Rhythm is often said to be the heart and soul of African music. Typically associated with dance, rhythmic patterns are elaborated in ingenious and sophisticated ways not matched by any world music. Yet scholars remain divided on the nature of African rhythm’s organizing principles. In this talk, I argue that the complexity of African rhythm is a rational complexity based on palpable beats, meter and periodicity, and that reciprocal patterns of embodiment by dancers reveal its underlying structures.
This event is co-sponsored by Musicology.
Kofi Agawu, Princeton University