious matter and a community event, it's not the moment for individual dances, the emphasis being on the songs and group dancing; then this rhythm is rather poor in terms of traditional solo phrases.

It's a good rhythm to experiment your own stuff.
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By djembefeeling
#36865
JSB wrote:You can find Sega Sidibe's recording of Soli here
I think that's a misunderstanding. Korman is looking for Soliba, not Soli aka Suku. Soliba (or Balakulania) is also a rhythm for circumcision, but it is the "big" brother of Soli with 16 pulses instead of 12. I think the Bamako form of Soliba is Fura...
Last edited by djembefeeling on Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
By JSB
#36866
djembefeeling wrote:
JSB wrote:You can find Sega Sidibe's recording of Soli here
I think that's a misunderstanding. Korman is looking for Soliba, not Soli aka Suku. Soliba (or Balakunlia) is also a rhythm for circumcision, but it is the "big" brother of Soli with 16 pulses instead of 12. I think the Bamako form of Soliba is Fura...
That's exactly what I'm talking about. Soli, Soliba, Fura, Balakulanjan...it's all the same.
If you put a different name to any one variation, you may end up with dozens of rhyhtms where there is basically only one.

Sega didn't use the name "Soli" he found inappropriate. He called the ternary one "Suku"; Suku is played for many kinds of events, not only circumcision, and when played for circumcision, one of the dunun plays a particular pattern for the specific circumstance.

He called the binary one "Soli-Dansa", meaning that, in the same way Suku is slightly modified to accompany the Soli ceremony, Dansa is modified to become what others call Soliba, etc...for the circumstance.
He didn't consider this rhyhtm worth of being taught and he clearly made me understand that I was losing my time learning its few phrases. :)
Last edited by JSB on Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By djembefeeling
#36867
korman wrote:Can anyone suggest other albums?
I know there are a couple of Solibas on the Museum CD "Rhythmen der Malinke" with Famoudou Konate, and of course on the notorious red casette there are three. But this is raw stuff, real feast music, not likely to steal anything else than great variations for the duns and solophrases that sound phenomal when Famoudou plays them, not me :(

There is a Soliba on a CD recorded by Martin Miethke called "Baro 2002. Musik aus Oberguinea" and two CDs by Sebe Kourouma from the village Moriah, who claimed it is traditional music from his village but which sounds way too alike to Famoudou Konates workshop stuff for that. Still, you find more of the things you are looking for on his CDs "Moriah" and "Landaya".
Last edited by djembefeeling on Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By djembefeeling
#36868
JSB wrote:If you put a different name to any one variation, you may end up with dozens of rhyhtms where there is basically only one.
d'accord. But in Guinea,there hardly is any confusion about it. Soliba it is. Balakulania or whatever you spell it is just the most prominent song for it. Personally I think Sega's name Soli-Dansa is not very well picked. Dansa has a different character than Soliba or Fura in my perception. And it is only Sega to my knowledge who did that.
JSB wrote:Suku is played for many kinds of events, not only circumcision, and when played for circumcision, one of the dunun plays a particular pattern for the specific circumstance.
That makes me curious: what pattern does that dunun play?
By JSB
#36871
Djembe rhythm names is mainly an answer to a toubab concern, I'm afraid.

Dansa and Soli have a different character indeed, as I mentionned a modification. But they are close enough to be related, and the more I play, the more I understand why he said this. Simply try to play the usual Dansa dunun part over any of the previously mentioned recordings.
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By djembefeeling
#36872
Of course, the usual dansa dundun part is almost the son clave. that fits any binary rhythm. in a way they are all the same, on the other hand they all sound different and I am happy there are so many different ones :D And then of course the usual dansa dundun is just a modern developement from Bamako...
By JSB
#36877
djembefeeling wrote:Of course, the usual dansa dundun part is almost the son clave. that fits any binary rhythm. in a way they are all the same, on the other hand they all sound different and I am happy there are so many different ones :D
That's the point, if you're happy that they all sound different, they will indeed sound different.
djembefeeling wrote:And then of course the usual dansa dundun is just a modern developement from Bamako...
Your statement seems a bit too definitive to stay unquestionned (and doesn't match what I've heard from different sources).
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By djembefeeling
#36882
JSB wrote:That's the point, if you're happy that they all sound different, they will indeed sound different.
? I think I need more explanation for that...

Even though I think they are all somehow based on an interplay of the son clave and the beat, there are so many interesting ways to interpret that. some of the rhythms focus more on the tresillo, some more on the happy end (as Soliba exactly does with the sangban), others play around that or connect different point of the clave. the feeling of the clave can be worlds apart this way, at least for the untrained ear.
JSB wrote:Your statement seems a bit too definitive to stay unquestionned (and doesn't match what I've heard from different sources).
I am very interested again (still are interested in the special suku dundun...). My source is the monography of Rainer Polak. He interviewed some of the old players in Bamako who told him how it used to be played in the sixties and how it developed from o.|o..x|..o.|.. to o.|o..o|..o.|..x.|.. What did you hear from whom?
By JSB
#36884
The Soli dunun phrase doesn't emphasise the anticipated second beat like Dansa, but some dunun variations do, the "clave" is underlying (like in the bell pattern). It's like a "quiet" Dansa, and it fits well with its traditional purpose.
If your goal is to play a real traditional solo, then it should have to be boring because it's supposed to support the songs. If you want something more interesting in itself, you can experiment with all the generic binary stuff, sometimes going with the dunun, sometimes going against it.
I see the different rhythms of a same family as transformations of a common basis rather than different proposals. In this perspective, I don't really see the point of differentiating Soli from Balakulanjan, or Moribayassa.
That's what Sega had in mind: learn to play Dansa, you will be able to play Soli too, don't lose yourself into details only relevant to actual traditional drummers (that none of us will ever be).

I know that many students like to collect as many rhythms, accompaniments, breaks, variations as possible and that many teachers are proud of teaching as many rhythms, etc... as possible:
I thought like this, but I have been taught the exact opposite (not without difficulty).

Sega questioned old drummers too, wherever he went, and not only in Bamako. The evolution of how a rhythm is played in Bamako doesn't necessarily reflect the malian repertoire in its entirety. It's common to hear that Dansa is a khassonke rhythm, but each time I questioned Sega about this, he answered that the name itself comes from the khassonke and the way they play it (without djembe and rather slow) is very brilliant there but that everywhere in Mali, people play a form of Dansa. The dunun phrase may be different, but for him it was strictly equivalent. From the conversations I had with dancers and musicians, either malian or regurlarly going to Mali, I conclude that what you refer to as the modern Bamako Dansa is how the malinke of the Kita area play it, even if they may use a different name. Since when? I'm no expert, I have no idea...
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By djembefeeling
#36887
JSB wrote:I see the different rhythms of a same family as transformations of a common basis rather than different proposals.
completely agreed. still they are different rhythms with different melodies. would be kind of boring with only dansa.
JSB wrote: It's common to hear that Dansa is a khassonke rhythm, but each time I questioned Sega about this, he answered that the name itself comes from the khassonke and the way they play it (without djembe and rather slow) is very brilliant there but that everywhere in Mali, people play a form of Dansa. The dunun phrase may be different, but for him it was strictly equivalent.
Don't want to drag this on forever, but there is some circle in the argumentation here. First you say for Sega every binary rhythm is a form of Dansa, and then you say the usual Dansa is not a modern development because according to Sega the rhythm can be found everywhere in Mali in different forms... :?