Workshop 4: Rhythm, Movement and Cognition: The Yoruba Timeline as Metronom...

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Reid Concert Hall

Bristo Place

Edinburgh

EH8 9AG

United Kingdom

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Lecture & Workshop with Dr Olupemi Oludare, Department of Creative Arts (Music), University of Lagos, Nigeria

Abstract: Yoruba music, like other sub-Saharan African music, exudes a preponderance of diverse rhythmic resources and patterns, with rhythm regarded as a musical and cultural element. In this lecture/practical workshop, I will be discussing how the Yoruba timeline (konkolo) serves as the principal rhythmic pattern that delineates Yoruba music. The konkolo rhythm functions as the musical and cultural identity of Yoruba music, which is the bedrock of the stylistic form of each musical genre. I will be demonstrating how the konkolo rhythm generates the two principal rhythmic classifications of Yoruba music – the woro and highlife styles. I will also highlight how the Yoruba musicians, dancers and audience are able to engage the music’s intrinsic rhythm acoustically and subjectively through the metronome sense and as an artistic and social expression.

Traditionally, rhythm is first learnt by the Yoruba musicians because each musical genre and instrument has its unique rhythm. They learn how to play, sing and move to the rhythmic styles, consequently gaining motor, speech and cognitive skills. In Yoruba culture, parents often enroll their children with the master musicians, for the purpose of gaining these skills, through the indigenous knowledge system of apprenticeship. The master musicians therefore function not only as music pedagogues, but also provide speech, movement and cognitive therapy. This supports the narrative that rhythm is connected with human mind and brain, as it is intimately associated with movement, language and potential educational and therapeutic benefits. The systematic research of non-Western musical traditions will contribute immensely towards the diversity of global music in human and social development.

Biography: Olupemi Oludare obtained his Ph.D. (2016) from University of Lagos. His area of specialization is musicology, theory and analysis and ethno-musicology. His research interest includes the musical and cultural analysis of rhythm in West African music and in the diaspora and music in human and social development. His inter-disciplinary research, which includes music and gender, language, indigenous knowledge systems and identity, has been presented at several international conferences and published in reputable journals. He also contributed to the Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia for popular music of the world. Olupemi is a practicing musician, music director and composer, with his compositions orchestrated for both Western and African vocal and instrumental medium and winning composition awards. He is currently a music lecturer at the department of creative arts, University of Lagos and the conductor of the University orchestra.

Panel: Dr Olupemi Oludare, Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos; Prof Peter Nelson, Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh; Dr Sujin Hong, Neuropolitics Research Lab & Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

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Reid Concert Hall

Bristo Place

Edinburgh

EH8 9AG

United Kingdom

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