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Prof. David Locke – Class of 1960 Music Lecture

Wed, April 17th, 2019
4:15 pm
- 5:30 pm

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In his talk titled, Finding Patterns and Feeling Affect in Agbadza Songs (Ewe people, Ghana/Togo), Prof. David Locke of Tufts University focuses on a corpus of twenty-five songs in the Agbadza genre. This paper articulates structural features of the genre and identifies compositional design choices in specific songs.  The analysis explicates the many different musical facets of a song—text setting, tune shape, modal progression, rhythmic patterns, metric accentuation, call-and-response design, and relationship to drumming—and suggests ways to feel the expressive potential of these musical elements. Instead of emphasizing the localized context of meaning for the enculturated culture-bearers, Locke will suggest ways that a global audience may find beauty and significance in these songs. The presentation will blend lecture format with audience-participation through active music-making.

David Locke is Professor of Music at Tufts University. He earned his B.A., 1972, and Ph.D., 1978, both from Wesleyan University. Locke is an ethnomusicologist specializing in traditional African music and dance. He began teaching at Tufts part−time as the director of the African Music Ensemble in 1979, eventually earning tenure in the early 1990s. He is founder and director of the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society, and author of Drum Gahu: The Rhythms of West African Music.

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