Grade 7 Music
The Grade 7 Music program introduces students to a variety of choral music styles, music history, media and composition.
All grade 7 students have the opportunity to perform in at least one main-stage performance.
Music is essentially something that stimulates the auditory nerves (hearing sense). But, music is perhaps one of the only stimuli, received to a single sense organ, which stimulates almost all of the brain in unique ways. A lot of “music” happens within the brain. Our interpretation is necessary for differentiating between music and noise.
No person perceives music in exactly the same way. Bearing this in mind, one can say that every person is uniquely motivated to listen to music. People will also have specific reasons to listen to music.
Some common reasons are:
Structural parts of the song which are preferred (chorus, beat, etc.)
To fight boredom (after all, music stimulates the whole brain)
With this in mind, here are some fabulous tracks featuring a variety of African artists.
You can do a more detailed analysis of your listening by downloading a "Listening Log":
Track 1: One People, One World (Femi Kuti)
Femi Kuti (NIGERIA) is a Nigerian musician. He is the eldest son of the great Afrobeat musician, Fela Kuti and the grandson of the political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti.
Femi Kuti began his career playing with his father’s band and in 1986 started his own band – establishing himself and an artist independent of his father’s massive musical legacy.
Track 2: Flamenkora (Djeli Moussa Diawara)
Djeli Moussa Diawara (GUINEA) is born in a family of Guinean griots, a hereditary caste of musicians. His father was a balafon player, and his mother a singer. His half-brother, they share the same mother, is Mory Kanté. He then became a « jali » or « djeli », mandingo word for griot. He learned to play the Balafon, the Kora and the guitar.
In 1983, his first LP, now known as Yasimika, is released in Abidjan. It's still nowadays considered a great piece of African music. His Flamenkora album was released in 1998, offering a rich blend of styles, from his Mandingo roots to Flamenco. He founded Kora Jazz Trio and is the composer of most of the tracks produced by the group.
Singer and musician, Djeli Moussa developed played styles on his 32-stringed Kora, which is unique and was adapted at his request from the 21-stringed traditional Kora. He's able to adapt to many different rhythms from traditional Mandingo to Salsa, Flamenco, Blues and Jazz.
Track 3: Rirongere (Oliver Mtukudzi)
Oliver Mtukudzi (ZIMBABWE) was a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region. Mtukudzi was considered to have been Zimbabwe's most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time. Oliver Mtukudzi passed away in January of 2019.
Track 4: Afirika (Angelique Kidjo)
Angélique Kidjo (BENIN) is a singer-songwriter, actress, and activist of Nigerian descent who is noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. She is a powerful singer, advocate for human rights and an incredible human being.
In 2007, Time magazine called her "Africa's premier diva". Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Celia Cruz, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana.
She has recorded George Gershwin's "Summertime", Ravel's Boléro, Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" and the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and has collaborated with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Ziggy Marley, Philip Glass, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Josh Groban, Dr John, the Kronos Quartet, Yemi Alade, Cassandra Wilson and Indonesia's pop star Anggun. Kidjo's hit songs include "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma", "Wombo Lombo", "Afirika", "Batonga", and her version of "Malaika". Her album Logozo is ranked number 37 in the Greatest Dance Albums of All Time list.
Kidjo is fluent in five languages: Fon, French, Yorùbá, Gen (Mina), and English. She sings in all of them, and she also has her own personal language, which includes words that serve as song titles such as "Batonga". "Malaika" is a song sung in the Swahili language. Kidjo often uses Benin's traditional Zilin vocal technique and vocalese.
Kidjo has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. With UNICEF, she has travelled to many countries in Africa. Along with Mary Louise Cohen and John R. Phillips, Kidjo founded The Batonga Foundation, which empowers some of the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach young women and girls in Benin with the knowledge and skills they need to be agents of change in their own lives and communities. She campaigned for Oxfam at the 2005 Hong Kong WTO meeting, for their Fair Trade Campaign and travelled with them in North Kenya and at the border of Darfur and Chad with a group of women leaders in 2007 and participated in the video for the In My Name Campaign with will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas.
Every African community has its own music. The traditional music created by Africa's many peoples has always formed an important part of everyday life on the continent. In more recent times, popular music from around the world has blended with elements taken from traditional styles. In turn, African music has had a tremendous impact on music far beyond Africa's borders.
Here are some resources which will give you a better understanding of African music, geography and culture.
African Map Sheet
Sub-Saharan Music Text
Sub-Saharan Music Questions
African Musical Styles Text
African Musical Styles Questions
Popular Music Project (Learning and Evaluation Situation)
Due Date: June 15, 2020
Complete instructions for this project can be found at:
Composing a SoundScape
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines soundscape as “a mélange of musical and sometimes non-musical sounds”.
Canadian composer, R. Murray Schafer, defines a soundscape as being “any collection of sounds”, just as “a painting is a collection of visual attractions”.
In this activity, you will create your own soundscape inspired by the work of R. Murray Schafer.
• SoundScape Score (the visual representation of your “music”) – see picture below.
• A variety of items which can be used to create sounds (piece of paper, tin foil, water bottle, pencil, etc.). Use your imagination.
• Pencil or Pen
• Piece of Paper
• A Recording Device (optional)
• Look the score below. There are eight (8) distinct shapes in your score.
• Brainstorm what each shape could sound like.
• You may use body percussion, vocal effects and any other items found around the house in order to create sound sources for your composition.
• You may compose your piece in whatever order you wish, this is, after all, your composition.
• Once you have created sound for each section of your piece, practice it in order. Feel free to make changes and add to your soundscape.
• You may choose to record the final product or share this with someone at home.
Here are two videos which will continue your exploration of SoundScapes:
R. Murray Schafer (National Film Board): “Listen”
“The Musical Mind #2: R. Murray Schafer”