Brass Band Audio and Video Selections

Audio Selection:

This is hymn music that, when sung, would be organized in the call-response fashion. When such music gets arranged for brass band, the trumpet player becomes the equivalent of the cantor/caller, the rest of the band the chorus. This should be readily audible in the audio clip. You should also be able to clearly hear the persistent highlife beat performed on the afirikyiwa and cymbals. The drums–all modeled on western membranophones–provide a dense and energetic rhythmic underpinning for the hymn.

Video Selection:

The video clip offers a visual overview of most of the instruments in the ensemble and includes quite a nice display of drumming by one of the group’s two side drum players.

Performance 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 in adenkum, tigari, kolomashie and apatampaensembles, and in the ensemble for the Awerekyekyer church organization
cymbals metal concussion vessels, imported European crash cymbals; time-keeping instrument
adawur ntaa double iron bell, clapperless, struck with wooden stick, also called gongon; support time-keeping instrument
2 side drums double-head drum with cylindrical body played with a pair of stick beaters, basically an imported European field drum (without snares) or modeled after such a drum; rhythmic instrument
conga pair of single-headed tubular hand drums with a conical bodies mounted on a stand, local adaptation of the Latin American conga; rhythmic instrument
bass drum double-head cylindrical drum with large diameter, struck with a stick beater, imported from Europe or modeled after European bass drum; rhythmic instrument
trumpet end-blown lip-reed horn with valves, soprano register, imported European trumpet; lead melodic instrument
2 trombone end-blown lip-reed horn with valves, tenor register; imported European valve trombone; melodic support instrument
2 tenor end-blown lip-reed horn with valves, tenor register; imported European baritone horn; melodic support instrument
bass end-blown lip-reed horn with valves, bass register, sousaphone-like; melodic support instrument
bass end-blown lip-reed horn with valves, bass register, tuba-like; melodic support instrument

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