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Apatampa Audio and Video Selections

Audio Selections:

The tempo of apatampa seems on average to be slower and more relaxed than is the case with most other Fante recreational music. The drumming is likewise less intense, but involves an interesting interaction between adana and akonkon as they periodically approach a cadence. The double-bell (adawur ntaa) player seems to be free to simply be inventive in the two-pitched rhythms he creates. In the vocal call-response interaction, much of the time the cantor seems to sing an entire lengthy phrase followed by the chorus presenting the same material.

Texts / Translations for the Songs Heard on the Audio Example:

Meba ewu beebi a wonnye wo nnko o.
Moko m’akotow akorafo mpa.
Kramo e [meba rowu] o Alla Kubalu
To no Abudu, Maama.

[My child is dying], what should I do.
Alhaji, name him (my child) anything you want,
Abudu, Maama (two possible names)

[Apofo woroko wonnko ma nam wo!]
[Fishermen, go to where there are fish!]

M’ahwe me nsakyir dzinn, me nsa ekyir onntse de mensa yam.
[Awoo wowo no woara wo yam.]

I have examined the back of my hand, and it is not the same as my palm.
[Your real child is the one from your womb.]

[Gyae akoratwe] bembam, twentwean.
Gyae akoratwe a honam ye yie.

[Stop fighting your rivals] and grow fat. Note: meaning, wives should not fight among themselves–one cannot prosper (i.e., grow fat) in that sort of situation.

Video Selections:

In the video clip you can see the female singers moving in a distinctive way to the beat of the music as they sing; one of them is blowing the whistle rather than singing. Later in the clip different components of the instrumentalists are focused on–first the adaka and akonkon are seen, then the adawur ntaa and the male singers.

Performing Forces:

afirikyiwa metal castanet consisting of a wide ring worn on the thumb and a somewhat globular-shaped bell hanging from the second finger of the same hand; time-keeping instrument
aben single-note tin whistle (duct flute); time-keeping instrument
adawur ntaa double iron bell, clapperless, struck with wooden stick; support time-keeping instrument
adaka a large rectangular plywood crate with sound hole, slapped and pounded (struck) with the player’s fists or palms; lead rhythmic instrument
akonkon small military-style side drum, double headed, cylindrical body, struck with one wooden beater; interacts rhythmically with the adaka part
cantors female, two trading off
chorus mixed, approximately ten females and eight males

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