Africa Folk Music Atlas

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Africa - Folk Music Atlas is drawn up as a cross-roads among different traditional and contemporary cultures. Music, literature, history and multimedia tools are interlaced and supported by the book, CD-ROM and Audio CDs.
The product, the direct result of in-depth and thorough research on African musical traditions, is composed of: a book containing essays on history, tradition, musical instruments, music, in addition to photos, images, and a selected discography; three Audio CDs of 60 min. each, with excerpts of vocal, string, wind and drum music; a CD-ROM containing more than 100 pages of text, 25 min. of digital video, 25 interactive maps, 150 photos.
The CD-ROM is an interactive musical atlas, a multimedia anthology of sound offering a fine sampling of the enormous and variegated musical tradition of Africa. The interactive programme privileges the sound-track as much as possible, so as to offer an ample section of excerpts for a total of more than 5 hours of music listening.
The CD-ROM is divided into five main sections:

Hypertext shows the African historical path from the origin of man to the end of colonialism and the birth of independent countries, also including the Kingdoms era, the spreading of Islam and slave trade.

Hypertext correlating music to dance, oral tradition, vocal quality, improvisation, languages, learning and execution, is accompanied by an interactive map showing the different African musical traditions. The path develops through a selection of people and cultures that represent the whole tradition of the African people. Selecting the ethnic groups was very difficult and, at times, perhaps a bit arbitrary, but absolutely necessary given the more than 800 different ethnic groups who inhabit Africa. However, the selected groups are many and include: Arabs, Gnawa, Tuaregh, Mandinka, Dogon, Wolof, Senufo, Amhara, Somali, Ashanti, Hausa, Yoruba, Pygmies, Fang, Bafut, Hutu, Tutsi, Nande, Swahili, Chopi, Shona, Bushmen, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu, Malagasy, Comoro. A small chapter containing musical excerpts, an introduction, video and images is dedicated to each ethnic group.

Hypertext regarding vocal music, memory in song and singing in daily life allows the listener the opportunity to listen to various tracks and to learn to discern between the different vocal styles.

An interactive map of the most important African musical instruments. Selecting the musical instruments to be featured was also a very difficult task. Therefore, only the instruments that could be considered the heads of the complex chart of African tradition are taken into consideration. In the CD-ROM you will find information on rabab, qraqèb, dundun, kakaki, darabukka, ud, kora, djembe, wasamba, atumpan, bendir, krar, balafon, mbira, ekibulemge, and many others. A small chapter containing musical excerpts, an introduction, video and images is dedicated to each instrument.

Musical hypertext offering a detailed overview on the different modern musical styles. Listening to the corresponding tracks you will find information on: Rai music, Mustafa Tettey Addy, Fela Kuti, Ayub Ogada, The Master Musicians of Tanzania, Papa Wemba, Manu Dibango, Francis Bebey, Youssou N'Dour, Salef Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Gabin Dabiré, Cesaria Evora, Miriam Makeba, and many others artists.

Because of the complexity of the material at hand, the five sections are often connected, nevertheless the navigation through the different paths is very simple. Africa - Folk Music Atlas is addressed to everyone, enthusiasts of all musical genres, teachers, families, students and anyone who wants to venture out into the complex and fascinating world of the African musical culture.

Hardware requirements:
Windows 3.11 or Windows 95, CD-ROM drive double speed, PC486, 8 Mb RAM, 640x480 High colour, Audio Board 16 bit.

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