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Casey Gibson Photograph

Journals

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Drums in the Sun

November 6, 2007   Friday was our outdoor final performance of West African drumming for our Studies in World Music class. At noon, we brought the various drums that we have been learning to play all semester into a practice room and rehearsed our three pieces one last time. Everyone learned how to play every part, so when we practice, we need to play each piece a few times to make sure we all get a little practice on each of the drums. We then walked the drums over to in front of Commons and performed for about half an hour to the delight of passers-by. It was really a fun experience, and we even had a few people who stopped to watch for a while. We all thought we performed pretty well, and most importantly, we had an absolute blast doing it.

Now, we're moving into Javanese Gamelan music. It is a more tonal form of music (moreso than African drums, at least), but equally interesting to learn about and play. The instruments are a lot bigger and heavier, unfortunately, so when it comes time for our performance, we'll need to be ready for some heavy lifting.

This class has been a great trip into the music of vastly different cultures. I will never forget phrases like "OK, KETE, OK," or "thuk, pul, thuk, nong," and how these devices helped me learn instruments I never knew even existed.