African Choir

Angela Scharfenberger

African Choir

Regular price $ 180.00 Sale price $ 162.00

African Choir with Angela Scharfenberger

African music is renowned for gorgeous and complex harmonies, lively call and response, and playful interactions between different singers and drummers. In this class we will explore several musical traditions, but will focus on songs from Ghana and Zimbabwe. 

African songs often engage two and three part harmony, and are intricately related to polyrhythmic drumming patterns. We will learn through repetition; no sheet music used and no prior experience is necessary. Through singing in African languages, you’ll learn about culture, ritual and symbology in African songs, and invite the joyful spirit of traditional folk songs.

Class will culminate in a final group performance with drumming classes.

Please email Angela with any questions about this class:

This class is an introduction to some of the joyful, rich songs from West and Southern Africa. We will learn at least 15 traditional songs - songs that I've learned through 20 years of study with African musicians, primarily from Ghana and Zimbabwe.
In class we will:
  • Learn basics of African language pronunciation
  • Learn melody and harmony parts for each song
  • Refine the beautifully simple art of call and response
  • Each student will learn several singing leads
  • Learn to hear how songs fit with the rhythmic timelines of African traditions 
  • Learn the meaning and the cultural/historical context of the song
  • Learn basic instrumental parts, including percussion (shakers, bells, drums), gourds, and thumb piano
  • Learn several songs from an exclusively women's tradition
All songs taught by oral tradition, no sheet music used, just lyric sheets.
Open to students 12 and over.  Past harmony singing experience a plus, but not necessary!