The relationship between lyrics and melody in Rimi vocal music

  • Howard Olson American missionary in Tanzania since 1947. Vice-Principal, Lutheran Theological College, Usa River


This article on Rimi vocal music is written with two purposes in mind: 1) to introduce the reader to Rimi music, and 2) to demonstrate the correlation between a tonal language and vocal music. To achieve this goal a very simple finger counting song has been chosen for analysis. A study of Rimi vocal music was made in conjunction with the authors linguistic analysis of the language. Since culture is a whole, and music is associated with so many aspects of the culture, linguistic research, of necessity, entailed an examination of Rjmi music. It was found that a knowledge of vocal music gave clues and corroboration to the tonal analysis of the language. Moreover, the study of the lyrics revealed many helpful examples of vowel coalescence.
How to Cite
Olson, H. “The Relationship Between Lyrics and Melody in Rimi Vocal Music”. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, Vol. 6, no. 1, July 1980, pp. 126-8, doi: