Module Thirteen, Activity One

The Role of Music


In this module, we introduce you to the role and place of music in African societies. We explore the following themes: utilitarian value of music in Africa, aesthetic value of music in Africa, diversity of musical tradition of Africa, dynamic nature of African artistic traditions, and the diffusion process in African musical traditions. The activity is designed to engage you through a discussion session facilitated by the teacher in class. You will be asked to share their opinion and perspectives on how different pictures and music samples demonstrate the themes on the role of music in Africa.

Your Turn:

Someone has said that music is a universal language. This does not mean that all cultures have the same musical traditions, nor does it mean that individuals in the same society appreciate the same type of music. Rather, this statement asserts that music plays an important role in all human societies and cultures. Take a few minutes to think about how important music is to you personally and in our culture. Take out a piece of paper and write your answers to the following questions. When you are finished, you may discuss these questions and answers in class.

  1. What type of music do you like to listen to? Why is this music important to you?
  2. Beginning in the early morning and going through the entire day, make a list of how you encounter music on a typical day.
  3. What role does music play in our culture and society? Is music a part of all aspects of life and special occasions? Are there any occasions or special events or holidays in which music has no role?

Go on to Activity Two or choose from one of the other activities in this module