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The African Imagination in Music$
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Kofi Agawu

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190263201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190263201.001.0001

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Harmony, or Simultaneous Doing

Harmony, or Simultaneous Doing

(p.267) 7 Harmony, or Simultaneous Doing
The African Imagination in Music

Kofi Agawu

Oxford University Press

Harmony, understood as a form of simultaneous doing, serves as an underpinning to many African expressive forms. The chapter begins by distinguishing between the terms harmony, polyphony and multipart. It then acknowledges the contributions of A. M. Jones and Gerhard Kubik. The core of the chapter is a series of vignettes of African harmony. The main harmonic principle involves parallel motion between voices (of thirds and sixths; fourths and fifths; and major, minor, or diminished triads). Newer practices inflected by European tonality are also acknowledged.

Keywords:   harmony, European tonality, polyphony, multipart singing, Arthur M. Jones, Gerhard Kubik, parallel motion

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