Music With a Purpose

Music is mostly view as something that you listen to and that is it. But in many cultures music is more. It can be used to make a task more bearable or get a group to enjoy the working process. The Sioux American Indian people do dances that help flatten the ground. While a man in Ghana used a musical rhythm to stamp out stamps.

Here a man from Ghana is using music to help pass the time at his job. In this there is like most African music no specific rhythm there really isn’t any meter either. The rhythm changes as the stamps requires it to. The singing is really amazing though because the rhythm is random he some how is able to sing along without making it sound completely random. According to http://www.folkways.si.edu/explore_folkways/ghana.aspx “ghanaian music continues to function as a means of creating, defining, and maintaining social identifications” in everyday life. without music they would be a very different culture because music is so much a part of who they are. http://www.sjaakvandergeest.socsci.uva.nl/pdf/anthropology_and_literature/political_meaningx.pdf stated that “it  is  obvious  that  Highlife  music  has  many  different  functions  in  Ghanaian society” and that it is more then just expressing emotions it is also used to advertise.  Many people all over Ghana use music to pass time not just the guy in the video above. It is a common thing to sing or pat out a rhythm in the work place.

Here the Sioux use a harsh timbre and a swooping range in their vocals and a steady drumming. And it is also a dance for the warrior but its more then that. The dance also has the purpose of flattening the grass. http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/04/06/origins-of-the-grass-dance-26738 stated that the origins on the grass dance was to “secure an arena for a ceremony, high grasses had to be trampled down to ensure visibility”. The grass dance grew from the flatting of the grass and it began to make the process more enjoyable.  This brought not just warriors into the dance but everyone and made the Sioux Grass Dance a social event. It is also rumored that the Sioux Grass Dance was used to make the ground acceptable for camp. http://www.tpt.org/powwow/mensgrass.html stated that “scouts would dance in a special way to flatten the grass and make it acceptable for a new camp or meeting site” so the group would not have to meet in the tall grass. On the plains the grass grows very high, and this made it hard for the Sioux to meet. So to solve this problem the danced around moving their feet in a way that flattened the grass. http://www.crazycrow.com/photos/native-american-grass-dance-19.php states that before pow wows could begin the grass needed to flattened so “the Grass Dancers were the ones to do this by stomping on the tall grass and placing some of it on their belts as they danced”. Even today when setting up a pow wow the grass dance is done first to flattened the grass before the pow wow begins.

So as a result music can be used for many different purposes all over the world. It can be more then just something to listen to or a way to express emotion. It can also help to pass away the time in the work place or get a daily task done in a more exciting way.

 

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