Music of West Africa: Rhythms, Dance, Instruments & Characteristics


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question 1 of 3

Which of the following is NOT one of the defining characteristics of West African music?

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1. What does it mean for a song to be polyrhythmic?

2. What is a hemiola?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Dancing and West African music go hand in hand. There are also many other unique characteristics that help define the music of West Africa. Quiz questions will check your knowledge on its common themes.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

The quiz questions will test you on the following:

  • Defining characteristics
  • What the term polyrhythmic means
  • Hemiola
  • Most common melody structure
  • Ways that soloists create improvised melodies or rhythms

Skills Practiced

By reviewing this quiz, students will be able to utilize the following skills:

  • Defining key concepts - define key terms such as hemiola and polyrhythmic
  • Information recall - access knowledge about common melody structures used in West African music
  • Knowledge application - apply knowledge about defining characteristics of West African music

Additional Learning

To learn more about the following, review the lesson titled Music of West Africa: Rhythms, Dance, Instruments & Characteristics:

  • How West African music has influenced other musical genres
  • Types of polyrhythmic structures
  • Why dance is important to this type of music