A possible notation for African dance drumming

  • Moses Serwadda
  • Hewitt Pantaleoni State University College, Oneonta
Keywords: Musical notation -- Africa, Percussion music -- Africa


It has long been recognized that Western musical notation is less than a satisfactory vehicle for recording African dance drumming. The symbols impose a fairly standardized Western interpretation that cannot be avoided, and they are incapable of expressing the life blood of African drumming, which is its timbre. A new system is needed, one without Western connotations and capable of indicating the quality of the sound, at least approximately.