Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
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By Jessie
#22759
From what I learned, I had thought it as the part of the dundunba that the dancers would start going around the area in a circle walking to the pulse of the sangbahn, and either we would start it and the dancers would then start because they heard us play, or the dancers would start the move and we would change out of whatever other dundunba we would play, into bada. And it could be the beginning, middle or end or seemingly used to change the energy and bring it back in focus.
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By archetypo
#22760
Billy Konate taught us a rhythm in a Montreal workshop in 2008 called 'Bara Don', which he also referred to as 'Baradota dunun'. His explanation was that Baradota dunun was a rhythm the drummers would start playing at the lead drummer's home, prior to departing for the Bara and the continuation of the dununba. He said they would typically start by playing maybe 2 or 3 warmup rhythms at the lead drummer's place, and they would play Baradota dunun as they made their way to the Bara. I've heard a couple of versions of this also - There is a tracked called Bara on Billy's first CD, Saboule Moyala N'Wolobalou Kobarika, which is similar but ot the same as the one he taught us in Montreal, and neither of these is the same as the one on Manasa Camio's CD. Billy also said something to the effect that the version he taught us was a version he learned from an elder drummer that hadn't really been played in about 30 years or so.
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By Dugafola
#22761
yea...bardota should be considered a separate rhythm entirely from 'bada/bara.'

i learned yet another one from Wadaba Kourouma.
By ChristianAMR
#30661
bops wrote:
Dugafola wrote:Bara is also a big Malian rhythm recorded by the likes of Soungalo, drissa kone etc...which is the same as the one you have in your list Michi...

the dunun rhythm, bada, is a whole other beast.
Agreed... two very different rhythms, same name.

The Malian Bara rhythm is also known as Kote, which comes from Segou region. It's part of Koteba, like Tansole. It was originally played on Bonkolo and ... you guessed it, the Bara drum. That's why the rhythm is also called Bara. The Bara is a large kettle drum worn around the waist and played with the palms of the hands.

What gets confusing is the fact that there are many different meanings and applications of the term Bara. There is a calabash drum, played in Bobo and Senufo regions, which is also called bara. Like others have said, it can mean circle or dance space. If you put the emphasis on the first syllable, it means work. Don't forget the Bari, which is different but also from Segou.

Kote (Bara) can also be played on jembe and dunun.

Here is a picture of a Bonkolo drum, played with a thin stick or reed in one hand:
(right-click and choose View Image...)
DSC00246.JPG
And here's a Bara drum, played with two hands:
DSC00247.JPG
Thanks for all the explanations !

Here I found a clip of the rhythm Kote at a Segou festival .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTrkpTkaJtY

The Bonkolo and Bara drums are clearly to be seen .

Speaking about Drissa Koné , I have the book he wrote with Stephan Rigert ( without CD though ... ) , and the Bara from Segou is notated therein ( frst part in 4/4 ).
Then Paul Nas has another version of Bara in 12/8 ( but not the like 2nd part of Bara in Koné-Rigert´s book , which is Bonjalan - also in 12/8 )

Then , this video features 2 rhythms , which again are unlike any of the above-mentioned transcriptions . So it seems that even though the Malian Bara is an important rhythm , it is not too prominent in recordings and videos . And there seem to be different versions , which do not sound very similar .

One exception is the Bara track on "The Art Of Jenbe Drumming: The Mali Tradition Vol. 2" , which is consistent with what Koné-Rigert wrote in their book . ( at least for the first part , because I just listened to a small excerpt ) .
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By djembefeeling
#30667
ChristianAMR wrote:Then , this video features 2 rhythms , which again are unlike any of the above-mentioned transcriptions . So it seems that even though the Malian Bara is an important rhythm , it is not too prominent in recordings and videos . And there seem to be different versions , which do not sound very similar .
watch the video from min. 6:00 to 8:46 and you will hear the resemblance clearly. note that with the transfer to the melting pot Bamako and to the djembe and konkoni, the regional rhythms can change significantly.
for Bamako, Rainer Polaks "Art of Djembe" books are the best reference out there. Stephan Rigerts book has it's merits, but with the transfer of konkoni bass patterns to a Guinean set of three dunduns (dundun, sangban, kensedeni) there is one more change in those rhythms caused by our demands to play Malian rhythms in a familiar context of workshop settings apart from Afrika.
For another recording see also Abdoulaye Diakite and Mamadou Sidibé: Jebe Bara.
By ChristianAMR
#30675
djembefeeling wrote:
ChristianAMR wrote:Then , this video features 2 rhythms , which again are unlike any of the above-mentioned transcriptions . So it seems that even though the Malian Bara is an important rhythm , it is not too prominent in recordings and videos . And there seem to be different versions , which do not sound very similar .
watch the video from min. 6:00 to 8:46 and you will hear the resemblance clearly. note that with the transfer to the melting pot Bamako and to the djembe and konkoni, the regional rhythms can change significantly.
for Bamako, Rainer Polaks "Art of Djembe" books are the best reference out there. Stephan Rigerts book has it's merits, but with the transfer of konkoni bass patterns to a Guinean set of three dunduns (dundun, sangban, kensedeni) there is one more change in those rhythms caused by our demands to play Malian rhythms in a familiar context of workshop settings apart from Afrika.
For another recording see also Abdoulaye Diakite and Mamadou Sidibé: Jebe Bara.
Thanks for the clarification !

I listened to this portion of the video and understand what you mean . I didn´t notice the similarity at first , because I hear the beat or the 1 differently than on Drissa Koné´s version ( maybe also because the rhythm in the video is considerably slower ) :

In comparison to Koné´s version I hear the video version 2 subpulses ( or 1 half-beat ) earlier .
( The bara on the video , which roughly corresponds to the Sangban in Rigerts`/Koné´s book , plays a more straight pattern . Sometimes it makes a variation that is more syncopated , and this variation is quite simliar to the Sangan of Koné . That was the point where I could verify the similarity ... ) .

http://www.amazon.de/Bara/dp/B004PD2ZBU ... sic&sr=1-7

I then decided to re-listen to this Mp3 ( indeed I bought the track ) and tried to listen to it from both starting points :
One time as it is written in the book , and one time with 2 subpulses earlier ( as I hear it on the video ) .

For the djembe accompaniment that would be ||ssoo|ss.b|| in the first case and ||ooss|.bss|| in the second case .
That´s somehow similar to what happens for Sandia/Lamba , where you can hear the "1" on 2 different points , shifted for 2 subpulses .

For the Mp3 I can hear it both ways just fine , nothing disturbs me ; but when I listen to the video the first way sounds quite strange and unnatural , whereas the second way just comes naturally .

I also decided to look at the dance steps , and they seem to be more in line with the first version , as it is written in the book ...
So maybe I should just get used to hear the downbeat there , even though its has a strange feel ....


Concerning the transposition of these regional patterns to Konkoni and then subsequently to three Dunduns , I see what you mean by the " double transformation " its has taken : First from Segou to Bamako , and then from Bamako to "international" style .


One day I will try to listen to your Cd-recommendation also .
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By djembefeeling
#30678
ChristianAMR wrote:That´s somehow similar to what happens for Sandia/Lamba , where you can hear the "1" on 2 different points , shifted for 2 subpulses .
exactly! Rainer Polak writes about this ambivalence of the two rhythms in his Jenbe Realbook 2. Neither way is wrong, there are good arguments for both points of view.

I see that you come from Vienna. Then you have an excellent resource on your hand. Do you take classes with Gerhard Kero? He knows pretty much about Malian jenbe drumming and I guess he would be happy to answer your questions concerning bara...

just for the record - some videos on the dununba "gbada":

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfht4Kurhjo[/video]

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh9Fn-SHiSc[/video]

and from min. 3:45
[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTF1NQzrurI[/video]
By ChristianAMR
#30691
djembefeeling wrote:
ChristianAMR wrote:That´s somehow similar to what happens for Sandia/Lamba , where you can hear the "1" on 2 different points , shifted for 2 subpulses .
exactly! Rainer Polak writes about this ambivalence of the two rhythms in his Jenbe Realbook 2. Neither way is wrong, there are good arguments for both points of view.

I see that you come from Vienna. Then you have an excellent resource on your hand.
It´s comforting to know that Bara can also be heard both ways ... I wasn´t aware of that .

Your mentioning of Polak´s book made me find an article of his , where he notates Bara with both ways of hearing the downbeat :

http://www.bibiafrica-records.com/JenbeRealbook.html ( German language - sorry to the other users .... )

Scroll down to between 1/3 and the middle of the page .

At this moment , I get my direct input from Djembe-styles and other African styles accompanying the Haitian dance-classes of Karine Label , where I play together with drummers from Italy and Senegal : I show them the Haitian stuff and sometimes when the dancer wants to mix in some West-African stuff , the Senegalese throw in some Guinean , Malian or even some Bougarabou styles , which they show to me . So , we have some exchange going on .

Besides Haitian music , I play mostly Salsa and related Caribbean/Latin American styles , sometimes also with my own bands .

Another interesting collaborations I have done have been with Achille Acakpo , a drummer and dancer from Benin . I have played Congas in one of his bands where he made a mix of Jazz , Beninese styles and other West-African styles ( An Austrian Ballet-style Dundunplayer was also featured ) . At the Wiener " Impuls Tanz " ( which is one of Europe´s biggest dance-festivals ) , I accompanied also the Beninese dancer Koffi Koko together with Achille and drummers from Austria and Senegal .
Last edited by ChristianAMR on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
By bubudi
#30701
the 'd' and 'r' interchangeability between regions in maninka country (i.e (g)bada and bara) is merely accent. there are similar parallels in different pronunciation among regions in america, england and most other countries. another example in malinke is 'j' and 'y', e.g. (d)jabara or yabara.

just to add to bops' info on the malian rhythm bara, it's from the bamana people and is usually one of the first rhythms played during a bamanafoli.
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By djembefeeling
#30708
Glimpsed through Rainer Polaks dissertation (Festmusik als Arbeit, Trommeln als Beruf. Jenbe-Spieler in einer westafrikanische Großstadt) again. He counted the frequenzy of rhythms at the festivities he attended. bara is in the middle with 22% (exactly number 23 of the rhythms played, p. 118) of 120 festivities he attended in 1997/98, and with an average duration of 4% it was among the most important on three wedding celebrations in 1994 and 1997/98.

He quotes Yamadu Dunbia in an interview on the modification of rhythms into Bamakos jenbe culture:
The jenbe players did cheat a little und modified the bara rhythm to create a piece (...) All (rhythms) have been changed in Modibos time (1960-1968).
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By Dugafola
#30738
bubudi wrote:the 'd' and 'r' interchangeability between regions in maninka country (i.e (g)bada and bara) is merely accent. there are similar parallels in different pronunciation among regions in america, england and most other countries. another example in malinke is 'j' and 'y', e.g. (d)jabara or yabara.

just to add to bops' info on the malian rhythm bara, it's from the bamana people and is usually one of the first rhythms played during a bamanafoli.
there are regional differences in dialect and pronounciation, but the "dj.." and "y.." words in maninka should be pronounced the same.

also, bara(the place in the village/work) is pronounced differently then bara/bada/gbada the dunun rhythm.
By bubudi
#30750
i was aware of the different pronunciations of 'bara' as they are basically different words (although similar sounding). i'm not sure about the j sound, though. i'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing - how can 'y' and 'j' be pronounced the same way? i have heard the 'j' pronounced like 'y' and even 'dy' (with the 'y' being very soft), as well as 'j' (for the same word). i'll have to check what regions these preferences come from. there are many subtle differences in regional pronunciation, certainly more than what i've learned, and i'm still not convinced as to whether kuranko and wasulunke are dialects of maninka or languages in their own right (that's a whole other topic).