"Music and Culture of West Africa" is a multimedia investigation of the Straus Expedition - a 1934 field research study in West Africa. Laura Boulton, a participant in the expedition, recorded and documented the music of 21 ethnic groups in what was then French and British colonial West Africa. This CD-ROM is based on the materials she collected. CD-ROM technology allows students to hear sound recordings, see photographs, and view film footage shot during the 1934 Straus Expedition. These materials provide a first-hand glimpse of a period in West African musical history and of a field experience from an earlier era of musical research. Contemporary media and research sheds light on the materials that Boulton collected, and helps demonstrate the continuity of these forms of music. Discussions of fieldwork, instrument classifications, and the role of ethnomusicologists in representing the people they study will help users to understand the work of ethnomusicologists today. "Music and Culture of West Africa" includes details about West African musical instruments and musical culture.
The interactive 'Musical Principles' section allows users to hear, observe, perform, and compose examples of Hocket, Polyrhythm, Call and Response, Timbre, and Signaling. Explore and discover the interconnections between music and culture by navigating on your own journey through "Music and Culture of West Africa: The Straus Expedition".
Gloria J. Gibson is Associate Vice Chancellor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Associate Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. She was Director of the Archives of Traditional Music from 1995-1999.Daniel B. Reed is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was the 1995-1996 Laura Boulton Junior Fellow at the Archives of Traditional Music.The Teaching and Learning Technologies Laboratory at Indiana University, Bloomington, assists faculty working with instructional technology. Its staff consists of instructional consultants, courseware developers, and specialists in digital technologies.