Music Week 2015

Last Updated: Tuesday, 01 December 2015 Published: Monday, 30 November 2015 Written by Huguette St. Hilaire

Music Week this year ran from 26 to 30 October 2015.

Day 1:  Opening Assembly

The theme of this year's celebration was Building Together - From Africa to the Caribbean

In this manner, we can connect with our national theme- 'Building Together' and show the connection which took place between our African ancestors and our present day music, particularly our new and past genres which continue to grow among the youth because of the African 'Spice' within us.

It has been noted that music from nonwestern  societies offers a wide range of listening experiences and cultural insights.  Our African heritage has influenced such western art performers as the French composer, Claude Debussy, the British Rock Star, George Harrison and the African American Jazz artiste, John Coltrane. In addition, the open-throated sound of the of Sub-Saharan Africa has become the much preferred Vocal Techniques of modern western music.

To show this unique, rich connection, we have decided to focus on three music genres: Folk; Gospel & Jazz for Music Week this year.


Folk in the Caribbean

The study of music in nonwestern cultures and Sub-Saharan Africa, which is sometimes called 'Black Africa' is as diverse as its people, however, from all accounts, Singing is the main way of making music and this is closely associated with dancing; while dancing, a dancer often sings or plays an instrument.

Several types of instruments were made by the nonwestern cultures to generate varied sounds.  They were Membranophones, Chordophones, Aerophones and Idiophones. The musical style of a culture is an important factor in its choice of instruments, for example, Chordophones (whose sound generator is a stretched string) are prominent in Islamic and Indian classical music, in which highly ornamental melodies require instruments with great flexibility of pitch.  However, in Sub-Saharan  Africa, Idiophones and Membranophones are the preferable instruments. Idiophones, are instruments, such as rattles, bells, gongs, scrapers and xylophones whose own material is the sound generator (no tension is applied) and Membranophones are basically drums. The material for these instruments depended on their availability, hence the use of animal skins for drums and the animal horns or conch shells for the Aerophones.

When the slaves on the plantations were given their walking papers for freedom, they took to the streets and performed in what we now know as our first folk Band or what we now know as: The Lapeau Cabwit Band using the first authentic Idiophones and Membranophones.


Day 2 - The Entry of Gospel Music

Gospel music is a music genre in Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Gospel music usually has dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) with Christian lyrics.

Coming out of the African American religious experience, gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century.  Gospel music has roots in the black oral tradition, and typically utilizes a great deal of repetition. The repetition of the words allowed those who could not read the opportunity to participate in worship called 'Lining'. During this time, hymns and sacred songs were lined and repeated in a call and response fashion, and the Negro spirituals and work songs emerged. Repetition and "call and response" are accepted elements in African music, designed to achieve an altered state of consciousness we sometimes refer to this as "trance", and it strengthens communal bonds.

Day 3- A moment with Jazz

Jazz is a genre of music that originated in African-American communities in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It emerged in the form of independent popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African -American and European -American musical parentage with a performance orientation.

Jazz spans a period of over a hundred years, encompassing a range of music from ragtime to that of the present day, and has proved to be very difficult to define. Jazz makes heavy use of improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note, as well as aspects of European harmony, American popular music, the brass band tradition, and African musical elements such as blue notes and ragtime.

Day 1

Music Students gave an 'Ole Mas' demonstration of the Lapeau Cabwit Band, using The 'Bouyon Genre of our WCK'S song - 'Vola Vole' as the backup music.

Day 2

Mr. Yohan Henry sang three gospel songs  entitled:
Thankful;  Magnify;  and God Bless Dominica.

Day 3

The Jazz Genr  was demonstrated by a very prominent Dominican Jazz musician Mr. Marxian Smith.

Day 4

The Completion of Music Quiz by Juniors (1st & 2nd forms) and Seniors (3rd - 5th forms)

Day 5

Visitors and School Audience were treated to the Idiophones and Membranophones Competitors by the 1st & 2nd forms.  There were  also presentations from the school drama club, the school choir and 3rd form classes.

Here are the winners of our various competitions:

Music Quiz:  October 26-28

Places: 1st -St Rita;  2nd- St Joan;   3rd -Bakhita

Idiophones -  class I-I

Membranophone  -   Class 1-3.

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