Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
By bubudi
#11462
Afoba wrote:Hello again Bubudi,
Afoba wrote:First it depends on how you ask, then where, then who, then how many people are around etc.
perhaps, but i am not sure why you seem so convinced that famoudou would invent a rhythm and then proceed to say it was traditional. what would he possibly have to gain from that?

famoudou explains that damba is a pre wedding rhythm, as i have mentioned before, not something performed at a denabo/dendon. damba is the name that famoudou uses on his cd, rhythms and songs from guinea, and teaches. takonani, on the other hand, is played at a denabo, during the time when the young men want to dance. there's a song that goes with takonani telling the boys how it takes courage to dance. when you look at the difference in the sangban between takonani on mamady's hamanah disc and damba on famoudou's rhythms and songs from guinea, you could say that it is no more (i would actually say less) than the difference between some other dununba rhythms (such as dunungbe and gbando djeli). maybe this is not enough for you, but it should be enough to warrant some further investigation at least?
but some dunun rhythms are played outside the dununba fete. did you attend any soli fetes in hamana or gberedu?
Soli yes. What rhythms do you think of? For me, dundunbas are rhythms played for dundunba fêtes, there are some special ones, like sankaranba or kudabadon and some rare exceptions.
yes, exactly. there are also other dunun rhythms you may hear outside the dununbe festivals, such as takonani at a denabo or n'yewaylela at a djaa festival. sometimes they are played as a prelude to the festival. i'm not sure as to the exact number of dununba rhythms that you may hear in other contexts.
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By Dugafola
#11465
bubudi wrote: perhaps, but i am not sure why you seem so convinced that famoudou would invent a rhythm and then proceed to say it was traditional. what would he possibly have to gain from that?
maybe the song is traditional and the drums were added later. a lot of Masters have taken that liberty in creating music for songs otherwise accompanied by hand clapping or karingan etc...
bubudi wrote:famoudou explains that damba is a pre wedding rhythm, as i have mentioned before, not something performed at a denabo/dendon. damba is the name that famoudou uses on his cd, rhythms and songs from guinea, and teaches. takonani, on the other hand, is played at a denabo, during the time when the young men want to dance. there's a song that goes with takonani telling the boys how it takes courage to dance.
this kinda falls into what i mentioned in another thread about learning "takonani" as a rhythm called "bilakoro dunun" when i was in guinea 05. i have some Baro footage of this rhythm - whatever you want to call it...tako4/damba/bilakoro dunun - played in the bara and all the little kids are freakin out jumping all over the place.
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By e2c
#11472
Well, OK... my 2 cents' worth.

I think Famoudou's 1st CD had a different purpose than his subsequent CDs.

And my guess (though that's all it is) is that part of what's causing confusion here is the difference between how X, Y or Z is played in a particular village (or villages) as opposed to how it's arranged and interpreted for the stage - or even for a CD or DVD.

Stage presentation is just so different... you're taking the music and dance out of its natural context (fête, ceremony, other kind of special event - or even jamming) and presenting it to an audience that's sitting there watching and listening. If the audience was able to go to the fête (etc.), well, then it would be different. But the kinds of performance dynamics that happen onstage - and on camera - are so different than what's going on when the music and dance is in its "home" setting.

I think part of what the ballet guys (both young and older) are aiming for is to create their own arrangements and interpretations of village music. (I'd be very surprised if that wasn't part of their aim, in fact.) i more or less expect musicians like Famoudou to *do* that, unless they are choosing to make an all-trad recording (no original arrangements) or teach a rhythm in the way it's played in the village.

Otherwise, I think there's plenty of room for artistic license. It's what performers do, after all. :) And i think it all has its place, right alongside the most hardcore "traditional" styles one could ever hope to hear or play.
By bubudi
#11488
guys like famoudou and mamady are very similar in that they love to play with sounds, rhythms, etc and make their own creations, but they are both precious about passing on the tradition accurately. famoudou has often talked about various misconceptions that he has heard circulating around various djembe communities and corrected them. he usually mentions when teaching a rhythm whether it is traditional, an inspired composition (e.g. lolo) or whether he has created it to accompany a song (e.g. n'yerebi). i'm not sure how often he teaches takonani, though. very few people know it or have heard it other than on a few recordings. damba, on the other hand (very different song), i know he has taught a fair bit.
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By e2c
#11489
I guess one of my questions is: how often are these gents visiting the villages? (their home villages or others?) I'm sure that even out in the back country, things change over time.
By bubudi
#11493
e2c wrote:I guess one of my questions is: how often are these gents visiting the villages? (their home villages or others?) I'm sure that even out in the back country, things change over time.
famoudou normally does once a year, and brings his students. i think mamady goes less often but he was there in 2007.

things definitely change over time. influences of the ballets and the west also work themselves into the village repertoire. the better musicians often have to go to the big cities to become successful.

we also discussed the dwindling of certain traditions (e.g. soko) in many villages. this could also explain why takonani or damba is not heard much these days.
By Daniel Preissler
#11495
but i am not sure why you seem so convinced that famoudou would invent a rhythm and then proceed to say it was traditional. what would he possibly have to gain from that?
at least 60% of Mamady's classes are invented/changed/arranged (for noone plays the rhythms that way in a traditional context) and you still believe it's traditional. I don' know what they have to gain from that, I think the main reason is that they feel that most white's will never be able to play the music correctly, so it has to be made a bit (or much) easier. Then they forget things, then the motivation isn't the same every day (they are great drummers, but human beings, you know, they don't give the same answers each day e.g.). A guy I know told me once that he saw Famoudou at Sangbarala, and had said (while watching the drummers playing): "Ah, that's the way we were used to play it!" (in the sense of: now I rimenba - pardon: remember).
Mamady is the one who has the greatest merites for brining djembe music to every part of the world and he is a great musician and a super nice man. But you can't call traditional the mixed up Baga, Susu, Koniaka, Maninka (of all regions) style that he plays/teaches on three DUNDUNS (never on boté or the Baga drums) with bells on all three (where have you ever seen that???).
You have to take it as something new - the djembe teaching industry, the tam-tam mandingue style, a new tradition in my opinion, which for example most Americans seem to follow (Belgium is much in the same way, for Mamady was in Brussels before). There you got a fixed number of solos, one kensedeni that anyone plays for this rhythm, you got different grades ("have you already startet with "mandjani", guy?" - "No I'm still working on soli rapide, yknow").
That's cool, too! without this, much less people would play, I'm sure! And for this style you can buy books, watch teaching dvds... So it's easier to do it this way, I think. But I did it my... (ok, sorry)
D
famoudou explains that damba is a pre wedding rhythm, as i have mentioned before, not something performed at a denabo/dendon. damba is the name that famoudou uses on his cd, rhythms and songs from guinea, and teaches. takonani, on the other hand, is played at a denabo, during the time when the young men want to dance. there's a song that goes with takonani telling the boys how it takes courage to dance. when you look at the difference in the sangban between takonani on mamady's hamanah disc and damba on famoudou's rhythms and songs from guinea, you could say that it is no more (i would actually say less) than the difference between some other dununba rhythms (such as dunungbe and gbando djeli). maybe this is not enough for you, but it should be enough to warrant some further investigation at least?
Where and when did you see this: "takonani" at a den fête?
I would say more probably it's the way that Duga described: there was a song, and then Famoudou decided to put it on a disc. With which rhythm? Ah, ok, we'll take this one (a "dundunba" without any meaning til now, for it's been invented d;-) - sorry, kidding!).

1st or 2nd page:
for me damba is a different rhythm, another dunun rhythm that you can hear on the same famoudou cd as takonani. damba is played before the marriage ceremony, on the occasion that the bride has a ritual bath. the sangban is a little bit similar but it's different enough to be a separate rhythm, especially when you take the bell into account.
the bell? well, the difference between danba and takonani is that there are twice 2 strokes on sangban for takonani and twice a single one for danba, right? Please correct me, if there's something I forgot. 1) In the video, where we play, we do the takanani ersion as an echauffement, so it's quite near.
2) How could you change from the danba sangban to the takonani sangban (for me it's just a variation/ech.) without changing the bell? It's the logical way to do it.
3) If the two sangbans are far away from each other (and the bell), to call it 2 different rhythms, how about kon/dundungbè: I someone plays the double stroke (at Baro e.g.) for a while, it becomes a new rhythm? Bell and name are different, too!

I agree that rhythms can get different names for different occasions (morybayassa/soli(ba) e.g.). But what I tried to say is that the rhythm that is played for what ever fête in Hamana is danba - not takonani. It would be very interesting to look at your source: are they playing it with the double strokes (no proof, for it can be a variation, but still interesting, there could even be the two bells in it). I will ask Sean, too, next time I write him (he has just moved to Australia, Michi, he's Australian d;-) ).
there are also other dunun rhythms you may hear outside the dununbe festivals, such as takonani at a denabo or n'yewaylela at a djaa festival. sometimes they are played as a prelude to the festival. i'm not sure as to the exact number of dununba rhythms that you may hear in other contexts.
How do you play nyewalela, Bubudi? You know, when it's played for Dyaa, probably I wouldnt't call it a dundunba then (then it's probably a dyaa there, depends on the question, if they play it for dundunbas, too in the same village). Like kontémoudou (or Kantèmoudou) which is a dundunba in Baro, a dyaa in Babila. But we have had this kind of discussion before. I'm not angry, if your point of view is different! :-)

oh dear, has become a long posting now. Please don't trouble about what I wrote concerning the Mamady teaching style. It just my opinion, everyone can have his ore her own.

Best wishes
D
By Daniel Preissler
#11496
zhis little part again without to much mistakes:

3) If the two sangbans are far away enough from each other (and the bell), to call it 2 different rhythms, how about kon/dundungbè: If someone plays the double stroke (at Baro e.g.) for a while, it becomes a new rhythm? Bell and name are different, too!
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By Dugafola
#11512
Afoba wrote: But you can't call traditional the mixed up Baga, Susu, Koniaka, Maninka (of all regions) style that he plays/teaches on three DUNDUNS (never on boté or the Baga drums) with bells on all three (where have you ever seen that???).
he's very careful when stating what is truly traditional and what has been adapted to 3 dunun for teaching. also he doesn't teach many susu rhythms (yankadi/makru), baga (sorsonet/kakilambe), landuma (tiriba). he learned a lot of those in the ballet and teaches the arrangements that he learned there.
Afoba wrote: oh dear, has become a long posting now. Please don't trouble about what I wrote concerning the Mamady teaching style. It just my opinion, everyone can have his ore her own.

Best wishes
D
Last edited by Dugafola on Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By bubudi
#11631
daniel, you mentioned silidunun. can you tell me something about this one as i'm not familiar with it.

regarding takonani, i prefer to wait until we have some more information.
By Daniel Preissler
#12722
hello bubudi,
silidun(d)un isn't very well known and the only village I know they play it is Koumana.
it's kind of between gbereduka and denmussonin, the dance is comparable to gbereduka, but without the long "chauffe" part each time and with twice going down to each side ("si" = sit).
So I would say it is the Koumana version of gbereduka. of course it can't be called gbereduka (for Koumana is in the Hamana region) and hamanadundun is already used for denmussonin sometimes. so if there wasn't this very special "sitting" part, people from elsewhere would probably call it kumanadundun d;-)
Grüße aus Deutschland
Daniel
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By onelover
#12754
Greetings Folks!

I am not aware of so many as thirty-five members of this family of rhythms. What I do know is to be found here...

http://home.acceleration.net/clark/Pape ... doundoumba

I hope this helps.

Thanks for Everything!
One Love, R
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"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
- Robert Frost
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By Daniel Preissler
#12755
Is it a joke???
I don't know, if the story that years before the dundunba was used to solve conflicts refers to reality or if it's just a topos, an idea that whites got once and renew everytime (for one is copying the other).
For all the rest in this text I can say that it's definitly not true. Sorry!
Looks like someone took all the nice little ideas and misunderstandings of Europeans, Americans and Japanese and made one soup of it, mixing up village and city stuff, lies and exaggerations...
examples: Balan sonde means thief(s) from Balan, it's insulting the inhabitants of Balan, so it's no name that will be used there.
Demussonin played for girls? Sorry, no.
Bando Djei and bando gialli are only 2 different ways to write one name (the second name was probably written by an english speaking person). I say Bando Dyeli or just Bando. And Bando is the only dundunba rythm that can be danced by boys(!) not only by men (so it's more or less the other way around).
And Bada is a rythm, though they don't play it as an own rythm in Conakry, where this texts author has made his or her experiences.

I'm sorry, Robert, my love, it's not to blame you, we can't know everything, and it is very often quite difficult to decide what is "true" (that's to say quite right in at least one region or situation) and what is just sweet little stories and misunderstandings due to our prejudice and projection towards and on Africa(ns). I had to react, because I can't stand the growing "knowledge" of completely wrong "facts", even if me and my friends and everyone I know is/are wrong sometimes, too, and sometimes change/s opinion within some weeks.
so to sum up: the only thing I absolutely learned concerning maninka music and culture is that the knowledge will always evolve, grow, change - it goes on!

Greets, Daniel
By Daniel Preissler
#12756
PS: Koudaba is no goddess, because there is no other God than Allah !!!
d;-)
it's something "under" God, like there Djinns or Angels...
but might have been a God in earlier times...
d
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By onelover
#12809
Greetings Daniel!

“On my little knowledge I sit
To gauge the depth of my ignorance.”
- Tierno Muhamadu Samba Mombeya (1755-1850)

Thank you for your input on the collected information I put forward. Granted it is only through me not from me and as such is only as good as its sources. I personally am a dilettante and routinely play only a handful of traditional rhythms with confidence and will remember and can play along with several other ones as I have studied with avowed masters committed to authenticity.

“There are three truths: my truth, your truth, and the truth.”
- Chinese Proverb

Your complete dismissal of all of the content of...

http://home.acceleration.net/clark/Pape ... doundoumba

...as bogus is the only challenge I've heard to this information in over a decade since I made it available on the Internet! On what sources do you base your opinion. I have cited mine.

“There is nothing new under the sun; but there are lots of old things we don't know.”
- Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914)

As to the Goddess "Koudaba" AKA "Nakouda" it seems important to exercise tactful tolerance in such matters, after all, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, ay? Since you obviously adhere to Islam, I quote the Qur’an, where Allah underlines a fine point of Number 13 of "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths" (AKA the Ethics of Reciprocity AKA "The Golden Rule" in Christianity):

وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ

"Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance."
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