Welcome to Brenda's Ethnomusicology Page!!!

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On this page here, you will see some examples of music that relates to the African-American history. My class and i had studied on ethnomusicology. It's the study of music and its culture. What we had to do was choose 3 songs anywhere at anytime, a 1974 or earlier song, and one from any non_English speaking country. For example, their rhythm, beat, sound, etc. has to have some type of relationship between the African music from the past or the present life. I've decided to choose "A Change Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke, "Dancing Machine" by Jackson 5, and "Makoma Mu Hemaa" by:Papa Wastik. Hope you enjoy!

Song #1: "A Change Gonna Come" by: Sam Cooke
Song: A Change Gonna Come(1964)
Singer: Sam Cooke
Genre: Soul
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I was born by the river in a little tent Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go downtown somebody keep telling me don't hang around
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say brother help me please
But he winds up knockin' me
Back down on my knees

Ohhhhhhhhh.....

There been times that I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Synopsis: I chose this song because there was a relationship with both types of music . The way it was presented itself, it was soft but it was sung very strong as well. It told a story where African music told stories way back and now. It tells you how he feel as he grew with struggles in them and during his life time, he's been waiting for a change to happen. Like i said before, African music had told stories of their life, feelings towards something, or their Gods,etc. Which in this case, Sam had told a story about his life, waiting for a change to happen. He sung this song very strong with the slow and catching beat. It has a little bit of Jazz and Blues in it as well because it has repetition of the lines. For example, the last line in each stanza, he repeats "But i know a change gonna come, oh yes it will".



Song #2: "Dancing Machine" by: Jackson 5
Song: Dancing Machine(1973)
Singer: Jackson 5
Genre: Funk/Disco

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Dancing, dancing, dancing
She's a dancing machine

Ah babe
Move it baby

Automatic Systematic
Full of color self contained
Tune that shadow to your vibes
Captivating Stimulating

She's such a sexy lady
Filled with space age design
She's moving grooving
Dancing to the music stop now

Yea

Rythmetic acrobatic
She a dynamite attraction
At the drop of a coin she comes alive, yea
She knows what she's doing

She super bad now
She's here to really blow your mind
Dancing, dancing, dancing
She's a dancing machine

Ah babe
Do it baby
Dancing, dancing, dancing
She's a dancing machine

Ah babe
Move it baby

She's a dance, dance, dance, dance, dancing machine
Watch her get down, watch her get down
As she do, do, do her thing
Right on the scene

She's a dance, dance, dance, dance, dancing machine
Watch her get down, watch her get down
As she do, do, do her thing
Right on the scene

Come on babe
Come on babe
Babe
Babe

Shake it baby
Shake it babe

Babe
Babe
Babe

Dance
Dance
Dance
Dance

I like it
I like
I love you

Shes a dance, dance, dance, dance, dancing machine
Watch her get down, watch her get down
As she do, do, do her thing
Right on the scene


Shes a dance, dance, dance, dance, dancing machine
Watch her get down, watch her get down


Synopsis: Dancing Machine is my 2nd choice relating to African Music. This is because there is a conversation with 2 people in the song and that’s called “Call & Response”. African music had done this type of singing, having conversation or referring to something that is attractive or important to them. Example, they sing about their Gods, people, or about the land they live on,etc. In this song, Michael refers it to a woman. Also he makes sounds with his voice, making a beat where it makes the song flow with the other instruments behind it. (Sounds he makes are like beep beepda beep with energy flowing with the beat). African Music had made many sounds with their voices making it above and beyond in their songs. This is where it makes the listeners want to follow along and to let the listeners hear their sounds in their voices of singing. It kind of tells you how they feel towards what they sing to basically. For example, around 10 seconds of the song starting, you would hear “ohh bop delee bop” continuing in the song.

Song #3: "Makoma Mu Hemaa" By: Papa Wastik
Song: Makoma mu Hemaa
Singer: Papa Wastik
Genre:Raggae
Synopsis: I chose this song to relate to African music because of the steady beat that it has in the beginning of the song and throughout the whole music. In the beginning of the song, it starts off with a simple beat, then in 10 seconds of the song played, more instruments are added in with a rhythm that flows with the singer voice. During the chorus, there are backup singers humming and making responses to the singer while he sings, letting him know that they are listening and understands his feelings towards this girl. In African music, they tell a story with flowing beats and the way they sing it let’s the listeners know how they actually feel because of the way it’s sung. Instruments in the background as well as the singers are going in this steady beat and close to the ending, the beat of the music goes kind of fast with this rattle and drum sound. If you hear this in the song, then that means that there is more feeling he has towards that actual part or an important message from that part that he wants out there for you to here.