The Traditional Music of Mali, West Africa: an Audio Visual Journey into the Cultural and Traditional Musical Heritage of West Africa

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2006

Project Description/Abstract

Mali represents much of the traditional music practiced in various countries of West Africa including Guinea, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. The Djembe drumming tradition and various other folk musical performances are integrated into the society’s cultural, religious and philosophical beliefs. Traditional music is a vital part of various rituals and ceremonies, symbolic in its representation of various ceremonial procedures and practices. Specific songs and music are sung and played for specific occasions based on centuries old customs and traditions. Long established dance forms accompany much of the rites closely integrated with the associated music. This project will serve as an investigation in the traditional musical practices of Mali. It will also explore the symbolic associations of music with centuries old religious and cultural practices in West Africa. The investigation will be accomplished through an extensive documentary video and audio recordings.

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