An outstanding resource site for introduction to Atsia drumming. Includes historical information, demonstration of performance practice, adaptation to new instruments, and integration with traditional dance. Relevant to National Standards for Music Education 8 (music in relation to dance) and 9 (music in relation to world cultures).
Students are introduced to names, characteristic rhythms, and performance techniques associated with a number of west African percussion instruments; students are shown how traditional Atsia rhythms can be ported to the standard trap set; students are introduced to the way in which dance and drumming interact; students learn about the history of the Anlo-Ewe people of west Africa; students associate visual elements with sounds when exploring the "Virtual Drum Museum."
Target Student Population:
Middle school or higher; some content areas could be used with upper elementary.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some areas provide traditional rhythmic notation.
Type of Material:
Use as a resource for introduction to instruments and characteristic rhythms of Atsia drumming, adaptation of these rhythms to the standard drum kit, and dance.
QuickTime plugin required.
Evaluation and Observation
This site has high visual appeal and uses animated notation with video to effectively demonstrate rhythmic patterns. Video clips of dancers (some video appears to have been shot on location in Africa) help put the drumming in an artistic and social context.
This site would benefit from the addition of a pronunciation guide.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Site is a resource; access to content areas is non-linear. Use of animated rhythmic notation with video connects rhythms with performance practice.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Instructions are clear when provided; not all sections contain or require instructions. The "Virtual Drum Museum" is especially interactive. The site is well organized.
Other Issues and Comments:
Author collected information as part of a Fulbright Scholarship to study drumming and dance in west Africa.