Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#36670
I am impressed with the amount of work you put into this! It is hard for me to rely any argument to that, though. We would have to discuss those findings case by case, but as such it is difficult. For the dja family of rhythms - which I developed my theory on - your findings do not seem to contradict. And again, not every timeline has to be clave, as I did line out above.

Some findings are curious, and I wonder what kind fo bell-patterns you have there, for example: xxxx
Is that from Yankadi? Or: x..xx.x.x.x.x.x. is that Macru? Both are strange as timelines, disregarding the rule of not having more than two strokes in a row (with some exceptions for good reason) or more than one pulse without a stroke. With rhythms that became transfered to the djembe from other cultures, bell-lines were made up that sometimes defy the logic of Malinke bell-lines.

The 8-beat cycles are not necessarily non-clave. See for example dja, with two different measures of bell-lines, both covering the clave. I don't know if it is important in Cuban music that the clave covers the complete cycle, in this music it isn't. Or see the binary bell: x.xx.xx.|x.xx.xx.|x.xx.xx.|x.x.x.x.
that is in fact a really good example of how the two cells of the clave can work in this music. First you have the tresillo covered with pick up notes, which makes it cinquillo. Nevertheless, bombo and ponchè are covered with this. Then the same stretches over the second half of the first measure, so we have an overlay, a typical technique in this rhythmic culture. The third meets the expectation again as tresillo, finally it's the typical second half of a bell line covering the happy-end cell of the clave.

However, it seems to me that you are used to a much more rigid interpretation of clave from Cuban music. In Malinke music, I would argue, clave is one principal line of orientation, but treated with more variety - and it is not exclusive. As an analytical tool, it is simply great if you dig deeper into rhytmic structures of bell-lines, songs, solo pattern, accompaniments. Nobody needs to, though...
Last edited by djembefeeling on Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By korman
#36671
djembefeeling wrote: I wonder what kind fo bell-patterns you have there, for example: xxxx
Is that from Yankadi? Or: x..xx.x.x.x.x.x. is that Macru? With rhythms that became transfered to the djembe from other cultures, bell-lines were made up that sometimes defy the logic of Malinke bell-lines.

You are right in both cases. Maybe Yankadi could be excluded on similar grounds as Soboninkun - played with swing that is in between 16/8 and 12/8. Both are known as Susu rhythms, but little is known, if they were played with bells. Yankadi bell listed in MK's book is not a timeline, but a full pulsation, a role that more othen is given to shaker-like instruments. The karignan (bell made from metal pipe) does that as well, maybe Yankadi was originally played with that kind of instrument?

By the way, you made quite an effort at researching Yankadi, thanks a lot for that! I have not finished reading all that thread yet.
djembefeeling wrote: The 8-beat cycles are not necessarily non-clave.
the binary bell: x.xx.xx.|x.xx.xx.|x.xx.xx.|x.x.x.x.
that is in fact a really good example of how the two cells of the clave can work in this music.


In son (salsa) and guaguanco the adherence to clave is quite strict, at least the accompaniments all follow the same logic where one half of the bar creates rhythmic tension (bombo and ponche) that is released in the other (on-the-beat notes). So I think of the clave as a call-and-response structure that could be written, say AB. The bell pattern above goes AAAB, to me it feels different. 12 bar blues goes something like AAABAC, something different again, but well it's kind of subjective.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#36672
korman wrote:By the way, you made quite an effort at researching Yankadi, thanks a lot for that!
You are welcome! Good to know that the effort was worth while.
korman wrote:So I think of the clave as a call-and-response structure that could be written, say AB. The bell pattern above goes AAAB, to me it feels different.
I believe so. But the overlay technique is applied to almost everything in Malinke music.
User avatar
By korman
#39377
I recently realized that there are just 4 possible kenken bell lines in 12/8 ;)

If there shall be only single and double strokes followed by single pauses,
then in a 12 subdivision cycle, there can only be

6 strokes
x-x-x-x-x-x-

7 strokes
with doubles together
x-x-x-xx-xx-
with doubles apart
x-x-xx-x-xx-

8 strokes
xx-xx-xx-xx-

and that's it! :D

Of course,
all-singles can be shifted once
all-doubles can be shifted twice
each of 7-stroke patterns can be shifted 11 times
for a total of 29 combinations.

But that does not change the playing mechanics, only the relation to the meter.