Awesome Sauce Music Friday

Awesome Sauce Music Friday: Complex Singing on the Golden Records

One of the more interesting things I think, music wise, that made an appearance on the golden records is a song by the girls of a pygmy tribe in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.  These tribes are known for extremely dense and complex vocal music, to a point that Simha Arom says that Europe did not reach similar complexity until the 14th century.  I’m not sure exactly how complexity in vocal music is measured, but I have no reason to doubt this.

I like pygmy music being on the Interstellar Record both because it adds to the diversity of the collection and because it is music of a traditionally oppressed people.  The neighboring non-pygmy Bantu peoples in sub-Saharan Africa have a tendency to see pygmies as subhuman and treat them as slaves, so we should champion the voices of these people.

Featured image credit: Paul Godard via Flickr

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Elizabeth is a professional belly dancer, a flaky computer scientist, and a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She lives in Georgia (the state of the U.S., not the country) but is nonetheless somehow not a combination of stereotypes from Gone with the Wind and Deliverance. Her personal blog is Coffeefied. Operafied. Fluffified. Beglittered.

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