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Ancient text messages of the Yoruba bata drum; cracking the code.


Ancient text messages of the Yoruba bata drum; cracking the code.

Villepastour, Amanda.

Ashgate Publishing Co.


173 pages



SOAS musicology series


Villepastour (Curator of Musical Instruments at The MIM, Phoenix, Arizona) presents this first ever academic study of the Southwestern Nigerian drumming tradition known as Yoruba bata and its linguistic properties. Bata drumming is derived from an ancient religious tradition in which the drums are used to converse with spirits by using complex tonal variations and rhythms. The author explores these attributes and how they are perceived linguistically by the listener thus exposing an ancient form of speech surrogacy. This fascinating work, which also includes a cd containing dozens of examples of bata drumming, is of interest to anyone studying ethnomusicology or linguistics.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2010
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