Compare World Music Essay

Abstract: The comparison between African and Javanese Music Throughout the music history, Western music has dominated to the world a number of regional music, and one of these is African music, which was considered to have the biggest influence because of the history of slavery. Besides, Java, an island that belongs to Indonesia, has a little impact on the development of Western music. Although several common factors still exist between them, there are several contrasts related to musical characteristics, religion and social development.

African and Javanese music in general are completely different from Western music, because Westerners tried to impose their own definition of music and norms into different musical dimensions. In the gamelan music in Java, all notes can be marked on a closed circle, and end is exactly a beginning of a new cycle as time cyclical. Meanwhile, in the system of African music, Time Unit Box System has been shown to be very successful with African rhythm. If Westerners make their music as slave of times, which means people do certain things at certain time, Africans do otherwise.

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Time to Africans is not linear, and they do not think chronologically because time is not merely sensed by a clock with moving hands. In “African Music Traditional and Contemporary”, the author said that A major difference between African music with Western music is African music always tries to integrate itself with the society. (Agordoh, 29) In Africa, everyone can participate in making music, thus, African music is not described as a high art form.

For Java music, it is also cited as an expression of the essence of culture, so it is used in ritual ceremonies and other purposes rather than everyday life as in Africa. After going through some aspects related to music, we can recognize some common factors and contrasts in African and Javanese music through their history although there is no connection between them. It creates a variety of musical characteristics in World music, and understands how their music is passed through generation. Word Cited: Alexander Akorlie Agordoh, African Music Traditional and Contemporary, Nova Science Inc, 2005


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