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Abstract : Sub-Saharan music results from the spoken language/instrumental language relation, directed by an oral culture. In this culture, these languages transmit – beyond their singularities – messages thanks to either a coded signal known by the linguistic community or previously defined among a group of individuals or is used as a true meta-language copied on the articulated and usual language used every day. Here, an instrumental musical speech can then imitate and reproduce the tonal inflexions of the language to make its matter understandable. This fact is the natural result of a strong interaction and interrelation between the spoken language and the music as well as the conception that the Africans of South Sahara have of it. As a matter of fact, one can notice that, in most of their languages, there is not a word to designate the term music itself in the exclusive meaning of the art of technically and aesthetically organizing sounds. On the other hand, a word or group of words express the word music as a concept with multiple strata. This concept underlying the very tight link between the musical fact and the Word, the musical act then carries a communicative importance equal to the one in a spoken language. Thus, the musician is supposed not to play –in the first meaning of the word – his instrument but to make it “speak”. When the instrument is used to accompany the singing, it generally follows adequately the tonal inflexions of the spoken language. Outside of this performance situation, it keeps its ability to deliver, by itself or with other instruments, some coded messages, rather understandable only by initiated peoples. The famous African drummed language derives from this. It is a language not limited to the drums only. Its action expands to every instrumental act, including the voice, a language that I call the instrumental Word. What concept rules such a language? What treatment is language subjected to in the affectation of its components in the musical discourse of to the instrumental Word and vice versa? What are the technical, contextual and expressive parameters that underlie, determine and contribute to the distinctive goals of the speech? These are some of the major questions to which I the author try to bring elements of answers to clear up this subject.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 4, 2019 - 11:24:00 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01969527, version 1



Apollinaire Anakesa. ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTAL WORD IN SUB-SAHARAN MUSIC. 2004. ⟨hal-01969527⟩



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