Quiz Questions

Chapter Ten

1. A tonal language is one in which meaning is determined not just by the sound of its syllables but also by

a. specific patterns of pitch
b. specific patterns of rhythm
c. timbral inflection
d. all of the above

2. Using “drum speech,” Akan people can

a. talk to their drums
b. recite proverbs with drums
c. replicate patterns of speech
d. B and C, but not A

3. Which of the following led to the displacement of millions of Africans and the African diaspora?

a. The Euro-American slave trade; colonization of Africa
b. Mande empire; Songhay empire
c. Islamic invasions of sub-Saharan Africa; African repatriation movements
d. African nationalist movements; Rastafarianism

4. Which of the following is NOT claimed in the chapter?

a. Paying homage is a major theme in many forms of African musical expression
b. Polyvocality is a common feature of many African musics
c. Drumming is the basis of most forms of African music
d. Complex polyphonic textures and improvisation are prominent features of many African musics

5. The Fontomfrom ensemble provides music for

a. Akan royal events
b. Mande jeliya ceremonies
c. social dancing in nightclubs
d. A and B, but not C

6. The time-line rhythm in the Fontomfrom ensemble is played on

a. a pair of atumpan drums
b. a small eguankoba drum
c. an iron bell called the dawuro
d. two large from drums

7. The lead drummer of the Fontomfrom plays on drums called __________.

a. atumpan
b. tomtom
c. from
d. dawuro

8. Which of the following is NOT one of the musical Africanisms discussed in the chapter?

a. complex polyphonic textures
b. layered ostinatos with varied repetition
c. emphasis on drumming-based music
d. improvisation

9. Call-and-response is a significant manifestation of ___________ in African music

a. layered ostinatos
b. timbral variety
c. the conversational element
d. distinctive pitch systems

10. Drumming

a. is found in all forms of music in Africa
b. is not the basis of most music in Africa
c. has little importance in music in Africa
d. B and C, but not A

11. The kora is classified as a ___________ and is unique to West Africa.

a. spike harp
b. spike fiddle
c. spike lute
d. musical bow

12. Hereditary praise singers and musicians in Mande culture are called

a. bala (balalu)
b. jeli (jelilu)
c. koni (konilu)
d. sauta (sautalu)

13. Which of the following is NOT identified with the art of jeliya?

a. The singing of praise songs
b. Performance on specific types of instruments
c. Principal identification of instrumental performance with female performers
d. Principal identification of instrumental performance with male performers

14. Which of the following Mande instruments is a type of xylophone?

a. bala
b. koni
c. kora
d. atumpan

15. Which of the following is NOT true?

a. The modern jeli only performs for members of the Keita royal family
b. Patrons of a jeli may today include politicians and other dignitaries who are not of royal lineage
c. The modern jeli continues to function today not just as a musician but also as a historian and social commentator
d. The modern jeli may perform on any of a number of instruments associated with the jeliya musical art, one of which is the electric guitar

16. The layered ostinato style of playing the kora that typically accompanies singing is called

a. birimintingo
b. kumbengo
c. sataro
d. sauta

17. Musician Seckou Keita is considered a “radical royal” because

a. he chose to play music professionally despite being of Mande royal lineage
b. he uses music to criticize the Mande royal family
c. he still participates in royal ceremonies despite being an albino, which defies customary Mande law
d. B and C, but not A

18. The virtuosic, improvisational, soloistic style of playing on the kora and other Mande instruments is called

a. birimintingo
b. kumbengo
c. sataro
d. sauta

19. Angélique Kidjo is notable for singing the majority of her songs in

a. English
b. French
c. Fon
d. Yoruba

20.  Which of the following members of the Diabate family was the first to become a master of the kora?

a. Toumani Diabate
b. Sidiki Diabate
c. Mamadou Diabate
d. Kassemady Diabate

21. One of the four principal modes in kora playing is called

a. birimintingo
b. kumbengo
c. sataro
d. sauta

22. Which of the following musicians is neither a jeli nor a griot?

a. Toumani Diabate
b. Seckou Keita
c. Angélique Kidjo
d. Bassekou Kouyate

23. Paul Simon’s landmark album Graceland

a. featured isicathamiya vocal music performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
b. created new professional opportunities for some South African musicians
c. helped bring international attention to the struggle against apartheid
d. all of the above

24. Which of the following is a plucked chordophone?

a. dawuro
b. sissoko
c. koni
d. djembe

25. Which of the following is a traditional Ugandan instrument?

a. mambazo
b. koni
c. endongo
d. isicathamiya


1. Listen to “Fontomfrom” (disk 3, track 14), then indicate the best answer for each of the following questions.

The instrumentation in this piece includes

a. only drums
b. xylophones and drums
c. a gongon bell and three pairs of drums
d. steel drums

2. The texture in this piece is

a. homophonic
b. heterophonic
c. polyrhythmic
d. melody-plus-drone

3. The basic rhythmic pattern of the gongon bell part is

a. exactly the same as that of the atumpan
b. exactly the same as that of the from
c. exactly the same as that of the eguankoba
d. not exactly the same as that of any of the drum parts

4. Listen to “Dounuya” (disk 3, track 16), then indicate the best answer for each of the following questions.

The instrument in this piece is a

a. mbira
b. banjo
c. kora
d. guitar

5. The kumbengo style being performed here features

a. layered ostinatos performed on a single instrument
b. a single harmonized melody
c. an ABA form
d. only the voice of the singer

6. The patterns recur with subtle variations in

a. rhythm
b. melody
c. ornamentation
d. all of the above


1. Is there a single homogenous musical style found throughout West Africa? Provide examples of “musical Africanisms” that can help you answer this question.

2. What role does a jeli serve in Mande society and what do they sing about? Also explain the principal musical instrument and the musical techniques they use.

3. Discuss how the song “Atlanta Kaira” (disk 3, track 17) relates to the lives of these musicians and Malian nationalism. Explain how the original song “Kaira” has changed over time.