Monday, 16 May 2011

Music of a Culture

Music of a Culture
Ladysmith  Black Mombazo

The South African Choral group has been together for over forty years, combining the sounds from their traditional culture and Christian Gospel Music.  They assembled in the 1960s in Durban South Africa by Joseph Shabalala.  Ladysmith is the name of Josephs hometown, Black refers to the Oxen which is the strongest farm animal and Mambazo is the Zulu word for axe which represents the vocal group’s ability to chop down any singing rival they may come across.
Their first record contract came about after a 1970 radio broadcast, and to this day they currently have made 50 records. Their Philosophy within the studio is preserving their musical heritage as well as entertaining.
They have been invited to perform in many special occasions including a performance for the Queen of England and the Royal Family at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They have also performed at two Nobel Prize ceremonies, for the Pope John Paul II in Rome and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
They have an album coming out in 2011 called “Songs from a Zulu Farm” which expresses the experiences of many of the older members who grew up in Ladysmith.

Analysis of I Disagreed - Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Tone Colour:
- Many layers of vocals
- Lead vocals and backing
- All male vocals
-  Call and response
- Call almost spoken
- Higher and lower male vocals harmonise
- Clicking sounds created
- Tenor, bass and baritone vocals
- Lead vocals are nasal, response is smooth more melodic and pitch is more defined
- Backing bend pitch up

- Homophonic
- Call and response
- Response is the accompaniment
- Used to provide contrast, call is thin, response is dense

Dynamics and Expressive Techniques:
- Vibrato, Rhythmic almost spoken
- Nasal in delivery of call
- Pitch bends
- Dynamic shaping - crescendos
- Response is smooth, legato

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