Date recorded: July , 1963
Physical form: Reel to Reel
Tape number: T1269
Track Number: 1
Archive ID: T1269
Note: Alan Lomax: melody is like a little wheel, polyphony is the simplest order of all. European music seems to undulate. American Indian is complex, same phrase is terraced in descending phrases. Social groupings: closed versus open. If you have fixity, the problem of security doesn't arise. Instead, there is need for validation of masculinity. The American Indian brave goes off into the wilderness and recounts dreams which allow him to associate with others with similar dreams. Africa has changing leadership, singers break into music, "Move over, I'm here." In stratified society commands get longer. Grain agriculture (wheat and rice) requires a definite sequence. Bulgarian farmers are independent| in the Mediterranean every man is on his own but collective decisions are made by the "signore." Collectivity in Southern Italy is subversive and conspiratorial. Another parameter: the bard (individual) versus the seamless group. Big seamless groups have a very good vocal blend. Czechs have seamless groups and complementarity (women participate in the economy, take care of the animals), but have a layered society. When it is very layered (under lots of authority) then you get orchestras (cf. "The Good Soldier Schweik"). Where males are specialized in a large number of fields (crafts), as among the Dutch, you begin to get housebound women. Victor Grauer's five point polyphony scale - from counterpoint (most), to harmony (next), to parallel chords, to isolated chords, to drone (most basic). Central Europe has occasional counterpoint, lots of harmony, parallel chords, and some drone. Western Europe has none. Africa has parallel chords, with some isolated Pygmy type. South America tends to Pygmy type. North America has none. Polynesia has drone and a good many cases of parallel chords on the Melanesian edge. Solomon Islands have good harmony. Hocketing with counterpoint is Pygmy type (a complimentary gardening group). Parallel chords in southern Europe indicative of African influence. Initiative: five levels of ability to be independent while singing together. Polynesia at lowest level, most of New Guinea next, Africa next, Melanesia next, Eastern Europe next, then Central Eastern Europe - Germans.
Belongs to: Arensberg/Lomax, 1963-1968
About the session: Conrad Arensberg and Alan Lomax discuss varied ethnomusicology and performance style and culture topics. Some conversations include Victor Grauer.
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