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The Voice in the DrumMusic, Language, and Emotion in Islamicate South Asia$
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Richard K. Wolf

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038587

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038587.001.0001

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Tone and Stroke

Tone and Stroke

(p.55) Chapter 3 Tone and Stroke
The Voice in the Drum

Richard K. Wolf

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the importance of tone and stroke melody in the rhythmic patterns of South Asian drumming traditions. Many musicians and listeners in South Asia are interested in the relation of what they consider classical music to what they consider folk music. Some emphasize the distinction when wishing to make a point about what constitutes true musical knowledge (usually knowledge associated with the “classical”). This chapter explores the practice of naming and defining drum patterns based on the author's fieldwork in a number of cities, towns, and rural regions in India and Pakistan. It also discusses the role of melody and rhythm in the definition of patterns by looking at examples of (tone-) melodies accompanied by drums, such as functionally specific genres that combine wind-instrument melodies with drum patterns. The chapter highlights the complex ways in which tone and stroke melodies may vie for primacy within a genre or across different items in the drum repertoire.

Keywords:   tone melody, stroke melody, rhythm, drumming, classical music, folk music, drum patterns, India, Pakistan

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