The non-musical sources of African musical thoughts and style
Zili Meye Jasper
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The purpose of this thesis is to help western students of African music to understand the social factors that not only influence African musicians and African people in general in the making of their music, but also cause the creation of certain African musical styles. It has been noticed by some scholars that African musical styles are not necessarily musical in nature. There is to a great extent non-musical sources of African musical sounds. The problem is to determine what these non-musical sources are, their nature (economical, political, religious) and the relationship between these sources and music itself. Those who have dealt with some of these problems have not succeeded, apparently because of a lack of a better scholarly investigation: the elaboration of a different methodology to investigate African music as related to non-musical social aspects. The new method of investigation will require the scholar to participate emotionally to some extent in cultural practices, and to reconcile western musical methodologies and African musical and social orders.