The evolution of harmony in the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)




Música Africana, Música da República Democrática do Congo], República Democrática do Congo


This article reveals the concept of music encapsulated in the 18th century Enlightenment definition of music that failed to recognize the existence of expressions outside Europe. In 1964, the American anthropologist Alan Merriam (1923-1980), provided a broad-based definition of music according to the substance of Franz Boas’ theory of “Cultural Relativism”, which empowers individual communities to define music within the frame of reference of their own cultural context. In the present article, I argue that there are three types of harmony in the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo reflected in: 1) The linear harmony encapsulated in Ensemble Thematic Cycle (ETC) of traditional music interpreted by drum ensembles, 2) The homophonic harmony of Western genre implemented in chord progressions by urban bands composed of a variety of musical instruments, 3) The parallel harmony of vocal singing as linguistically imposed to maintain the communicative significance of the message in lyrics


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The evolution of harmony in the music of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). África, [S. l.], n. 42, p. 20–38, 2021. DOI: 10.11606/issn.2526-303X.i42p20-38. Disponível em: Acesso em: 23 abr. 2024.