African Drum and Dance

Subject MUSI10148 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 one-hour lecture and 1 two-hour rehearsal each week during semester and an end of semester performance.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Not available to BMus students

Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.



Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and Music Student Centre

Subject Overview:

This subject is designed to impart skills and knowledge central to music making processes in various West African cultures. Integrating practical and academic study the subject will focus on understanding the musical complexities of West African music and dance both in its sociocultural context and through hands-on participation at weekly rehearsals and supporting lectures, culminating in an end of semester performance. It will investigate structural components and procedures common to many African music forms and explore their application to particular pieces. It will provide simple and practical methodologies for mastering the rhythmic complexities in West African music.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should have gained:

• the skills to perform West African percussion music and dance to a competent standard;
• an understanding of the context of West African music and dance;
• an understanding of polyrhythm, polymetre, syncopation, off-beat patterning and other structural components in African music;
• an understanding of the relationship between dance movement and music patterning;
• competency as ensemble musicians; and
• an ability to identify and understand the broad and diverse cultural references of the relevant repertoire.


Weekly preparation of parts, individual and/or sectional practice and active contribution to all rehearsals, classes and performances as directed (50%); Two 15 minute listening tests worth 10% each, weeks 6 and 10, (20%)
Two 500 word written assignments worth 10% each, weeks 4 and 8, (20%). One 15 minute short answer and multiple choice written test, week 12 (10%)

100% weekly punctual and full attendance at all rehearsals and performances as directed is expected. Less than 80% attendance will result in a fail.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online through the LMS before the commencement of the semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

• apply teamwork skills in rehearsal/performance groups
• manage multitasking;
• demonstrate a command of rhythmic complexity;
• demonstrate skills in cooperation, communication and negotiation that allow for effective working in ensembles; and
• demonstrate a capacity to think critically and independently.

Related Breadth Track(s): Non-western music performance

Download PDF version.