Commentary on Comparing Timeline Rhythms in Pygmy and Bushmen Music by Adrian Poole
Keywords:timeline, rhythm, Pygmy, Bushmen, African music
In his fascinating paper, "Comparing Timeline Rhythms in Pygmy and Bushmen Music," Adrian Poole offers a new perspective on an old debate regarding the historical significance of the many apparent affinities between African Bushmen and Pygmy music by focusing on "the analysis of one central musical feature that has received little attention in the literature: timeline rhythms." What makes this topic particularly intriguing is the way in which such rhythmic patterns lend themselves to mathematical analysis, a property which enables Poole to produce a very interesting phylogenetic tree from a simple algorithm. His thorough comparative study of these very distinctive rhythms, as found among African hunters isolated for thousands of years in remote regions of that continent with little likelihood of mutual influence, represents a significant contribution to our understanding of certain basic principles underlying both African and African-American rhythms, with additional insights relating to the "deep history" of the timeline on that continent and beyond.
Copyright (c) 2018 Victor Grauer
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