Music of Africa

Several people playing small drums tucked under their arms.

Drummers playing the tama (small talking drum) in Dakar, Senegal. (Photo by Prof. Patricia Tang.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2005



Cite This Course

Course Description

This course is an introduction to selected musical traditions of West Africa. A variety of musical practices and their cultural contexts will be explored through listening, reading, and written assignments, with an emphasis on class discussion. The course includes in-class instruction in West African drumming, song and dance, as well as lecture-demonstrations by guest artists.

After an introductory unit, the course will be organized around four main geographical areas: Senegal, Mali, Ghana, and Nigeria. An in-depth study of music from these countries will be interspersed with brief overviews of Southern, Central, and East Africa.

Patricia Tang. 21M.293 Music of Africa, Fall 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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