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Fiddling in West Africa


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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: A Master Fiddler and a Significant but Little-Known Tradition
1. Fiddling in West Africa: Understanding the Culture Area
2. An Affirmation of Identity: Fulbe Fiddling in Senegambia
3. Calling the Bori Spirits: Hausa Fiddling in Nigeria
4. In Service to the King: Dagbamba Fiddling in Ghana
Conclusion Appendix: Distribution of the One-Stringed Fiddle
List of References
Discography and Videography

Promotional Information

Winner, 2009 Alan Merriam Prize (Society for Ethnomusicology)Winner, Nketia Book Prize, Society for Ethnomusicology

About the Author

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje is Professor and Chair of Ethnomusicology and former Director of the Ethnomusicology Archive at the University of California, Los Angeles.


"This broad comparative approach synthesizing several decades of research is groundbreaking in both ethnomusicology and African studies, and the author has the expertise and authority to accomplish such a difficult project." Eric Charry, Wesleyan University "If you've always associated west African music with drumming, think again: this enjoyable and immensely readable book explains the vital importance of the dynamic and highly developed traditions of the fiddle in this part of the world, which reach back at least 300 years and possible much further. Jacqueline Cogdell Djedje, professor and chair of ethnomusicology at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), draws on her own field studies conducted between 1973 and 2003 to provide a comprehensive survey of the instrument in the three main musical cultures of west Africa: Fulbe, Hausa and Dagbamba. The scope of this fascinating and painstakingly researched study is broad, but it is also methodically focussed... She examines aspects of the fiddle tradition as the history of the instrument , contexts for performance, social status of its players, ensemble organisation, the music's stylistic features and the profiles of players from each culture. " - Catherine Nelson, The Strand, October 2009 "Fiddling in West Africa furnishes substantive and intelligent answers to various questions about the nature and purpose of fiddling in Fulbe, Hausa, and Dagbamba. Djedje makes a significant contribution to ethnomusicology with far-reaching impact across disciplinary boundaries. Fiddling in West Africa is an invaluable resource for students and scholars, as well as the general public." oAmerican Ethnologist, Volume 36, No. 3, August 2009 "Fiddling in West Africa ... Is a phenomenal addition to critical literature on African music in particular and ethnomusicology in general. This seminal publication represents an excellent consummation of a sustained scholarship on a West African music tradition that spans three decades." oIntl. Journal of African Historical Studies, May 2008

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